Olle 16

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We’re now on the opposite side of the island from our starting point on the south coast back in January. Having started the year heading south-west, we’ve now rounded the western end of the island and are heading north-east, approaching Jeju City.

Olle 16 starts at Gonae-pogu and the first third of the trail follows the coast, passing an old signal smoke tower and rock salt field (where the local people used to make salt from the sea water). The trail then turns inland, over Susan oreum, through farmland and woodland, and through a 13th century fortification. It would have been good to explore that, but it had been raining for a while by then and we were wet through so that exploration will have to wait for another day.

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Olle 15

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Olle 15 starts on the coast at Hallim Port and finishes 19 km later at Gonae Port, but the route runs almost entirely inland. This is undulating countryside, agricultural with small stone-walled fields and scattered graves. The warm and damp conditions must be good for growing but some crops show the effects of Typhoon Neoguri. The photo at the bottom shows what I’m calling millet.

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Rock pooling

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I spend plenty of time peering into rock pools around the coast of Jeju. With so much rocky shoreline teeming with little creatures, there’s always something to watch.

I saw these two just outside the harbour at Museulpo this afternoon. There are any number of crabs, like the one below, of different sizes and colours, but I’ve never seen anything like the slug in the photo above. Everything else does its best to blend in with the background, but this fellow doesn’t seem to feel the need. Given that it travels at the speed of a slug, perhaps it relies on being poisonous as a means of defence.

It could be a chromodoris aureopurpurea. There are references on the internet to this species on the coasts of countries around the western Pacific.

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Typhoon Neoguri

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Typhoon Neoguri may be passing some way south and east of Jeju, but it has still been blowing hard on the island last night and today. Down on the coast between Sanbangsan and Songaksan, the waves – grey and menacing – were battering the coast, throwing spray and sand over the coast road.

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Jeongbang Waterfall

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Continuing on the theme of waterfalls, this is Jeongbang, east of Seogwipo City and famous in this part of the world because it falls onto the beach. It is impressive to see the water falling and have the sound of waves crashing onto the black volcanic rocks in the background.

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Just add water

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I wrote about the Eongtto Pokpo waterfall before, noting that for most of the time it’s completely dry. Well, it rained yesterday, it poured overnight, and at times this morning there was torrential rain accompanied by the sound of distant thunder. If there was a good time to see the waterfall doing what waterfalls do, this looked like it.

Sure enough, water was cascading over the rim at the top. Sure enough, we weren’t the only ones who had the same idea: we shared the experience with hundreds of other people. However, I didn’t take any selfies, and you won’t find any photos of me striking a pose with the waterfall in the background.

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Jeju United 0-0 Pohang Steelers

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You can’t tell from the photos that it rained all evening, or that all but the most hardy spectators were trying to shelter from the wind and rain under the roof on the west side of the stadium.

This was a top-of-the-table clash between the Steelers, top of the league, and United, third. United brought more of a sense of purpose and urgency to the contest, with the Steelers appearing happy to settle for a draw from the outset. Both sides had chances, both sides hit the bar, but it was Jeju who looked more likely to break the deadlock.

Despite the dampness, the Jeju crowd got behind their team when things got exciting on the pitch. Late in the second half, a Steelers player was shown a red card after bringing down a player just outside the penalty area (below). The resulting free kick came to nothing, but the 30 or so Steelers supporters went quiet until the danger was over.

This is a long, long way from the Premiership: the crowds are tiny, the ticket prices very low, and I don’t know how the economics work. It’s good to watch, all the same, although it would be better if it wasn’t raining quite so relentlessly.

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Hallim 5-day market

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Lunch today was in Hallim 5-day market, in the stall in the photo above. You can’t afford to get too sticky on hygiene but the bibimbap tasted delicious.

Hallim is smaller than other 5-day markets I’ve been to but the same ingredients apply: piles of fruit and vegetables, fish and meat, a section with fake branded clothing, some hardware and plant stalls, and elderly and bent folk, many of them women, manning the stalls.

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Olle 14

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I don’t suppose there were many other people walking Olle 14 today; they’d have got wet if they had been, sooner or later. Even so, it was still good to be out on the trail.

Olle 14 starts in Jeoji, very close to Global Education City, and makes its way north-west until it reaches the coast. It then turns northwards past Hyeopjae Beach and ends at Hallim. This is the part of Jeju where the prickly pear grows, both wild and farmed. I wrote a blog about it before, but now they’re covered in yellow flowers – and, today, in raindrops.

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