After a very long vacation from the very popular weekend trips, I finally joined one. It wasn't so much for me, but for my friend Liz who is leaving Korea and going back to Liverpool in 4 weeks from today. She hasn't gone on many organized trips and feels she's missed out, so now, we are taking advantage of the beautiful weather, and going somewhere as often as possible.
Last weekend, we went to a bull fighting and zip lining trip. It was in Daegu, which is very far SW from my town, and pretty far SE from Seoul. I thought originally to take a bus down to Daegu and meet up the tour group there, instead of going all the way E over to Seoul and then down south. But, because of the mountains and the roads, it is faster to first go to Seoul, and then take a bus down. It doesn't make sense, but it just is the way it is.
So, Friday night, we headed out on the last bus. I was late, and Liz was drunk. That's a very common occurrence for both of us.
We found a sauna to stay at overnight, and after a mere 3 hours of sleep, we woke up and headed out through the labyrinth that is the Express Bus Terminal underground passage world. We arrived promptly at 6:50am and waited with the other sleepy eyed foreigners for our bus to arrive.
The bus arrives, and we all swarm it. Not only to catch the best seats, but to get out of the miserable rain. Luckily, most of our days activities were indoors today so it didn't really affect us very much.
That was a very quiet bus ride. Usually people talk, get to know each other, drink, some even start karaoke. But this time, it was quiet. Saturday morning at 7am, everyone we to sleep and did not wake up until we arrived at our destination.
First stop, Bull Fighting arena. Now, this is not the bloody sad horrible Spanish version. I'm not really in favour of the killing of the bull part. No, here, two bulls are brought into the arena, and when they see each other, their male instincts kick in and they want to fight and claim their territory, presuming they think the arena is their territory And then the butt heads and horns, trying to out-wrestle each other. The game ends when one bull submits and runs away. If the bulls are well matched, it can go on for the entire 30 minutes, which is what happened for the first match. Then it's a tie. For the next match it was over in less than a minute. Poor bull ran away muuing. The winner was posing big and strong. If he could talk, I think he'd say something like: "Come back here!! I'll show you who's boss!! I'm the boss! Don't you run away!!" Or something like that.
We had some beer to warm us up, some soup to keep us going, and some persimmon magkoli to satisfy our curiosity.
After the bulls, piled back onto the bus and headed out to the wine tunnel. Sounds intriguing doesn't it??
Well, it was really pretty. Unexpected, and delicious.
Originally, it was a train tunnel, but was abandoned, tracks removed and transformed into a persimmon wine cellar. Can you sense a pattern?
Persimmons. Yes. Apparently that area is famous for their persimmon products. They had persimmon everything, and we were there to sample the persimmon wine.
There were no free samples. Apparently, there were a few years back, but now it had become so popular that they figured they might as well charge people for the samples as well, not just the full bottles.
Liz and me walked down the tunnel, and eventually found a table to occupy. We got some wine, got some cheese and enjoyed a very fragrant and unusual persimmon wine.
After all the snacking and drinking, everyone was hungry and ready to devour some meat. Perfect place to go to?? BBQ Buffet! YES! YES!! YEEEEES!!
Our tour organizer William booked the place ahead of time. After all, we were more than 50 people. I think the restaurant staff were a bit freaked out seeing so many foreigners together in their establishment. They were very flustered and were running around to all the tables as we were all demanding more meat, more alcohol, more meat, more alcohol, and a bit more vegetables.
It was great. It finally gave us the chance to sit with random people, talk, get to know each other, and set the mood for the evenings shenanigans.
Unfortunately, the lack of sleep and long bus rides were leaving their antisocial mark on me. I was grumpy, tired, and all the people around me were annoying. It didn't help that they were all in their early 20's with raging hormones, full of energy and ready to party the night away.
I felt old.
I didn't mind it though, I just didn't want to be there. So, I made sure Liz was ok, had found people she could hang out with, and after the dinner was done, and the bus took us to the hotel before heading out to the clubs, I sneaked away and had a wonderful night in.
I read, I watched TV, I had the whole comfy bed to myself, I had some delicious pastries from a nearby shop... I was so glad I didn't go out. I didn't need to prove anything, pretend to be enjoying something when I wasn't. Nah! I just wanted to have a chilled evening, and so I did.
Liz and Maya came back at some point in the night, Maya went on the blankets on the floor, and Liz flopped on the bed next to me, fully dressed and completely inebriated.
The next day, after a quick breakfast, we load back on the buses and head out to the Zip Line course.
I was really excited. I had done it before but my fear of heights and vertigo were not helping me enjoy those experiences. So, I decided to do it again and get over those fears.
Unlike the day before, the weather was great. Sunny, warm, pleasant.
We got there, waited a bit until our turn came, got our harnesses and helmets on, signed away our lives and headed up the mountain.
I was the 2nd to jump. I didn't hesitate too much. It was great.
It had 9 courses and they were all fantastic. One especially was memorable because of it's incredible speed. I was worried the guide could not stop me in time and I'd fly off the other end. I didn't. I was OK.
After everyone was done, it was time to head back to Seoul, and for me, Liz and Maya, continue our epic journey to the east coast.