an amazing walk in the rain

Monday, July 28, 2008

On Saturday, it looked like our entire week of vacation was going to be rainy. (This has turned out not to be the case, but weather forecasts aren't always correct.) We had spent some time downtown in the morning, but decided to take a walk in the country, with a fruit orchard and the accompanying roadside stand as our destination.

Liam rode on Matthew's shoulders most of the way there, just enjoying the scenery. We passed a construction site with building machines (just like on Bob the Builder!) that prompted a chorus of "Wow! Wuzdat?" for the next five minutes. After meandering through neighborhoods of traditional houses, we broke into open country. The rice fields are a brilliant shade of green this time of year. Fruit orchards, with apple, pear and peach trees, alternate with vegetable gardens. There was even a small herd of cows, hiding from the rain in their stalls, and several families of dogs in their kennels. Ducks and geese wandered through the fruit orchard. We bought a huge bag of peaches for W5,000 (about $5) which, although they aren't as ripe as ones we'd buy in the States, make good peach crisp.

Liam walked back, splashing in the water that streamed down hills and swirled into the drains. We decided to stop at a cafe on the way back. We had seen signs advertising (in Korean) "Cafe 900 Meters", "Cafe 700 Meters," etc. From a gravel parking lot, we passed through a small entry way surrounded by interesting wooden faces. We walked up the narrow path through the lush woods, passing several water features, pottery arrangements, and an interesting variety of wood and metal statues, including the Blues Brothers and a random non-Korean-looking soldier. As we got closer to the main building, we noticed small cabin-like buildings in the surrounding trees. When we reached the main building, the waiter who came out to greet us explained that besides the main building, there were "bungalows." He led us to one of the bungalows, a small wooden building with full windows on three walls, two of which opened. Inside the only furnishings were a shoe rack, a low wooden table, a fan, and a stack of floor cushions. We ordered coffee and kiwi juice (more of a smoothie) which came with a small assortment of packaged cookies. What a find! We had our own little retreat in the woods. We'll definitely bring people here in the future.


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