Udo Olle Trail
We somehow managed to get a late flight out of Jeju which left us with the entire day to enjoy. The hike up Halla hadn’t been too taxing, so this ended up being a rare occasion when we planned and followed through with consecutive hikes. Although we often go on extended walks in England, in Korea, we can rarely manage two consecutive hikes, regardless of advance planning. So, yay for Halla’s shallow climb.
After our early start the day before, I insisted on a bit more of a lie in, and we arrived at the ferry terminal just in time to fill out the necessary paperwork and board. That was a stroke of luck, because the ferry terminal is waaaaay out of the way of pretty much anything, and the taxi ride was far longer than we had expected. Anyway, we sailed at 10 and arrived on Udo about 15 minutes later.
The ferry had been fairly full, so I was expecting the trial to be packed, since Udo is quite a small island. I needn’t have worried. Everyone else headed straight for a pair of tour buses. Seriously. The entire island is less than 6km².
We weren’t there for the tour, though. We wanted to walk another section of the Olle Trail. Udo is section 1-1 and covers between 14 and 16km (depending on the map), circumnavigating the entire island in a roundabout way, much like the other sections of the trail we have walked. This meant that we would leave sight of the coast for short periods, only to rejoin it no more than 50m further on, despite having walked several hundred meters along the path. No matter, we had more time than we needed for the fairly flat walk.
While most of the trail is very clearly marked, the beginning/ end at the ferry terminal is not really clear at all. Fortunately, the policeman/ teen imposter loitering outside/ patrolling was more than happy to point us in the right direction and give us a few pointers on adding
a the only hill to the route.
The weather could not have been clearer. We were able to see Halla clearly, for instance. Haha. I expressed my disappointment more than once during the day and Craig may have gotten a little sick of me asking if he thought we would have been able to see Udo from Halla, had we switched our itinerary around. He’s a patient man, fortunately, and played along each time.
About halfway around the island, we came across a restaurant that was open, had food we wanted to eat, and chairs. The trifecta! We stopped for about an hour to enjoy a giant pot of maeuntang (Korean fish stew). I think Craig’s favorite part was watching the cook choose and catch the fish. My favorite part was eating boiling hot stew. Have I mentioned it was cold? No?
Well, it was. Very cold. And windy. I wore the same dorky Elmer Fudd cap I had worn on Halla. It was so windy that tears were running down my face at some points. But I’m a weak waegoogin. The diver grannies were hard at work.
We completed the trail with perfect timing to catch the penultimate ferry of the day. Nice-uh. The terminal was unheated and the ferries were an hour apart. I also suspect the last ferry would have been full of the bus tourists. I was happy to be on the boat out of the wind, but there were gulls outside, so Craig spent most of the 15 minute journey feeding them a donut he had been carrying all day.