147ml. Done over 4 days. Just taking it easy and enjoying Mexico. Stopped at a mixture of camping places, rest area, church and mission hall. Following the route 1, which is great when there’s a shoulder but not so when the shoulder disappears. But most of the drivers are very good and patient. Been loving the taco’s and food is sometimes really spicy. Alongside the road there’s always the typical Mexican music being played and it feels great to be here. Weather is fantastic, a little hot later in the day but cool when the sun disappears. Camped at a rest station/small roadside stop on the first night and camped in a lovely family’s garden. Then we asked at a church if we could stay in San Vicente and the pastor was so nice and let us stay in a little building. Then a great little camp next to the road called Manantial camp. A little noisy because of the road but a beautiful garden. Last but not least we stayed at Hi mission. Mr Cho has devoted his life to helping Mexican Indians and he kindly let us stay two nights at the mission hall and cooked beautiful meals in the evening.
Mr Cho and his friend with Nikki outside Hi-mission
Dusty stretch of roadworks
Riding through San Quentin
Palanos rest station
San Vicente church
Nikki my riding companion
35ml. We rode down the 1d freeway for 25ml then came off onto the old road route 1. This was quieter but had no shoulder to ride on. We had an easy day and camped at a very quiet camp off the road but it was great to feel back in nature.
Ix Chel recommend Tito’s taco’s for breakfast. Mmmmm delicious
El Salto camp site.
38ml. Nikki, who a met at Steven’s, is riding to Argentina like me so we decide to ride together if our pace is similar. Steven takes us 20ml to the border on quiet back roads and bike paths which is fantastic. We say our goodbye’s and thank him for being such a generous host, then through the border we go into Mexico. We have to pay $29 for a tourist ticket valid for 6 month’s as we will be heading into the mainland Mexico after the Baja peninsula. No hassles and straight through the border after filling in a form then we head to Rosarito down the route 1 which is rather busy on stretches so we are glad to arrive. We buy a Mexican SIM card each and head to a warm shower host who Nikki contacted earlier and camp in the garden. In the evening we go out for our 1st Mexican food, taco’s and they are delicious and washed down with a beer and nice sweet pastry for desert. Hola Mexico.
On route south.
Camping in Ix chel’s garden, a lovely kind host who gave us lots of info.
157ml. Did this over 4 days just getting the feel of being here and found it expensive and hard to wild camp. After the hostel I slept on the floor in a park and had to exit sharpish at 4am due to the sprinklers coming on. Anywhere there’s grass here and the sprinklers come on at night. 2nd night and I slept on the floor again at the side of a factory but even though I was partially hidden, a guy woke me at 1am who didn’t speak any English, wanting a cigarette. Hmmm I didn’t sleep after that thinking he may be back and this time for money. Luckily I got a reply off a warm shower host in Carlsbad, great stuff, then another reply, so I stay for 2 nights in Carlsbad as I have to wait for my tyres ,on order at revolution cycles, to arrive on Monday. So it was with Greg on the 1st night and Jodi the second night who kindly rode 14ml with me to the bike shop the following day to get my tyres, after she had won a gold medal the previous day in a tandem race. Awesome lady. After securing the tyres on my loaded bike I get to San Diego and arrive at another warm shower host, Steven, who accepted my late request. I arrive and meet Nikki who I had met briefly on the road a couple of days previous. We have a few beers and a good chin wag and it already begins to feel exciting for the onward travel.
Steven, great warm shower host in San Diego
Famous Venice beach, California
64ml. After a day off here due to the rain I take the highway and blast down it 20ml till I get off into the 4rivers bike path. A pleasant ride for the last 40ml but it’s Saturday and lots of cyclists on here. Lot of road bikers on carbon frames racing so you have to be careful lol. Coming into Seoul the landscape changes to one of high tower buildings. I come off the path and head into town to bike Nara, a big bike shop well known with foreigners. I buy some replacement brake pads and order a bike box for my onward flight. Then it’s to go and meet Jonhgo at Soho travel who found me a cheap flight to LA. After meeting and thanking him and getting my e-ticket, ESTA printed off I go and check into my airb&b room. I’m here for 5 nights before my flight leaves so a little time to explore Seoul.
Coming into Seoul
Tunnel on the 4rivers path
Well that’s it now for Korea and I’m now on my way to USA. My stats so far are: total mileage after leaving my house on 28/4/18 is 15,906miles or 25,592km. To Baku Azerbaijan: 6,728miles
New Zealand 3,092miles.
61ml. After packing away my stuff I’m on the quiet scenic old road but at times have to rejoin the highway for stretches. The rain starts as expected due to the 18th typhoon to hit this season. The worst since the 50’s. I decided to get the waterproofs on and blast the 20ml to a jimjilbang which I find on mapsme. The highway is busy but there’s a good shoulder to ride in. You just have to be really careful at the exit and entry sliproads. After reaching the small hamlet I find the jimjibang doesn’t exist. I’m drenched and using Google translate with a local I find I have to go back to next town if I want a room and shelter for the next 2 days while the typhoon passes. I go to the first building that looks like a motel and get a room for £20 which is cheap for here. Happy days, shower and shelter.
Nice views from the highway
Nice quiet old road
53ml. I ride till 10km before DMZ, then at the rest station you have to hit h a lift as the police checkpoint won’t let bikes through. I got a lift with a nice couple and we went to the unification observatory and then the DMZ museum. After they dropped me back for the bike I took R 46 about 20ml north of Sokcho, to head to Seoul. I had a long 520m climb on the way and it was cold and going dark at the top so I went down to find a camp spot. It was pitch black when I found a small quiet shelter just out of Baekdam on the old road.
In the DMZ museum
39ml. After the great breakfast at hotel November I say goodbye to Wei and make tracks. After 20ml I meet Manuel coming the other way and as we are talking, Wei turns up and they know each other so we stop for coffee at 7/11 and after nagging for ages I set off to get through Sokcho to give me a chance of reaching the DMZ tomorrow. I manage to find a camp spot just as night falls but it was a little near the highway so I don’t expect much sleep from the noisy road.
58ml. Another hard day, the climbs say 7% but I wouldn’t be in the granny ring out of breath if they were lol. Well the weather is good and I’m at a warm shower host tonight. Hotel November. I arrive and it’s a fantastic place. Mr Kang the owner was away travelling but his staff treated me like a king. It was so nice to have a beautiful bed and luxury for a change. The breakfast was fantastic too. I met another cyclist from Malaysia there called Wei, a young lad who’s done lots of travelling. A laid back character if ever I met one.
Beautiful east coast
Korean war memorial
59ml. More of the same today with the steep climbs and I met an Italian couple on a tandem who have been travelling for 5 years. Nice couple and I was going to camp with them but when we arrived at a camping spot, the toilet was locked and no water so I decided to carry on for a while. It was quite hilly and was dark when I found somewhere to camp.
The Italian travellers
One of many boardwalks
Cycle path is very scenic at times
A flat stretch yippee
76ml. Hard day with quite a lot of steep, short climbs what just seems to sap my energy. Got to Pohang and then I was on the bike path up the coast. Lots of nice towns up this coast with lots of crab fishing and restaurants. Lots of Statue’s too. I called it a day when I found a nice raised shelter with a toilet with power next to it. Happy days.
Great camp shelter tonight
Take your pick for dinner
Lots of crab restaurant
72ml. Took R 909 to Seo-myeon then down over to Gyeongju. The first thing you see on approach are big buriel mounds. They are all over the gaff. Lots to see here with lovely park areas, dong-gung palace etc. Then I took R 4 towards Deok-dong and a quiet road through Gyeongju national park. Then it’s down all the way to the east coast at Gampo. Now it’s just a case of taking in the scenery and making my way to the top of the peninsula at Homigot. I camped in a shelter right on the coast. A great day.
The most eastern part of the Korean peninsula. Homigot.
The beautiful east coast
Gyeonju national park
Beautiful gardens in town
Burial mounds of sila