In the two years that Markus and I lived in Korea, we were blessed with some amazing Korean friends. I know I've talked about it before, but I can't stress how important it is to make connections, especially when you live far from home. It's already scary enough moving to a new place, but moving to a place where you don't speak the language and don't know anyone is terrifying. Thankfully, we were able to meet some great people.
Our dear friend, Junnie, is someone that I will always be thankful to have in my life. I don't think I've ever met such a kind and thoughtful person. He is always thinking of others and always trying to do his best. He might not always make the right decisions, but his intentions are always sincere. Back in May, he even planned a camping trip for Markus and I. It was really sweet and Markus and I were really excited. Although, neither one of us had ever been camping before. We were all planning without experience but we knew it would be a great adventure!
After a lot of going back and forth and cancelled weekends, we finally settled on a date. We previously cancelled a weekend in February because it was rainy and cold. We didn't have the proper gear and Markus imagined us all dying of hypothermia or something similar. So when Junnie finally pulled up with a huge video camera and our other camping comrades, Shin-chang and Gwang-jin, I knew that it was going to be a really interesting experience.
We began our journey in Busan and then headed out to Pohang. If you use the map I drew, you can follow along. We had to go to Pohang, because Junnie's parents had the tents at their house. Now looking back on it, I don't know why we didn't just rent them in Busan or borrow it from a co-worker. So from Busan, Pohang is around 1.5 hours away. By the time we arrived in Pohang, we were hungry and tired. After we made a pit stop at Junnie's house and met his sweet lil Korean grandmother, we headed out to get some lunch. Thankfully, Junnie knew of a really cheap Chinese place and we were able to eat a lot of food for really cheap. Gwang-jin kept saying it was the only good thing Junnie did that day. After we ate, we still had to buy all the camping supplies. Since none of us had been camping before, we were really unprepared. We stopped in a random town and realized that they didn't have any meat or much of the supplies we needed. We decided that we needed to head to the campsite to be able to set everything up before nightfall.
After another 1.5 hours of driving, we found ourselves at the campsite in Gyeong-ju. It was actually quite beautiful, but really out of the way. While we were driving up, Markus and I wondered why we didn't just camp out in Busan. Gyeong-ju looked just like Busan. By the time we started setting everything up, we were all delirious and tired. The boys worked really hard, while I ran around taking photos. Once we set up one of the tents, we realized that it wasn't enough room for all five of us, so they started pitching the other tent. Once we were done, we realized that we had no food and needed to go to another city to get the food. So again, we hopped into the car and began the search for food.
If this seems exhausting, trust me it was and I lived it. This isn't even close to the end of the story. There is so much more, but I will continue the rest of the story in the final installment of Adventures in Camping