Amsterdam, backpacking, chasingkm, Europe, spring, thelazyfisherman, travel

Eurotrip Part Three – Amsterdam, The Netherlands

We are finally on the adventure of our life time (up ’till now)! After resigning from our jobs teaching English in South Korea in February, we are traveling through Europe, visiting Paris, BelgiumThe Netherlands, Germany, Czech Republic, Poland and Austria. We spent almost a year planning our two month trip to Europe which eventually evolved into a ten month journey that will see us crisscrossing Europe, Ireland and the USA for a few months. Central America may (hopefully) make its way onto our itinerary.

The way we travel is a combination of hostels, couchsurfing, workaway and friends. This means we get to experience regular life and meet locals in the places we visit as opposed to just being main stream tourists. It also means we can stretch our budget further and travel for longer!


The first things that come to mind are Red Light districts, “coffee shops” and liberality. You will find these in abundance all over the city center. Amsterdam has much more to offer than just this though. We started our first full day in the city with a “free” walking tour with Sandemans NewEurope. These tours are not actually free as you have to tip the tour guide afterwards. It does mean you can pay what you feel they deserve or you can afford, though. They are usually quite good and are a nice way to find your bearings in a new city, and pick up bit of history along the way.

Things to see/do:

The Red Light District. If you wander through it during the daylight hours it is a fairly tame area. Most of the window boxes are empty or have their curtains drawn. Basically each window is privately owned/operated by the lady inside. She will stand in the window to attract clientele. The later it gets, the busier it gets. So more of the windows will be filled and the streets will be teeming with tourists, stag parties, tour groups and curious onlookers. No photos/video are allowed in the area and apparently you will get chased down if you try. We also saw a few of the ladies pull their curtains shut if any youngsters walk past. All of them were clothed in about the same amount of clothing you would see on the average beach on a sunny day.

The Museum Quarter.

Here you can find all the major museums in the city. Our highlights were the Rijksmuseum and The Van Gogh museum. The first has a range of exhibitions from many famous artists though the ages (Rembrandt, Van Gogh etc) and covers more than 800 years of Dutch and world history. When we were there it even had a whole section on Dutch history in South Africa which was very interesting. The Van Gogh museum takes you through his whole life, his influences and his troubled end with displays of his paintings and his peers/mentors and idols. Interesting even for the non-Van Gogh fans. This area is also home to the I Amsterdam sign (in front of the Rijksmuseum). Get there early if you want a photo as it gets super crowded! There is also a nice park/square where you can hang out if the weather is good. The Anne Frank house is not in the Museum Quarter, obviously, as it is still in its original location. If you know exactly when you will be in Amsterdam books these tickets online, way in advance. They sell out quickly! If you don’t do this you have to wait in a queue, possibly for hours. From 9am to 3:30 pm you can get tickets for a certain time slot. After this you join the queue and buy a ticket at the door. If it’s too busy you won’t make it inside. We joined the queue at about 3:50pm and waited 2 hours to get inside. It was so busy you were just bustled through each room and it felt like the museum had no actual impact. Not the recommended way to do it.

Walk the streets.

Amsterdam has something for everybody. From trendy bars and cafes, hipster hangouts, street markets and buildings dating back hundreds of years. Amsterdam was also where the Dutch East India Company (VOC) started up, probably the first stock exchange/market/publicly traded company in the world. The city is, of course, also filled with canals. These are still used for boat transport, cruises, fishing (I tried this one evening from the banks/bridges) and the mooring of houseboats/cafes/bars. We love to walk around the cities making our way from landmark to landmark on foot with breaks in between to people watch and enjoy some local beverages and snacks.

Dam square, right in front of the Royal Palace, is a popular hangout spot in the center of the city. Most of the trams/busses also pass near here. You could easily spend a few hours here in good weather with a few drinks watching the goings on of the tourists and locals (pro tip – the bigger department stores usually have bathrooms if you’re desperate).

The public transport in Amsterdam is well organized and reasonably priced with single ride to 72 hour passes available. The city center is very walkable though so do a bit of research before you invest in a pass. We were in a hostel just outside the center and found that most days a single ride ticket in and out was sufficient. The other way to get around is of course cycling. Most of the roads have dedicated cycling lanes and cars/pedestrians usually give way to the cyclists.

Useful information:

We stayed at WOW Amsterdam. It is outside the city center but has some supermarkets and tram/bus stops nearby. Beds were comfortable and the rooms were spacious. Bathrooms were well equipped and close to the rooms, towels were provided. There was no kitchen worth speaking of. Just a small room with a bar fridge, microwave and basin. No cutlery or crockery. The breakfast was sufficient to start the day, buffet style, cold meats, bread/rolls, cereals coffee tea etc. The wifi was patchy most of the time.  Can’t really complain too much as it was only 10 Euros a night for a mixed dorm.

Albert Heijn supermarkets are great. They usually have good food specials, you can get a loyalty card free, most of them also have free wifi.

The Apple store has free charging stations and wifi if you have an iPhone.

The train network is quite extensive and many places are within day trip distance from the city itself. Kayley went to Keukenhof for the morning and we both spent an afternoon in the nearby town of Harlem. Beaches are also within reach.

Google maps worked fine for the public transport. If you don’t have a sim card be sure to download the offline map before you head out and screen shot all your transport options for later in the day.

We have found apps that have offline functions to be specifically useful. What has been the most useful app you’ve downloaded for traveling? 
festival, Fishing, Korea, life in korea, nature, outdoors, thelazyfisherman

Ice fishing

It took us almost two years to finally go ice fishing. Considering what a fishing fanatic I am this is actually ridiculous. Each time we planned to go our plans were thwarted by work (the Korean last minute “didn’t we tell you about it two months ago-you have training on Saturday”) or weather (the -17°C plus wind chill factor that us Durbanites just can’t handle).

Continue reading “Ice fishing”

Korea, life in korea, South Korea, thelazyfisherman

Christmas in Korea

Being away from family on Christmas is not always easy. I get this intense fear of missing out on all the family events (and all the food) going on at home. Korea doesn’t really celebrate Christmas (even Christian families) in the whole festiveness of it all. You’ll find the odd Christmas tree and lights in certain areas and in some shopping malls, but generally, people work right up to and straight after Christmas. It’s so strange, but it makes me not really miss home and family, because it doesn’t even feel like Christmas!!

Christmas in Korea

But of course, we didn’t let this stop us from celebrating and celebrating well!! This is how we did Christmas in Korea!

Nampo-dong, Busan

Nampo-dong is home to a street market that takes place throughout the year. It houses our favourite (roads of) thrift shops (where we managed to find great ugly Christmas sweaters), as well as our favourite carts of street food (cart 63 is our go-to for mandu and pajeon for just W5000). It always has a festive atmosphere with crowds of people wandering around enjoying what it has to offer. In December it gets dolled up with lights and a giant LED christmas tree along the main stretch. This was enought to put me in a holly jolly mood for a little while. Streets too cold at night? Nothing some Scotch Blue Pocket can’t fix for you!

christmas in korea, christmas, south korea, expat, busan
christmas in korea, christmas, south korea, expat, busan
christmas in korea, christmas, south korea, expat, busan

Friendsmas Eve Dinner

Grab a bunch of friends, organise a pot luck dinner, everybody bring some food. Eat, eat some more, exchange Dirty Santa gifts, eat again, this time in excess, all while drinking mugs of mulled wine. Right after dinner, take some group pics and enjoy home made Baileys with coffee, cookies and pumpkin loaf. Follow this with fun group games and end by falling asleep on the couch and (warm ondol) floor while listening to random Christmas carol renditions via YouTube.
christmas in korea, christmas, south korea, expat
Thanks to Hedgers Abroad for the group snap!

Christmas Day Lunch

As if we didn’t eat enough the entire day before Christmas, this was our chance to do it all again. We had a delicious roast meal, with mulled wine, Korean wine, Christmas carols, Christmas movies. We even had real Christmas pudding (complete with the brandy and the flame) thanks to Ed’s family in the UK.  Bianca (baker extraordinaire) had some home made gingerbread men waiting for us and made some fresh mince pies with our tea after desert! Our Korean friend HyoJeong joined us too and experienced her first Christmas meal! What a mix of Christmas traditions, but so super special.

christmas in korea, christmas, south korea, expat
christmas in korea, christmas, south korea, expat

Christmas Themed English Camp

Since Christmas in Korea isn’t celebrated the way we are used to, I decided to theme one day of our winter camp around Christmas and let the students hear about how I (and some other western countries) get into the festive spirit. I taught them some Christmas vocabulary, showed some pictures of some decorated houses and made a Christmas wreath out of some super cool ball clay. After that we watched “Shrek the Halls” and then played Go Fish using Christmas vocab cards while listening to all my favourite Christmas Carols!

christmas in korea, christmas, south korea, expat, english teacher, winter camp

christmas in korea, christmas, south korea, expat, winter camp, english teacher

How do you celebrate Christmas? What’s your favourite holiday tradition? Do you find it difficult being away from home and family during the holiday season? Let us know in the comments below! 
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone! With love, the Scroobletts xxx
Fall, Korea, life in korea, National Parks, nature, seasons, South Korea, thelazyfisherman

Seoraksan National Park

Korea has an abundance of many things, mountains and National Parks are near the top of that list. What better place to show of your latest hiking gear in seasonal colors than hiking a mountain inside a national park? Or, if like us, you don’t have matching couples hiking gear and when you’re keen to head up a mountain you just wear whatever is handy and go. This often brings a few stares and questions like: are you going to be warm enough, cool enough and possibly some variations of are you seriously going up the mountain in that? Maybe they were just laughing at my skinny legs?

Seoraksan National Park

Seoraksan is one of the better known parks and boasts an impressive number of trails to suit all abilities as well as a cable car if you really just want some nice views and no effort. We have been to Seoraksan twice, once in Spring and once in Autumn. I feel like each time we went, we were visiting a different park. The park also obviously boasts a temple (can’t turn around in Korea without seeing one of these), the largest, (seated, bronze) Buddha in the world and some impressive grounds and statues before you even get to the actual hiking.


Seoraksan in the Fall

Our second visit to the park was during Autumn and the main reason was the see the foliage in all it’s splendor. We were not disappointed. This time around we chose a shorter hike up to a cave that housed a temple (of course) as well as a monk who lived up there! The hike started  off as a pleasant walk through the forest with lots of leaves to oooh and aaah at. Things get a bit more rough underfoot as the trail goes along a river, which was quite impressive, there had been a lot of rain and it was in full flow. The rushing water provided a great soundtrack to our hike. After this things got a bit more serious as we started to climb. The trail goes past Biseondae, a rock which has some Korean folklore attached to it. After this you head straight up to the cave housing the temple. The view from up here is breathtaking and on a quiet day the monk will even brew you a cup of tea.

Cable Car

This is very well managed and you can buy tickets ahead of time for a specific time that day. This means you don’t have to wait in line for ages. Once you reach the top there are a few look out points and another short trail that goes even further up. Take this trail. It’s worth it. The trail goes to the peak itself, which unlike most viewpoints in Korea has no railings or platforms. Most people just scramble up the steep mountain side to see how high they can get too take the most impressive photo. Unfortunately for us it had been a rainy weekend and there were lots of clouds about when we got to the top.

If you’re looking for a park to visit in Korea definitely add this one to your list. It is also very close to Sokcho which has nice beaches and is easily reached by public transport. When we visited in the Spring we took a bus from Busan to Sokcho (it was long and torturous). This time, however, we visited Seoraksan National Park on Day 2 of our trip with Enjoy Korea (on Day 1 we had visited The DMZ and the 4th infiltration tunnel).

We don’t often travel with tour groups, but for something this far and action packed, sometimes it’d just easier. How do you prefer to travel – group tours or on your own? 
Korea, life in korea, outdoors, running, South Korea, thelazyfisherman

Running in Korea

Before I left South Africa I’d become quite hooked on running. Particularly trail running. I had done a number of races of varying distances, some stage races and a few road runs. My highlights being a 3h54 road marathon as well as the 73km Golden Gate Challenge (3 day stage race with some massive climbs). Kayley also did her fair share of running back in SA, she actually convinced me to try my first trail run. She has completed numerous trail runs, many 10kms, as well as a half-marathon.

So I duly packed some running kit with road and trail shoes for our time in Korea.
Running here has definitely not been as easy as back home. I first landed in early spring which is colder than the middle of winter back home. After dealing with the jet lag I did finally manage to drag myself out of bed in the morning for a few runs only to realize I was pretty unprepared to run in the cold! Very soon after that I got the worst case of flu I had ever had in my life! This may or may not have been due to the cold morning runs, or exposure to a new environment and lots of children etc.
I did however, eventually find my feet and settled into a rhythm. I was delighted to find a few trails near my apartment that went up and around the hills as well as some single track through some of the parks. Hiking is a big thing in Korea so this has been great for me as a trail runner. There are trail heads almost everywhere, most have a rough map as well. I have had a few startled glances from the hikers on my morning runs but most of them are very friendly.

Road runs have also been pretty good to get some mileage in. Most motorists have, surprisingly, been quite courteous when I’m trundling along where there are no pavements.
I have only done two trail races in my time here. Actually, it was one race that I did twice, last year and this year. It is called the Baekyang Challenge and takes place annually in Busan. 26km up and around a mountain. Lots of fun, tough climbs, great single track. This race is organized by a foreigner who lives and works in Busan so entering it is easy!

Which brings me to road races in Korea, for these you will need help, unless your Korean skills are good. Mine are not. Kayley and I have done a few 10km races and they have been fun. They are really well organized. You have to enter at least one month before online. Your race number, timing chip and shirt get delivered to you about a week before the race date. So on race day you just pitch up and run. If you get there early enough you can enter a lucky draw to win some prizes, this is done before the race and we’ve seen people gong home with TV’s. This is usually followed by some speeches and then a group warm-up coordinated by some dancers/performers on stage to the beat of K-pop. This is quite a sight to see and is hilarious.

Just before the race starts everyone gets a pep talk and shouts of “fighting” and fists in the air are the norm. Sometimes you will also get a shoulder rub from the person behind you and in theory you should be giving the person in front of you a shoulder rub. Then fireworks (for every event) and you’re off!

The routes are always well marked, lots of marshals along the way and decently stocked water tables. Timing is spot on as well. After the race you can collect your medal which will come with a small bag of treats. There is also free food served after the run, fishcakes (odang) and tofu. There are also free bag storage facilities at the start/finish and ample parking. Usually within an hour of the race you get a text message with your official time and about a week later they send you a certificate with a photo of you at the finish, race details and time.
If you are a runner I would definitely recommend trying a race in your area. If you are not a runner I would still recommend doing one just for the experience. There are usually a few events on offer, ranging from 5kms to 42kms. At all the races we’ve attended there has been a very mixed batch of participants. From the super cool, dressed to kill and faster than a speeding bullet pro’s to the loving couple who walk and hold hands and even the first time runner who bolts off, nearly has a heart attack and walks for the rest of the way until he sees the crowds at the finish line type. As foreigners we also get extra cheers and shouts of “Woawaaahhhh”!

Overall running in Korea has been a positive experience. It is a great way to explore new suburbs and trails. It also, for me at least, is a great time to think and reflect or to just zone out completely and forget about everything else. Another benefit is that it keeps off a few kilograms so you can try more of the delicious food!! This is a constant battle as we love trying all the food in new countries, and have really loved Korean food.

Do you have any running stories to share? Have you tried a race in Korea? Let us know in the comments below!

bass, Fishing, fly fishing, Hapcheon, thelazyfisherman

Hapcheon Dam 합천

bass fishing in Hapcheon



Bass fishing in Hapcheon (합천)

bass fishing in Hapcheon
Some fish and the view
As mentioned in a previous post I met and became friends with a Korean bass fisherman. His name is Son and he has become a good friend as well as given me loads of advice and tips on how to catch more fish. 
My first trip with him was to go bass fishing in Hapcheon, which is inland from Changwon, about 90 minutes by car from Jinhae. Son’s father retired out there on a small-holding and Son visits him almost every weekend. The first I’d heard of this area was when Son saw me at the Ungcheon dam flailing away and catching nothing. He told me about this magic place where him and a friend had recently caught nearly 50 fish in one outing and he had photos to prove it!

Invitation to go bass fishing in Hapcheon

I half jokingly asked him to take me bass fishing in Hapcheon when he went again. I was quite surprised to receive a message later that week asking if I was free on Sunday to go bass fishing in Hapcheon. I had to cancel plans with my girlfriend (now she’s my wife) but the trip was worth it!
I was a bit hesitant at first as we barely knew each other and I was in a strange country and couldn’t speak the language (still can’t apart from a few words here and there). But it all turned out well. We were joined on the day by another Korean fisherman I had met at the same time. We got through it with some broken English, sign language and my limited Korean. Definitely one of my most memorable days in south Korea.

I have pinned a location below, most of the dams in this area are fishable. Bass, bluegill and even snakehead in some. The one closest to the pin has been the most consistent and is the biggest in the area. It’s with driving around the area and investigating any of the dams you see.


My first day bass fishing in Hapcheon

We set off at about 7:30 am and hit the first dam just after 9. It was late spring so the weather was great. I caught nothing for the first 2 hours and I could see Son was getting worried after telling me amazing stories about this place. He was giving me lures to use, pointing out all the spots where he had caught fish and let me have the prime areas first. I did however, eventually hook into a very decent bass and ended up with 8 fish by the end of the day. 


bass fishing in Hapcheon
Some of the bigger fish I caught
We had fished in 5 dams all pretty close together and bass were caught in all of them. Biggest pushing 40cm.

It was but the first of many

I have subsequently been back there many times with my biggest haul being 20 fish in one day’s fishing. 
As mentioned in other posts all these dams are also irrigation dams. They suffer the same dramatic fluctuations in water levels during the planting season. 
One trip out there we found all the dams to be almost empty or completely empty. We had to drive around for hours looking for a decent spot to fish. This led to us discovering a very strange fishing spot. My biggest in Korea was caught here.
bass fishing in Hapcheon
Few fish from the area. My Korean friend Son in blue.



Mark Scrooby


Camping, Fishing, Korea, nature, outdoors, South Korea, thelazyfisherman

Pohang Beach Camping

Memorial Day Weekend

A long weekend in June, thanks to Memorial Day gave us the perfect time to do some beach camping! A little bit of research and a reluctance to spend too many hours in traffic led us to Pohang. A slightly obscure blog post mentioned a secluded beach, next door to Pohang’s main beach Chilpo, where camping was possible away from the crowds. Kayley’s navigation and investigation skills eventually led us there. Initially it didn’t look too promising as the roads went through a very industrial area that wasn’t too inviting. It did, however, lead to a small fishing village with a lovely little beach that we ended up staying on for 2 nights/3days. At first, we had just headed straight into the village and spotted some cars that were parked very close to where we wanted to camp but there were no roads from the village. We backtracked a bit and found an access road right down to the beach. Guerilla camping heaven.

Beach Camping

A few Korean families were set up well back from the beach on a grassy area, so we proceeded to set up right on the beach near a few small cliffs that provided a nice shelter from the wind, some privacy and a handy “camping loo”. We set up our tent, did a bit of beach clean up and collected some firewood. There was also lots of ocean debris around that we ended up using to make a lounge area and outdoor kitchen around our camp fire. We ended up having a very comfortable set up.

beach camping, south korea, pohang, chilpo
beach camping, south korea, pohang, chilpo
beach camping, south korea, pohang, chilpo

Relaxation and Fun

When we arrived, the weather wasn’t the best, but it was pleasant enough to be beach camping and we even got some sun on Sunday (with a bit of wind). We woke up on Monday morning to a beautiful sunrise and the rain held off until Monday afternoon while we were packing up. We spent the days lounging around enjoying the outdoors, reading, fishing and learning some Gaelic football moves. I also did a bit of fishing off the rocks and managed to catch a few strange looking fish. We had a big bonfire each night, as well as our delicious samgyupsal (pork belly) and lamb chops dinners. We spent the evenings sitting around the fire swapping stories with our friends John and Neeta. Fortunately firewood was plentiful.

beach camping, south korea, pohang, chilpo

beach camping, south korea, pohang, chilpo, fishing in korea

beach camping, south korea, pohang, chilpo
beach camping, south korea, pohang, chilpo

Facilities and Entertainment

The main beach (Chilpo-Ri) was very close to where we camped and there was a small shop for ice/beer/water etc as well as large public bathrooms if you were really desperate. The ocean was cold but good enough for a quick rinse if you felt the need. The beach was soft sand. It was really very picturesque with the little fishing village and harbour in the distance.
The Sunday evening was a lot busier and quite a few Korean families set up  to do some beach camping, but it never got crowded. The entertainment for the evening was a Korean man who had probably had a few too many drinks and tried to show off to his friends by driving along the beach. He proceeded to get stuck in the very soft sand and it took an hour, two other off-road vehicles and a four-wheeler to eventually get him off the beach.

beach camping, south korea, pohang, chilpo


After packing up, Kayley and I took the “scenic” route back home. We meandered along the coast line up to the Homigot (Hand of Harmony). Pohang is very well know for this giant hand statue in the ocean that apparently sees the first sunrise of the  Korean New Year. If you time it right, you can snap a picture of the sun resting in the hand. Of course this means there are hordes of people trying to capture the perfect selfie and making weird poses (we did the same…) Lots of small Korean restaurants in the area to grab a bite. There are also a few coffee shops if you’re looking for something a bit more western. The drive along the coastal road is a bit tedious and time-consuming though!

beach camping, south korea, pohang, chilpo
Guerilla camping (and beach camping) has been the best thing we’ve done in Korea. It allows us to escape the city and get some reasonably fresh air and enjoy a bit of nature. Being able to camp just about anywhere has made it a lot of fun to explore the countryside.

Have you tried camping in Korea? Have any favourite spots?
bass, Camping, fly fishing, Korea, nature, outdoors, South Korea, thelazyfisherman

Jinan Camping

Jinan turned out to be one of the best places we’ve camped at in Korea. After our exploits in   Gucheondong we decided to take a drive out here based on City Girl Searching’s post.

Yongdam Dam is a massive man made reservoir in a valley between the mountains and right at the outflow of the reservoir where it turns to almost natural river again is a big, commercial, “camp on top of your neighbours and make sure to bring your projector” traditional Korean camp site called 섬바위캠핑. But lucky for us, just behind this camp site there is a  convenient little access road where  you can get right onto the river bank and set up camp next to your car. Of course this means no electricity, shower or ablutions, but we are okay with that. We definitely don’t mind being unplugged for a while. Guerilla camping at its best.
There were only a few other people set up on the river bank, but they were quite far away from us. Firewood was plentiful, as well as lots of rocks around to make a fire pit. We had chosen a good spot though and the fire pit was already made! The nights were still quite cool at this time of the year so a campfire is a must. Of course, it adds to the ambience too! Who wants to camp without a fire?? The views up and down the valley were quite magnificent, Korea really is blessed with some incredible natural landscapes and being able to take advantage of this, now that we have a car, has made our second year in Korea much easier.

I, of course, was immediately attracted to the river to see if any fish were to be found! The river proved to be quite full of life with schools of small fish all over the place, they did not seem interested in any of the flies I was chucking their way though. There were a few other guys around set up for catching carp/babel but I didn’t seem them catch anything. One old man came and fished next to our camp spot for about an hour in the Korean style of at least 3 rods in the water and he managed to catch one small chub. Lots of people were on their hands and knees in the river searching for fresh water muscles/clams and possibly crabs or snails. In Korea most living things are considered food!
It was towards the late afternoon that I spotted  a few bass darting around and a local fisherman also said there were Sogari in the river. Sogari is a hugely popular eating fish in Korea and shares the same habitat as bass so their numbers have dwindled. I eventually found a bass sitting on a spawning site and tried for about an hour to get it to take a swipe at every lure in my bag before giving up. The next morning I woke up early and decided to give it another shot and finally manged to get it to bite. It was safely released back into the water and went straight back to its bed.

Most of the day was spent lazing around in the sun, sipping beers. Some birthday cake and an afternoon nap were much enjoyed, too! Kayley loves reading her book whilst watching me tramp up and down the river bank. We spent the evening around the fire enjoying the peace and quiet of the great out doors and a South African braai of lamb chops and potatoes done in the coals. Delicious!

We only spent one night there but would definitely recommend it to anybody looking for an escape from the city and doesn’t mind roughing it a bit with no facilities.

Camping, fly fishing, Korea, outdoors, thelazyfisherman

Gucheondong Camping

Spring finally brought int the warmer weather and we decided to enjoy the fresh air and outdoors with a camping trip. It was a long weekend for Buddha’s birthday (Happy birthday Buddha!) and it also happened to be my birthday too! We wanted to head up into the area surrounding Muju to a small town called Gucheondong. We had beautiful weather and great spots, but this proved to be one of our more frustrating starts to a camping trip.

The town is situated at the entrance to Deogyusan National Park. As it was a long weekend the small town was packed with people strolling up and down, parked all over and trying to get into the park. The river running through the town was quite beautiful and was the main aim of our trip. I was in search of the fabled Cherry Trout that finds it most southern distribution to be in Korea. This area is known for actually having Cherry Trout. We spent a few hours (!!!) hunting for the ideal spot along the river to set up camp and eventually settled on an abandoned camping ground on the edge of town.

This turned out to be quite a nice setting as we were up on the river bank, hidden away from the road and in between a few trees. It wasn’t long until we had set up camp, collected firewood and I was off to the river to search for some fish. I must admit Kayley did most of the setting up as I was itching to get to the water! I spent about an hour up and down the river looking for some nice pools to fish in. Conditions were great and there were a few fish rising but no Cherry Trout unfortunately. Most of what I saw were a species of chub or minnow I think. (Not too savvy on Korean fish species.) The rest of the evening was spent chilling around the fire chatting and having some drinks. For dinner we had a Korean style barbecue of samgyupsal (grilled pork belly), kimchi and mushrooms in lettuce wraps and just enjoyed being outdoors!

The next morning Kayley woke me up singing “happy birthday”. After having another quick cast into the river, I arrived back at the tent to coffee and a very special gift – an Apple watch. Isn’t my girl the best?? Although it was some kind of sick joke not being able to play with it for the next two days due to no electricity or wifi! After enjoying our breakfast of oats and yogurt we packed up (basically just chucked everything into our teeny car) and headed to Jinan for another night of camping.