Sunday, June 7, 2009

Deokjeok Do

This weekend I went to an island in Korea called Deok Jeok Do. It was Liz's birthday and she really wanted to go camping, but we couldn't find anywhere to rent tents, so our plan was to go and rent a minok, which is like a motel, but there are no beds.

We left at 7am on Saturday morning because had to go to Incheon to catch the ferry to the island. Incheon is another city in Korea that is about an hour and a half away on the subway. We had a few situations on the subway that made us late, but we finally got to the ferry terminal and we thought we would just make it onto the 9am ferry, but then we found out the ferries were all booked until 12:30 going to the island we were supposed to go to. After Liz's boyfriend talked to the person at the ticket counter, they were able to get us on the express ferry to Deokjeok Do at 9:50, so we took that. The ferry took only 1 hour. We didn't have a reservation for a minbok, so we were hoping there would be someone at the ferry dock that was trying to rent a room. On the ferry there was a part of the boat that said 'Priority Seating.' There were no seats, it was just an area with high walls and a wooden floor. It looked like a playpen, except that there were old men and women laying on the floor sprawled out. I wanted to take a picture of it but I thought it would be rude since they were old and disabled. When we got off the ferry there were tons of ajimas(old Korean women) who were cutting up and selling fish.

Here is the ferry we took. Just kidding, this was just a beached fishing boat we saw.
They were able to fit all 10 of us in the mini van on the way to the minbok.
This stage was on the ferry. With all of the lights we were expecting some kind of show. I was looking forward to a good magic show but we got nothing.....

We found an Ajishee (old Korean man) right away who took us to his minbok on the other side of the island in his van. We rented two rooms for $100 and there were 9 of us. The minbok was in a two story old Korean house and there was only one other family in the minbok with us.
Right out of our minbok window was a rice field. I think this is the kind of place my doctor at the travel clinic told me to avoid because malaria lives here........

This is our minbok. Very Simple. In the corner you can see our blankets/beds stacked up...

This is the road to our minbok.

After putting our stuff in our rooms, we went to find some lunch because we were starving. There were only two restaurants close to our minbok-one was playing music and the other wasn't. We went to the one playing music. The menu was stranger than the kind of Korean restaurants I've been to, but we ordered a few things and shared it all. One of the things was kimchi chigay which is a kimchi soup that I've never had before. It's a pretty popular Korean dish but I didn't like it. It was spicy and sour tasting. We also had this really good chicken stew with potatoes and onions in a spicy sauce. Lunch took over an hour to make, which we didn't expect, but finally we ate.
We ate at the hoppin restaurant.

After lunch we headed to the beach that was very close to our minbok. It was very empty, and I was expecting tons of people to be there because it was a beautiful day and it was also Memorial Day in Korea. We laid out on the beach for awhile, and then the boys went and got some fishing poles from the store. The fishing poles were just long, skinny bamboo sticks with a string and a hook on it. There was no reel. We sat on some stairs and fished for awhile. There was one tiny fish that one guy caught, and also a few people caught crabs that grabbed onto the worm and were pulled up.

The beach

Greg, Liz, and Dan fishing.

View from where we were fishing.

After fishing we headed back to the minbok. Each person was in charge of a meal, and Allen and Christie(Greg's friends) started cooking dinner. They made a really good Moroccan soup. While dinner was cooking we played some cards, and then went to collect fire wood. We asked the ajima where we could buy wood, and she said you had to just go find it in the woods, so went and collected a bunch of dead logs and small trees and brought them all back to the Minbok, but when we got back there were a bunch of ajishees standing outside telling us we couldn't have a fire. We didn't understand there reason for not allowing a fire, but we took the wood down to the beach anyway.
For the camping trip I tried my second attemp at a vodka(this time I used soju) watermelon. I tried once on Block Island and it didn't work, and the one I made for the camping trip with soju didn't really work either. The soju didn't get soaked into the whole watermelon, only the very ton. So one half of the watermelon was very soju-y and the other half was just regular watermelon. It was delicious anyway.

After dinner we went to the beach and found an open fire pit(we think the ajishees were saying we could only have a fire in the fire pit, not on the sand) and started a fire. We sat around it talking for awhile, and some other foreigners came over and joined us after awhile. Graham crackers do not exist in Korea, so one of the guys we went with made homemade Graham crackers that were sooo good! We had chocolate and marshmallows and made delicious smores.
Many people kept walking past us on their way to the ocean with buckets and flashlights, and we thought maybe they were clamming. But then some old ajimas came up to us and they were cold and wet and wanted to warm up by the fire. They had a bucket with them filled with these tiny crabs they found on the beach, and we were looking at them, and all of the sudden one of the ladies threw on the grate over the fire and threw about 5 crabs on the grate and walked away. We weren't sure how long to cook them for, and I'm pretty sure we cooked them too long. They were sooo small that there was almost no meat in them, so I think the women must have boiled them down to a crab soup or something. But we ate the ones she threw on the fire for us and they were pretty good.

On Sunday morning Jamie and I were in charge of breakfast, so we made some french toast. After breakfast we packed up and the man from the Minbok drove us back to the ferry and we left the island. It was a great trip and I'd like to go back and maybe try a different island!

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