Today, I went with a friend from church to see the northern part of Geoje Island. The northern peninsula has a small population and is not very accessible by bus. My friend has a car, so going to this area suddenly became possible. I was amazed many times at the beautiful scenes.
We stopped at a pebble beach to listen to the waves, talk about the Bible, and enjoy the view. Next, we visited a cometary at the top of a bluff. It was the first Korean cemetery I had visited and was intrigued by how different it was from a Western grave site. At some of the graves, there were empty bottles of soju. Here, it is customary to empty a bottle of soju, the popular Korean liquor, over the grave when visiting. (Pictures are in the sideshow).
Next, we winded our way along the coast to a very secluded pebble beach. By secluded I mean you have to take a steep dirt road to get there. We are the only people there. There was a small harbor with fishing boats tending to their nets in the water. He had a spot on the other side of a peninsula that he visits, but it was only accessible by foot. So, we parked and began our hike.
On our way, we came upon a baby whale. It was an amazing and sad sight. It looks like a big chunk had been bitten out of it. It was also among some other trash including a Honey Water bottle and a small plastic American flag. There may be some point to be made about the picture, but I'll let you make it if you'd like. After some research, I've found the whale to probably be a Finless Porpoise. It looks much like a Beluga except for its darker skin, and that fact the the Beluga lives much farther north.
We continued on our short hike, hugging the rocky coast of the harbor until we came to another much larger natural harbor. It was large enough to have waves--albeit small ones--hit against the rocks. I mentioned to my friend that it would be great if we stumbled upon a tide pool. Not five minutes later, we found some. Just a few days ago, I had been remembering visiting the tide pools near San Pedro, California with my family and my aunt. I had fond memories of watching the fish, and playing with the sea anemones. I found a tide pool with many little hermit grabs scavenging the sand, and another with several sea anemones.
The rocks lining the coast were covered with the shells of mussels and oysters. The sharp shells made the rocks much easier to walk across since they were wet. However, I lost my footing once and felt the wrath of the sharp shells on my hands. As we sat on the rocks, watching the waves, an old woman who was scavenging the rocks for live mussels approached us. She had been prying open the shells and harvesting the mussels from within. She offered us some mussels. My friend accepted the offer and tried one. After my last experience with raw shellfish just a week ago, I decided to pass.
We walked back to the car, past my new friends, the sea anemones and the dead whale, and left the beach. We went to a nearby island and to a coffee shop he had visited many times. The place was very nicely decorated and had a menu of coffee and sandwiches. The place had a great view of sea and offered a great view of the changing colors of the sky as the sun set.
All the places we visited today were nearly empty. I wondered if it was just the chilly weather keeping people away, or if many had taken time to explore their own island.
More pictures at the photo slideshow
Save the Whales
More info on the finless porpoise
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