May 5, 2008
|May 3rd, 2008
Today we went to the Hantan River near a town called Cheolwon. Come to find out, along with it being a place for rafting, it was also the site of many Korean War battles. This location is just a few miles from the North Korea border (DMZ) but obviously we were safe and far enough away from any danger, outside of ourselves.
We left Uijeongbu at 10:30am and ventured out to the site. It took about 1.5 hours to get there so we did take a break and also had lunch at the site before we left for the river. While we were there we noticed a large structure over one of the bridges and just had to give it a shot (check out the video). We will talk later about this one. We got to the river around 2:30pm and got the basic instructions on how to put on a life vest, helment and received instructions on navigating the raft. Since I had already gone rafting before most of it was review but it was good to review. Once we got down to the river the lack of rain so far this year was starting to show as a problem. Where there was good rafting down most of it the rapid areas were too shallow for a raft with 8 people in it to get through so we did have to do a lot of walking to get through those spots. Along the way we were also able to go swimming in some of the deeper sections. The water was pretty cool but it felt great just floating in the water. After about 2-3 hours we were able to complete the course and made it to the end. I made it through with just a minor flesh wound when I slipped on a mossy rock, it will heal.
After we finished we went back to the pension (that is the house we rented for the nights, Korean equivalent to the condo. Biggest difference between the two is that we had to sleep on the floor). We got up the next day and was getting ready to leave when we found out we had enough time to visit the large structure over the bridge...
Over the bridge stood a high platform that was 52 meters (170 ft) from it to the water. From there people could go up and bungee jump. If you are not familiar with it you can check out the video but in short there is a very strong elastic band that is hooked to your waist or ankles (I chose the ankle) and you jump off a high structure, like one that hangs over a river at about 170 ft. It was something I could not pass up as the experience would be just amazing and the cost was extremely cheap, only about $30 USD. It took us about an hour to get through but me and another teacher conquered the leap and have a very good memory out of it. The worst part was the pressure that formed after jumping off a high tower and being held upsidedown until I made it down to the boat to take me back to shore. After we were finished and a headache began to form we started our way home. Stopped one more time for lunch and got home around 3:00pm.
Today, Monday, May 5th is a vacation from school. It is welcome after this past weekend. In continually scouting my next adventure I have some strong irons in the fire for individual Korean lessons, Taekwondo, and in a new twist, scuba diving lessons. For the scuba there is an individual who gives lessons to prep you for diving certification. He also coordinates trips to other countries to finalize certification like Phillipines, Malaysia, etc. I'll know in the next week or two whether or not this will be reality.
From this weekend there are many more pictures out on Facebook.com if you are interested. I hope everyone is doing well and that you are enjoying the spring! I continue to pray for everyone and I know I am getting the same.
It is almost Tuesday so I will talk with you all later.