Thursday, February 05, 2015

Road Trip to Anmyeondo

Every once in a while, the Koryo Peninsula Farrands will venture out to rice paddies beyond the comfortably familiar, and embark on a road trip to imbibe new sights, sounds and smells.

Many months ago, one such journey took us to an innocuous little island that we shall call Anmyeondo.

I had been there many years ago, together with an entourage of adoptees on a government-sponsored program to wreak havoc on the motherland.

I have vague memories of fine sunsets, warm nights, and noraebang

And so it came to pass that I triumphantly returned, this time accompanied by wife and offspring.

We came by way of a then-new Farrand Mobile, which held up remarkably well along a series of meandering roads that to our muted dismay would become decreasingly less road-like.

Baengy took the opportunity out west to inspect a solar panel farm.

"A respectable conglomeration of photovoltaic systems," remarked she.

If tidal pools, stones and mud were alone responsible for making places famous, Anmyeondo would be far better known than it is today.

As it turned out though, we weren't the only pool-stone-mud admirers in the neighbourhood.

This photo of Baengy reminds me of the Spirit Rover, trekking across the windswept rocky plains of Mars.

Although Anmyeondo was a little less exotic than the Red Planet.

Photos are not the best devices to depict wind, but it was quite a windy day. Our daughter's gleeful reaction in the photo above was her response to the force of the gusts, which were enough to wave her hands around.

And those little cauliflower-like patterns in the sand were produced by sandworms. Quite possibly distant ancestors to the Sarlacc.

Baengy is the pale yellow dot in this photo, appearing like a mote of dust suspended on a sunbeam.

We recalled her back to basecamp shortly thereafter and encapsulated her in a cosmic biosuit to protect her from the elements.

The next steps of the Spirit Rover came timidly at first, but then with higher frequency and rising confidence.

Like the pitter-patter of introductory raindrops before the monsoonal downpour.

Baengy and I soon realised that we had no time to waste in constructing a sand berm, if we were to stand a chance at protecting our matriarch and precious larva from the unforgiving winds.

Precious larva seemed suitably impressed with the fortifications.

But then again, precious larva is easily impressed in general.

If you tickle his toes, you've made a friend for life.

No praise is too high for the efforts of Super Mum, the stalwart mothership who even managed to recapture the rebellious Spirit Rover after it failed to obey commands to return to base. Those commands were transmitted over numerous audio channels and even received a visual acknowledgement of receipt.

Suffice to say, Spirit Rover can be quite mischievous at times.

It wasn't long before the sun set on our voyage west. Anmyeondo is recommendable if you like solitude, windy beaches, and unremarkable geological features. We had a good time overall, but mainly due to the family travel factor. The west of Korea is not unlike the east, but with more tidal action.

If you're in Korea and looking for a nice road trip, I'd say that the south-west of the country (Haenam) is probably a better bet. I'll make a post on that, sometime soon.

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