Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Jeju... or Four Rivers?

It's been two years since I last did the Four Rivers path across South Korea. This year, I've been thinking, as you know, of doing the Jeju Olle path, which is much shorter (425 km versus 633 km), but honestly, I miss the Four Rivers path. The Jeju path can be done in a little over two weeks, especially if I combine some of the shorter segments of the trail and do them in a single day. The Four Rivers path has, in the past, taken nearly a full month to do, but with my now-healthier body, I might be able to skip some of those extra rest days and brunt my way through the whole thing a few days faster. 

I'm planning to take a weekend trip down to Jeju soon, now that there are no more vaccine-related restrictions. Even in the summer's heat, I want to know what it means to walk a segment of the Olle path that's been rated as "difficult," so I need to do a reconnoiter. That's going to determine whether I end up skipping those segments in favor of easier routes, say, around a given mountain instead of over it. I noticed, on my Olle-path app, that all of the "difficult" segments are on the south side of the island, and since the path starts on the east and is numbered counterclockwise, that means I'll get all the difficult segments done early, and the final half of the walk will be nothing but "regular" and "easy" segments.

All that said, will I really do Jeju this year, or will I wait until next year? I don't know. Nothing is fixed as of yet. It may come down to a coin toss. We'll see.


daeguowl said...

As someone that has cycled round Jeju I highly recommend it, although I think you might struggle for accommodation on the West side of the island. The bike path sticks mostly to the coast and there were only a couple of hills so I imagine you won't have any problems.
Also, I responded to your comment about the Chinese by replying to the email notification of your comment, but from your lack of a response can I assume that it didn't get through?

Kevin Kim said...

Yeah, I'm sorry, but I haven't seen any reply.

Thanks for the insights re: Jeju. Are the bike paths and the Olle-gil the same thing? I'm guessing not. Do you think it might be more worthwhile to stick with the bike trail instead of doing the Olle-gil?

I need to start planning out my hike, assuming I do go to Jeju. I'll definitely be looking into the accommodation situation. Might have to bring my bivy sac with me if camping is called for.

John Mac said...

Obviously, do what will bring you the most satisfaction. For me, I always enjoy seeing something different, so finding a new path is special. That said, I do have my favorite hikes that I incorporate into my weekly routines, so you really can't lose if you choose the familiar.

Now that I think about it, the obvious answer as to which hike to take is...both!

daeguowl said...

They must be the same path for large chunks of the way. I do remember veering away from the coast in the South East and a bit in the South West but generally i was close enough to smell the salt.