Imperial Lake


I took a break from my attempted doggie sitting to head out-of-town around Imperial Lake. When I say attempted it was just that! The little Pekingnese in 215 is the first dog who has ever been unwilling to become my friend, it was with a heavy heart that I left him for the 6th time at 14.08pm. The first three times he simply ran onto the bed, when I approached he growled and snapped so I backed off.  I tried talking to him for 15 minutes each time with no change in his attitude. The next three times he retreated under the bed and carried on snapping and growling whenever I approached. It’s his loss, as all dogs who have ever come into contact with me will confess, I walk them for miles and I spoil them, he must have **** for brains! Atmos, Georgie where are you when a man needs a friendly canine? I suppose this means I will be banished from further duties?

On my way out-of-town I spotted a baroque chair in the middle of a field, a first! After about 30 minutes I crossed over the Namhangang River, as it was early around 7.45am the mountains were covered in mist and the silhouette showed of different shades of graduated blue grey. I turned left after the brown sign to Lee Su-il Monument (5km) in Geumga-myeon, noticing someone had left a strange offering at a local shrine, some Soju! I hit a steep climb as I cycled parallel to a new highway which was cutting straight through the area, once again villages flattened, people decanted no NIMBY‘s will stand in the way of progress. Either side of the new highway life continued as normal with the fields all being worked on readying for the new crops. I saw no young people working only adults, I suppose 35 plus and a mixture of men and women. I was relieved for the respite the descent provided and as I turned the corner the tomb site was indicated 1km ahead. To the right I met a baby Atmos in the grounds of an agricultural processing plant.  My faith in dogs was re-ignited, poor sod was chained up but full of life and he did look well fed, he also had a mate, a Jindo (a Korean breed) similar to the one in yesterdays photo’s. Just along from here and around 300m down a dirt track I spotted the Lee-Su-il Monument on the left. This is Chungbuk Provincial Tangible Cultural Asset No. 205, what a mouthful! It was built in 1667 during the 8th year of king Hyeonjong in the Joseon Dynasty, remembering the works of the said Lee Su-il, what the works are is a mystery.  I spent 30 minutes trying to find out on t’internet without success, there’s no more chance us finding out about Lee Su-il  than there is of us living under a compassionate Tory party. Alongside the granite monument is a small temple named Chunghunsa which was locked up and further along a badly tyre tracked path I could see an actual tomb.  I cannot confirm it is Su-il’s as there was a bog between myself and the tomb that I couldn’t navigate.  My last walk and near death experience on Crosby beach flitted through my mind and I tried to engage my camera zoom to limited effect.  No grave robbing without a Yellow Duckmarine! One of the figures looked like he was engaging in the Korean male sport of p****** down an alley.

I carried on towards the golf club passing lots of fishermen and with a great view of the regatta where the Asian Olympic Trials will be held later this month and the World Championships in 2013. I stopped to admire a sign warning the fishermen of overhead power lines.  They proceeded uninhibited by the warning that they faced impending death. Another hard climb followed and I regretted wearing my Decathlon thermal tights for this latest adventure.  I will leave it to gentleman readers to appreciate why! Again after the respite of a descent I was powering along only to see a new wetland development.  I stopped off to admire some Cranes and to check out where I was on the map, you know I use the term map in its loosest sense. As I took to the road again I noticed what can only be described as a chair graveyard. Things became clearer as I turned the corner, I saw a sign that indicated fishing and the adjacent car park appeared to be full. It was hilarious, there were rows and rows of cubicles with the seats from the chair graveyard firmly bolted into each one. They sit there catching fish and then pocket them into a bucket, they don’t put them back! As I watched the spectacle I soon realised there is no need to put them back or even a chance to put them back.  A team of men walk around with lump hammers removing the said catch and rendering it well and truly ready for the cooker, battered but not in the chippy way.  They then pop the fish in iced containers ready to be taken home.  After about 20 minutes they disappear and then return with a lorry, the back of which is loaded with large blue containers.  They then proceeded to tip these containers, full of new fish stock, into the lake for the whole process to begin again, the sport of fishing will never be the same in my eyes. Crossing over Jojeongji Dam I turn left following the brown signs to Goguryeo Stele of Chungju around 4km farther on. This National Treasure was only discovered in 1979 and it pays homage to the Goryeo Kingdom.  The road runs along a cliff face and the authorities have created an elevated 4km long cycle way so our lives are kept intact. When I reach the monument it is undergoing a UNESCO style makeover and is under cover and inaccessible. Some crap architect has designed a modernist shed to house and protect it, he will probably receive a RIBA award. I carried on for another few kilometres to Jungangtap the site of the long walk to hell from a few weeks ago, how glad was I that I’d bought the bike for my travels. I stopped of at Tangeumdae park for a green tea and then came home for doggie duties.  You all know what happened next, a grizzled dog, another brew and I’m writing this.  There may be an update on Wednesday if I make the trip to Mireukdaewonji in the mountains, bus 426 outside the terminus at 11.08am.

သြာေတာ့မယ္။(Thwa dau me)