After ending our second day with noodles and mandu in bed due to the lateness of our arrival into town, we woke early, dressed, and went in search of more local delicacies for breakfast.
Eating fresh, warm pork buns on the banks of the river with thoughts of Busan clear in our minds, may just be one of my favourite moments from the trip. We had rode 165km, and we had only 50 more to go. It looked like we were actually going to succeed in this unplanned, and totally unprepared for escapade!
The final push was by far the easiest and the beginning of the day held many beautiful paths for our tyres to cross. Wooden platforms raised high above the river were easy on our weary muscles and as we neared Busan, paths shaded by arching branches kept the sun from our burnt noses.
Counting down from 50, to 40, to 15km was so exciting and soon enough there were seagulls flying overhead and giant apartment buildings joining them in the sky. However, contrary to the previous kilometers, and our grand expectations of collapsing into the sand on arrival in Busan, the last 10k of the Nakdong river cycle road is pretty disappointing. The path ends up next to a main road, a far cry from the glistening river and empty vistas we were used to, and when you finally reach the 0km mark the only thing to greet you is a 7/11. Exciting as it was to see all the other cyclists together in one place and share in the victory while taking pictures next to the Nakdong river sign, we wish we had ended our epic journey on the actual coast.
Tired and hungry, we jumped on the underground and made our way to Gwangalli where we knew we would find the atmosphere we were looking for. It was strange to be enclosed down there after riding out in the open for three days but I guess we had to get back to civilization sooner or later.
Even the overpriced burger we devoured didn’t give us the satisfaction we desired but lying on the yellow sand and hearing the sound of the ocean after definitely did. Then, later, when we made our way to Haedong Yongungsa temple to celebrate Buddhas Birthday, we really felt like we’d made it. As we wrote about recently, this temple is extremely beautiful and its location right on the water’s edge, with not even an island separating it from the horizon, seemed to put the journey in perspective.
Ending the day with one of the best BBQ meals we’ve had in Korea, we all agreed it had been an incredible adventure.
So that wraps up our 215km cycle ride from Daegu to Busan along the Nakdong river. Would you.. could you do it? Do you like travelling on two wheels? Where have you cycled around the world?
Update: Are you interested in taking your own amazing journeys in Korea? Our Korea Journey Handbook is now available on the Kindle Store for only £2.58!