Last week, J, our friend, and I set off for an early morning hike on the Jeju Olle 7. As planned, J and I showed up at the beginning of the trail at 9:30. When our friend didn’t arrive, we trekked up the hill to a different bus stop where we thought we might find him. After waiting for half an hour, we concluded that he was either lost or still sleeping and decided to attach a note to a post, instructing him on where to meet us. Eventually, we met up and began the walk from the famous Oedolgae Rock.
The number 7 route consists of 13.9 kilometers of gorgeous coastal trails complete with stunning sea views (apart from a few momentary lapses in which you find yourself walking on village roads). This was a fairly easy hike for the most part, but there were several stretches that required climbing over and through boulders and rocks. For someone who is prone to falling (and is particularly uncoordinated while walking on rocks), this presents just the right amount of challenge. We walked through low tide to a lovely private islet, where we found a perfectly private swimming hole to cool off in. Later, we went off the beaten path (or in this case, the marked Olle trail) and took a shortcut across a stream- rather ungracefully, I might add.
Five hours and two beer stops later, we arrived at the end of the trail in Wolpyeong Village. I was expecting a beautiful rural scene to complete the day, but was fairly disappointed to find the finishing point at a tiny convenience store- a fairly anticlimactic end to a beautiful day of sun, swimming, and sweat. However, the trek itself is a memorable one and I highly recommend it to anyone visiting the south side of Jeju Island.