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Korea, Russia, Stans To East Europe (page 10)

The Eastern Dream Cruise Ship 

The wall on the edge of our cabin, yes moto, defo correct room then, I was in a bunk room of 8 but two bunks where empty, the put all the moto dudes in two rooms, Koreans in one and me in with the Japanese riders.

Correct cabin moto area...yes
Leaving the Port of Donghae in South Korea.

Having Japanese flatmates for the night I was stoked, they were kind considerate and very friendly all of us equally keen to find out what the others plans were, I was the only whiteyfoo there so they gave me extra help in chatting Japanese, Japanese seriously good people.

Not much to say other than the sea was very full of large swells in which some yello people turned white and some white people turned green, me I am blessed with good balance and no motion sickness whatsoever and even with the Dinner Café right at the front of the boat and everything going hard up and down I was fine…not so with some of my new mates who were struggling a bit, I made them larf when I said they were starting to turn white like me so it took their mind off their less than ideal feeling.

The night was signed off by a stunning sunset and his mate the moon who was making a 95% appearance.

Goodnight South Korea
Looking east to the open Sea of Japan

6.00am over the loud speaker get outa bed ya breakfast is ready (all in Korean and Japanese then finally English) …6.00am…I know WTF we weren’t going anywhere in a hurry so why the hurry, anyway breaky was awesome with Korean style eggs etc and shitonnes of watermelon so I had a good scoff...but no coffee.

Lunch was about 11.00am and was equally good.

Although the boat is called the Eastern Dream Cruise Ship there was no towels, no soap, no drinking water (unless you buy it) and no wifi, I managed to get out a message to Ellen via my Garmin In Reach tracker which worked a real treat, work every penny for communication and of course my dots on the map which you guys can follow, see them here https://www.motomox.co.nz/shop/show_single_product.php?prod=127

The back deck of the boat.

Korea Sum Up And The Heart Speaks

Yes this is the bit where you pull out your hankies because I had to when writing this.

Leaving New Zealand was exciting and sad, I hadn’t really had time to take it in that this was D Day, all the dramas with my Russian VISA, wrong moto rego etc seemed to override the other sensors.

The final breath of relief being at the airport holding my Passport which I had not seen for 3 months was the last box to be ticked, then the unexpected hit, Fuck this is it!!

The Monday morning still in New Zealand excitement became harsh reality, I got a tear-filled video message from Ellen that sent me over the edge too, I cried like a little girl, my visions of the “travel riding romance” ripped out from under me by my heart and the ensuing doubts that followed.

At the Auckland airport that night I had some NZ minutes still so I clocked in with family and said last goodbyes, funny, my heart slumped again although I knew I was on a great adventure, fuck me I hadn’t even left New Zealand!!.

Arriving at Korea I had to hit overdrive to get to my hotel cos my Korean is non- existent so it was interesting but I managed it.

At first, I thought the Koreans were rude but to be honest they are quite the opposite, what was rude was me not understanding their ways and thinking Kiwi in Korea…when in Korea…….

I had already had heart sinking moments with tears and Ellens video did make me question if I was doing the right thing and in a moment of loneliness and solitude, not knowing a single sole I was ready to pull the pin.

That then is the perfect time to step away from it, look around, realize I am alive, Ellen is alive and it was a chosen path by both of us, this time me away instead of Ellen and coupled by a longer stint, 1st world problems eh!!!!.

Nonetheless, every day since I still have moments when my heart is firmly in New Zealand and I want nothing more than Ellen to be with me to share the shenanigans.  

Ok, nuff bout that stuff, back to the warmer side of travel.

First things first, if you do not make an effort to break into the locale they will not know to help, the first coupla days I slinked in the shadows looking, listening, learning but I felt on the outside, no shit Sherlock you are an alien here.   

I wanted to ask for help, embarrassment and not wanting to be a pain in the arse (more than usual) kept me in the shadows.

I needed to stick my head out so I did, … finally.

Google translate, a smile and some larfter and chatter and things started coming together, just a confidence thing and getting used to doing things their way, being the ONLY whiteyfoo in many places I went to I suspect they too were hesitant because of not knowing. 

I had a couple of encounters with Police but only good, one I asked where a motel or camping was, they could see I was tired and gave me an energy drink…didn’t see that coming, they then took me to a place to stay. 

The only thing that really surprised me was how expensive South Korea is to travel, not knowing the local eateries and WTF is in the containers in the supermarket (try reading it) means you are more likely to buy as you need from places with pictures and prices, I did get bread one day but in soft luggage that wasn’t a good idea as it got flattened.

Again, going back two streets off the main usually means better prices and local food, bein a dutchie I am always keen not to pay too much.

So my sum up of South Korea, would I go back, yes indeed, like everywhere, once you get your feet on the ground to see how the wheels turn it becomes tenfold easier, I barely had enough time to skin part of it but it has been a great recce trip which will help when we go back.  

From my travel experience, Korea is 1st through to 3rd world depending on where you go and you will find full strength wifi in the weirdest places so no need to buy a SIM.   

Lastly, a helping hand from your stomach, I took four bars of Whitakers Milk Chocolate and some red licorice, two bars were gifts to the lady who went above and beyond with the shipping, the other two kept me company for two weeks so a little taste of home each day while weaning myself off New Zealand helped a lot.  

 

Photo 6 of Korea, Russia, Stans To East Europe (page 10)
This may not look like much but it is home comfort in a packet (or 3)

Next up, Russia....Vladivostok here I come!

Twomotokiwis
Author of this article: Twomotokiwis
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