Real Men Don't Ask for Directions

South Korea, 1997.

I wandered around Mokpo in the early hours of dawn and morning by myself without any real plans. It seemed like a nice seaside port city but I wanted to boat around some of the hundreds of islands that dot the southern coastline. Lonely Planet told me I could get a ferry around from Mokpo to Wando and that the scenery was magnificent. So I made my way to the ferry terminal.
As far as I could tell, the signage listed no scenic ferry rides to Wando, and not wanting to ask anyone, I gave it up. Instead I grabbed a city bus to the Mokpo inter-city bus station, from there a bus took me to Kwangju, another terminal and another bus finally took me to Wando. In the pouring rain I found a cheap Inn for the night. It was just a small square room with a pad and a blanket and a TV. The potty was community and had no hot water. But the owner was a sweet old lady who checked on me several times over the course of the one night I spent there.

The next day when the rain stopped, I took to walking around Wando. One can cover the whole town end-to-end in short order so I snapped a couple pictures and headed to the ferry terminal and bought one ticket for Jejudo.

Fishies drying on a rusted rack:
Boarding the Hanil Car Ferry #1 is not done in what one might call "an orderly fashion"; everyone pushing, squawking, smoking, charging up the ramp with kids, grandparents and luggage, crates, sacks, Soju cases, boxes tied with shiny pink straps, fishing poles. I was in no hurry to get on board. Apparently everyone else knew what I would only find out later--there is only so much seating space, and all of it on the floor.

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