7/11 (still) - Donghae
The port environment is unfamiliar from the air, and I bodged the arrival card on the first attempt. I now fet to continue standing in full pack until the rest of the ship gets processed slowly through. It's no fun for the poor corners of my pecs, but I'll get through it eventually.
I got through, but found myself much farther south than anticipated. The resulting hike was a strenuous time trial that pushed me to my limits, but came to a satisfactory conclusion.
0685. Port map. I took this for reference, but it turned out to be kind of useless.
0686. Across into town from the port gate.
0687. Sculpted lamppost along the harbor road.
0688. Parklet, a little further on.
0689. Grain elevator and silos on the harbor.
0690. UFO-like water(?) tower at the navy base.
0691. Memorial stone at the base entrance.
0692. Another, dated to 1988.
0693. Decorations on a railroad underpass.
0694. A look into rural Korea, from the coastal road.
0695. Cicada molt; the air was alive with the whining of these guys, which reminded me strongly of my childhood days in Japan.
0696. Korea: market gardens and high-rise apartments.
0697. Across the road to a picturesque headland.
0698. Strange dome and spires over the trees.
Saved by the E-Mart: right when I would have had to turn back, I saw that yellow-and-black E sign over the trees and buildings that brought me back, somehow, to Seoul, so I drove on, found the entrance, then looted the largest water I could carry, plus every beer with a cap I didn't already have. My only regret was that I didn't photo the cans of 5,0 Original -- this is the only place, half a world away, I've seen it outside Germany. The World Cup is a terrifying thing.
Regardless, I slammed one beer and half the water, opened a second beer, then stomped back over hill and dale to the harbor.
0699. Hurb durb.
0700. Fishing boat through an overgrown overpass.
0701. That headland again, from the other side of the road.
0702. Memorial pillar at the entrance to a park/walking trail area close by.
0703. Down into the parkland of the base golf course.
0704. Elder gym along the walking path. I saw these first in Hong Kong, but this is the first I've seen one empty (and thus able to photograph without being a nuisance). Thus the difference between the US and the rest of the world: millions for private Rascal scooters, not a penny for public installations to keep people out of them.
My beer got me chased outside by the Korean customs service, but there wasn't much going on inside anyway, and in the ~45 minutes I have, I should be able to get at least two down and get this dead weight out of the very bottom of my pack.
0705. Mountains over a logistics cabin, Donghae.
0706. Mountains, pine, and highrises, Donghae.
0707. In my experience with Asian lagers, this probably means "we start it weak, then pour lab ethanol in at the end". Also valuable for orienting the cap later.
I'm now down to 4 pickles, two sausages, and two rations of bread, but also two beers still remaining. It may be a little hungry tomorrow, but I also have 25,000 yen in my pocket, which should see me to Hiroshima at least. I can refuel on Japanese soil in the morning, or on arrival in the city that died to save my grandfather a little later.
0708. Route map of various ferries.
It's hot inside and customs isn't open and I'm damn bored. If they don't fucking open by 1500, I'ma go back outside and drink another beer till 1530. I've got my damn ticket, and the provodnik on the boat said 1500. With my caps mostly in my pocket and only marginally in my shoulder bag, I'm quite ready to go, but if I can drink a pound or two off my pack weight, I definitely will.
Oh, how I've missed you, east Asian commercials. This stupid Dodgers game isn't remotely nearing a conclusion, but the commercials, now between the 11th and 12th innings, are at least entertaining.
The darker it gets outside, and us not on the boat, the more concerned I get. Seriously, this is summer, and we're not so far south. This grey this late can only mean foul weather on the way.
If it was at home, that blast from Hanley Ramirez would've been a walk-off. But NOOOO, game is in Arizona, so we get not only the whole of the 14th, but likely at least one pitcher change in the bargain. There's not telling if the last out will be made before I board, whether at 1600 or 1700.
There's like nobody here. Maybe the room will flood at 1700, but by that time, I hope to be through immigration, in a lower bunk, skulling OB. The leg to Sakaiminato is so damn deserted compared to boarding in Russia -- this is probably why it's so cheap as a pack-in.
....and it ends with the end of the 14th, four minutes before posted immigration. I don't blame the Russian guys for being incredulous as I tried to explain why the game had to go another five outs after the Dodgers went ahead.
Well, it had a good run, but the nice wee skeletonized Gerber that cut so much of my bread, spread so much of my cheese, and cleaned so many of my fingernails is no more. Because I put it in my shoulder bag rather than main pack, it got taken at customs, and like the derp I am, I promptly lost the slip. My knife for the remainder must be the disarmingly-baby-blue santoku that I picked up for fighting people in Russia with, but fortunately never had cause to use. It's actually better at cutting bread, but the Korean customs folk have left me carrying a much more antisocial knife than the one they took off me. I have backup carry knives at home, but for Japan I'm going to be running around with a damn cleaver in the bottom of my bag.
0709. Korea, as collected. How I missed a normal OB cap, I'll never know, but this is a pretty good haul for less than five hours of shore liberty. On to Japan! Hope for locals and Yebisu, double-collect Sapporo!
A light rain was falling as I went on deck to get some pics of the underway. It's on gray, wet, days like this that I most feel like a selkie, and if ever the folk of the old west had a secret this was surely one: feeling one with the rain, wishing to dive off the deck into the black waters and swim down forever, with nostrils that close and flippers flapping sideways from my heels.
0710. The Seiyo Pioneer sitting in harbor, her cranes working.
0711. Along the southern edge of the international port.
0712. Tugboat ready for service.
0713. Misty mountain ranges to the northeast.
0714. Rank on rank of replacement breakwater jacks. With concrete chunks like these tetrapods, as seen later, east Asia protects itself from the violence of the sea.
0715. Mountains over the city.
0716. More northish into Donghae.
0717. Panorama, port side.
0718. Farewell, Donghae.
0719. Farewell, maturity. : |
0720. South side of the port.
0721. The Sea Noble, sitting at anchor.
0722. Long view over the port to the mountains.
video18: The great car ramp is retracted.
0723. The jellyfish, mortal enemy of the folk of the Inland Sea. He stings our flesh, we devour his -- preferably with a lot of soy sauce, because otherwise it doesn't taste like anything.
0724. Decorated silo on the south side of the port.
0725. Ripples expand as the tugs push the stern around.
0726. Their service done, the tugs are back in rank.
0727. A suspiciously-named ship.
video19: Pushing away from Donghae.
0728. The Nordic Nanjing, pumping out her bilges.
0729. The mud pool kicked up by the engines backing water.
0730. Low-slung old barge carrying a couple trucks.
0731. Off into the mountains to the west.
0732. The oil burns black as the starboard engine reverses to push us out of the harbor.
0733. Blue barn on the south side of the port.
0734. Shen Yang, her weird superstructure connected to the plant ashore.
0735. Port side of the Tong Yang silos.
0736. Union Groove (probably the niftiest ship name on this leg), her cranes still.
0737. If this hulk isn't the current Sea Girl, I don't know a ship in the world that could be.
0738. ROK destroyer in port.
0739. Another, on the far side of the slip.
0740. The rest of the Donghae-based command.
0741. Ship and a never-ending spill of coal off the chute.
0742. Between breakwaters and into the channel.
0743. ROK navy promo shot; a destroyer guards mist-shrouded peaks.
0744. Breakwater and distant ship.
0745. Light at the end of the breakwater.
0746. Into the cove outside the harbor.
0747. Repaired breakwater -- the new jacks are unworn and piled high.
0748. A prominence to the south through the mists.
0749. Another view, showing spires of eroded rock.
0750. A low-lying freighter heading in to port.
0751. Another try at those standing stones.
0752. Seagulls follow our stacks, hoping for an easy meal.
0753. The Hang Seng (see 0750) turns around to ride out the night.
0754. Another freighter waiting for a free berth.
...and just like that, we had left Donghae again and were pointed out into the wilds of the Pacific. Next point: the Japanese fishing village of Sakaiminato, 15 hours away.
Incidentally, today's pictures pass the record, from the '09 festivals, for most in a tour. Hopefully, most or all of them will come out, and also not be garbage.
I read as far in Eugene Aram as where the Corporal gets the pub landlord to cat-sit for him while he accompanies Walter to London, then decided to put it down and go to bed. I'll need to be up early tomorrow, and this book is long, stupid, and intractable, so I wanted to be sure to end on one of the few good parts before sacking out.
7/12 - Sea of Japan
The sun was already up at 6 when I went on deck, so I took a couple pictures and then got breakfast. We should dock at 9, but I don't hold out much hope for a train before 11:30 -- and thus probably my first ekiben.
0755. Farewell, potatoes! I threw out some other stuff as well, but this has been in the top of my pack since Finland, ultimately unneeded.
0756. Breakers in the wake.
0757. Ahead to the sunrise.
0758. Forward off the bow.
0759. Rips in the clouds above the rippling waves.
0760. Sunbeams streaming down. If you steal this for "inspirational" purposes, remember the death-and-emptiness-driven heathen who took it.