Meeting more Mr Kims: CoolstuffKorea on Cheju Island
Jennifer Barclay, LKL contributor and author of Meeting Mr Kim, has landed herself a dream assignment for the Korean Tourism Organisation: tweet about Korea, travel round Korea, write about Korea on Facebook, generally do things we’d all like to be doing, and maybe earn a little bit of pocket money as well. Nice one, Jen. We’re hoping Jennifer will be doing a little piece for LKL about her travels as well.
In the meanwhile, visit her Facebook page, where she’s been uploading photos of her travels. Most recently, she’s been down in Cheju Island, getting to meet some of the famous diving women and walking the scenic coastal paths called “Olle”. While there, she also scored some UNESCO points, visiting the World Heritage accredited lava tubes. I’ve always wondered what these things look like, and now thanks to Jen I have some idea. Dark:
Manjang Cave. It was 25 degrees and humid today on Jeju, but it felt very cold as soon as I descended the steps to this spooky tunnel formed by lava when the now dormant Mount Hall erupted. As you walk a kilometre in near darkness, it opens up to cathedral heights and then closes in again...
Some more photos below. For the complete set, visit Jen’s Facebook page.
Manjang Cave. It was 25 degrees and humid today on Jeju, but it felt very cold as soon as I descended the steps to this spooky tunnel formed by lava when the now dormant Mount Hall erupted. As you walk a kilometre in near darkness, it opens up to cathedral heights and then closes in again…
Off the rocks, women divers, like a group of seals… The gourds they use as buoys hold the nets of fish, shellfish and octopus – whatever they find to catch – and also provide a quick rest before they dive down again. Women have learned to dive this way in Jeju for centuries.
Black sand beach where women dive, below the famous Seongsan Sunrise Peak, where people go on New Year’s Day. Today the Chinese tourists beat me to the peak.
Go In-ho, the eldest in this community, has been diving for 70 years. She started when she was 15 – yes, she’s 85! I asked if she planned to keep diving. Yes, if she doesn’t get sick, she’ll keep diving.
Volcanic rocks at the water’s edge make for dramatic scenery and a lovely place to sit and contemplate the offshore islands. That water was just too lovely – I had to go back in for another swim!