The conductor was very helpful and said we needed to get off two stations down and RUN from platform 6 to platform 2 - we had five minutes to do so. Adrenaline was pumping as we rushed up an Everest of stairs with legs, hearts, eyes burning and getting to the top,running in circles a little before finding the right platform and being told we'd missed the train by about 10 minutes. And by some small miracle the next was delayed by 7 so we had enough time to exchange our tickets (and get an upgrade to first class, yuss) before we were finally on our way to Gumi.
It was great to finally see some countryside outside Seoul and it looked just as I'd imagined Korea, verdant bushclad hills and sinuous riverbeds. At times it looked like New Zealand, a little like Fiordland, a little like the McKenzie Country, but there was an "air" of Asia about it. Pretty cool.
After about 2 hours on the train we made it to Gumi. We'd been given a map to get to the soccer fields where the rugby tournament was being held, and had been specifically told it was not to scale.
We were intending to get a cab but suddenly on the map we'd walked half the way to the field and as it was such a beautiful day, we decided it was totally reasonable for us to walk. And walk we did... merrily down highways, then streets, then dusty roads, until we had walked all the way out of the city and were still only barely further on the map.
It was an amazing walk, the countryside was beautiful, it was so nice to be surrounded by mountains and rice paddys and farmland. It wasn't until we realised we'd been walking for over an hour and had little to no idea where we were that we started wondering how much further the fields actually were.
We passed a dog farm (heartbreaking, sounded like the SPCA, but we knew these dogs were not going to loving homes) which was on the map and eventually turned onto a semi-main road, off this dusty track we'd been on.
And this amazing Korean farmer stopped and picked us up with his ute and gave us a lift to the fields! It was the best, and saved us much much more walking.
The rest of the day was spent soaking up the sun, watching rugby (I love that I lived in NZ for 24 years and never went to a rugby game, been in Korea 5 weeks and that's where I was) and bush whacking to find places to pee (I avoided the longdrop toilet all day after the descriptions of the smells)
Home to our motel for showers before heading to a westerner bar for the most delicious burgers known to man and a shoeless danceoff - my favourite kind!
Here's a photo essay which is- as always - out of order
Laz and Sanders and the Chicken Dance, naturally
Dancing barefoot in Korea - scandallous
Kathleen and her best friend Cass
Laz, Sanders, Sara and I in the pickup
"We're on the road to nowhere"