“This is it”, I thought, ignoring the fishy smell in the dubious shed behind a beach restaurant I was about to take a shower in, “this is the adventure I came for.” Shower might be an exageration. There was a hose and there was cold water coming out of it. There was no way to lock or even close the door, so I asked Gerald to guard it while I was in there. The other boys had already washed off and sat around a table of the restaurant at the sea shore, enjoying our daily ritual of ordering something from the menu without knowing what we would be served. Today, it would turn out to be a whole, cooked chicken and fermented vegetables on the side.
South Korea. It had sounded far enough to promise a deep dive into a culture I would completely be lost in and close enough to become reality. With five friends, who like to live on the road and sleep under the sky, I was sure to find myself in plenty situations I couldn’t come up with if I tried.
The plan was not to have a plan. To find some good trails during the day and some food and a place to sleep during the night. Here we were, six mountain unicyclists from six countries, some of them the best riders in the world, and none of them to be taken seriously at any second. Maks jokingly cursed the weight of the medals he had won at the world champs that took place in Seoul the week before—because they made his luggage noticeably heavier.
We had picked up our space wagon from the airport and filled it to the roof with six big bags, six mountain unicycles, ourselves and a plastic bag of bananas, toast and peanut butter each. “So where are we going?” I asked from my seat in the very back of the car where I could barely move. “Yeah, let’s at least figure out the rough direction,” Gerald said from behind the steering wheel. We really had no idea. And we loved it.
You could call it ignorant to travel to a country with a culture distinctly different from your own without doing any research, and I would probably agree. But you could also call it fun. This is as close to a real adventure as it gets in a world with mobile internet, google earth and GPS tracks.
I would even argue that you can experience more of a place, in all it’s rawness if you come less prepared. Three of us did not bring any camping gear whatsoever. The first night, Jakob, Matej, and Maksym intended to sleep on a table at a
Once we all attempted to sleep in the drenching hot summer night, hoping sleep would eventually come, I heard nylon fabric rustling, then something heavy falling on the ground right next to my hammock. One by one, we turned on our lights again and couldn’t help but laugh out loud. Gerald had fallen out of his hammock. The fancy one, that he had talked about for half the drive.
The next morning we started what quickly became our daily routine. Peanut butter and crackers for breakfast, some added canned tuna,