Sometimes during my stay with the family, a huge carton box would arrive at our doorstep. Too heavy to carry inside by myself. Because it would be filled with potatoes, tomatoes, corn,… all freshly picked, wrapped and send to us. With kind regards from family who live in the countryside. They have a farm in Jin-Bu, Kang-Won-Do (진부, 강원도). This week we went to visit them and I got to spend a few days in the Korean countryside.
First thing I noticed is that it’s a lot cooler in the morning and evenings. This is nice, compared to Seoul where it’s just all shades of hot, hot and hotter. (ugh, I’m sorry that line is terrible) The mountain air is good for a deep sleep and an early morning. And farmers do get up very early to avoid working in the afternoon sun.
It’s a traditional farm with their fields next to the house, surrounded by mountains. There is one busy road nearby where freshly picked produce is sold.
The Korean word for pepper is 고추 (pronounced: Gochu). That’s also the nickname for these dragonfly’s, it’s obvious why…
These stones represent many wishes made. To make a wish simply add a rock. The reason why they are build like little towers is because they are building towards heaven.
This miracle water once cured a sick men, so they say. I had like two seconds to take this picture because it was a pretty busy spot. With people all having a few good gulps and filling up their bottles. I tried it, of course, it had a strong iron flavour and was surprisingly bubbly.
We spend our days wandering around, seeing colourful temples, roaming monks and nature- so gorgeous! It made me long to be a forest creature.
One lunchtime we decided to have a picnic on the banks of the river. We had only some instant noodles and candy bars. Which isn’t very typical Korean. Koreans are kinda big in the whole hiking and picnic thing. So it wasn’t long before a group of hiking adjumma’s came to sit right next to us with baskets filled with kimbap, kimchi and fruit. They noticed our poor excuse for a picnic and offered us fruit and rice cake.
After spending a day by the river taking naps, splashing about and catching tiny rainbow fishes. We went home and had a Korean BBQ. Don’t worry, the fish we caught didn’t land on the grill (I insisted). Almost everything we ate came from surrounding fields and therefore tasted incredible fresh & delicious.
After a few days of doing not much more than some weeding, eating and sleeping, my travel companions and I said goodbye to our generous hosts, who of course didn’t let us go without a few more boxes full of vegetables.