It is the end of 2014 and the Clean Olle volunteers were out on Route 6 in Seogwipo to see out the final Olle trash collection of the year.
Despite the cold a number of academy graduates attended prior to their meeting and dinner later in the afternoon. Also a number of office staff including founder, Suh Myung-sook, took part in the morning’s trash collecting activities.
On each Clean Olle we’re usually treated to a lot of food throughout the day. Be it from the trunk of someone’s car before setting off in the morning. Or from a bag or box during a rest stop. Or even from a store alongside the route. December had the group stop at a Jeju grandmother operated snack stand of sorts. Warming up inside the tent we had sweet potato, pajeon, and swintari which is like a Jeju homemade rice wine.
One thing about Clean Olle is getting to meet regular faces and new faces. This time around I spent a lot of time walking with the Starbucks volunteer group which rotates participants for pretty much every month. Jin was great to speak with and pick trash with along the route. I learned more about Starbucks on Jeju and the fact that there is no secret menu in Korea. Well, so he insists. And that the drive through Starbucks already opened on the island.
The views were also very agreeable for the day considering it is the middle of December. “It’s always sunnier in Seogwipo” is one of my Jeju island mottos. The photos overlooking the island are from the summit area of Jejigi Oreum. I’m not sure everyone in the Clean Olle team climbed, but we did! It was well worth the effort to be honest. The harbour photograph and island photograph are from later in the route.
I snapped the final set of trash bags everyone put down after reaching the old Jeju Olle Trail office. Plus we walked by a Jeju Olle truck that provided an insight into how the sign posts are stored and moved around.
I should note Clean Olle isn’t just the volunteers collecting trash without help. Support cars drive ahead of the group providing extra cleaning supplies, snacks and drinks. Volunteers even take a lunch order so lunch is pretty much waiting for you upon arrival at the eating location.
A couple of miscellaneous things to note on Route 6 that aren’t related with Clean Olle. First up is the public transportation information signage. This has been installed (in Korean and English) to help walkers find their way to bus stops at the end of a route. A much appreciated addition especially for those without a smart phone.
Secondly the friendship trail sign with Zermatt area of Switzerland is finally in place that was officially commemorated during the 2014 Jeju Olle Walking Festival. Actually there is another Swiss friendship route twinning with the Wine Route at the start of Route 10.