The first Clean Olle of 2016 saw volunteers tidy Route 11 on Sat Jan 9, 2016
Getting Going and Collecting
Volunteers trickled in from around 9:00 a.m. to the friendly strains of Jeju Olle’s theme song playing over a speaker and warm drinks and bread sitting on a nearby bench. A good way to fill up to get the day started on a somewhat chilly January morning. After the official and general advice announcements were made we grabbed our tongs and trash bags.
We’re not left to fend for ourselves along the trail as we pick up the trash. For this month we had two support cars following along each providing a place for full bags and provide new bags. More snacks and hot drinks were dispensed too on demand.
Molseupobong was the only climb of the day. Thanks to the weather there were great views from the top. Gapado and Marado were visible (the end of the Korean peninsular) as were Dansan, Sanbangsan, and the snow covered peak of Halla Mountain. Having not walked Route 11 in a while it came as a slight surprise.
We sat down for food after the lunchtime rush at a restaurant a hundred meters or so off the trail and right before stepping into a forest section. Jeongsik, which is a simple workingman’s lunch that many eat here in Korea, appeared before us. Including fish, pork meat, a hot soup, and a bowl of white rice. A great re-fill for 6,000 WON each.
An afternoon in Jeju’s Gotjawal Forest
Some of the group decided to call it a day with lunch finished, but another group continued on until the end of the route. However, we did not collect trash. The Gotjawal Forest part of Route 11 is very clean anyway with minimal amounts of rubbish lying around. So it was a chance to walk, talk, and share snack food with fellow volunteers for a few hours. I got speaking to the head of the Completion Club who is a retired Korean special-forces paratrooper. Then I got speaking to one of the ladies working at the Olle airport information desk. We exchanged information and experiences with helping foreign walkers.
The day finished at Mureung-ri Ecological School. It’s a delightful countryside setting for an old school that has been converted into a team building retreat complete with grassed front play ground perfect for summer night barbecues.
February’s Clean Olle
For the second month of the year we’re going on to Route 6 in the Seogwipo area of the island. Route 6 is one of my favorites. Mark in February 13th at 9:30 a.m. from the start point. I’ll be posting more information as the date nears, but if you have any questions send a message.
– By Jim Saunders | English SNS and 2016 Trail Angel