Saturday, February 4, 2012

Salt, Sand and Sea (31 July)

By our last full day on the island, we realise that we’ve done little more than laze about on the beach and it shows.  Both M and I are feeling more relaxed and there’s no argument from either side about spending yet another day on the beach but first we have active plans for the morning.

We head to the Salt Museum where we go on a tour of the salt plains.  I tune out for the talk that lasts nearly an hour and it seems even the Koreans around me who can understand the talk are not really paying much attention to the speaker either.  Mercifully, the talk ends before my soul successfully escapes my body and we’re told to get a pair of white boots.  Once dressed in our stylish boots, we head to a salt plain and each grab a broom.  Sweeping up the salt for harvesting is hard work and the salt layering our skin doesn’t feel too great.  However, we’re impressed with the quantity of salt that we manage to sweep up.

Salt, Salt and More Salt

With our salt harvested, we are shown over to a huge barn like structure that is half-filled with a floor to ceiling pile of salt on one side.  We’re then showing back to our starting point and each handed a 1kg plastic bag to fill with salt and take home as a souvenir.  I’ve never really been a fan of salt and since being in Korea, I’m even less fond of it.  The Korean diet is very high in sodium and it seems that salt is added, in copious quantities, to pretty much everything.  It’s especially prominent in the kimchi making process.  In contrast, it would probably take me the rest of my life to use a 1kg bag of salt!  M is delighted when I tell her that my salt will be going home with her for her mom to use but first we have to pose for a photo with our commemorative bags of salt.

After a quick tour around the salt museum and a nearby garden, we head back down to the beach for a final afternoon of lazing in the sun.  We realise that we’ve spent several hours in this routine over the past few days as the guy in charge of the umbrella and lounger rentals promptly finds us a spot.  Equally familiar with us are the people in the nearby snack stand.  It’s been a peaceful and relaxing vacation of doing very little and I feel ready to face work once more as we turn in for the night.

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