Kirby Magic

Somehow Sam Kirby can make things work out to be just a little bit better. This weekend we accidentally ended up in one of Korea’s most beautiful southwestern islands. My old high school buddy, Sam, was visiting me for the week from America, and like our trip to western Europe in 2001 everything just fell right into place.

I met Sam in Mokpo after he explored Yeosu on his own and we found a hotel near the ferry terminal in town. We grabbed a couple of beers and headed up to Yudalsan Mountain overlooking the bay. We sat in a shelter just up from a statue of the great Yi Sun Shin and watched the sun go down over Mokpo. It was beautiful. In the background we heard loud music and when the mosquitoes got to be too much we headed toward the music. We watched a small town variety show complete with music, magicians and dancing.

The next morning we met my buddy Tony and booked a ferry to Biguemdo, but because of our poor Korean skills we ended up in Heuksando. We paid the difference in fare and stayed. We were not disappointed. Beautiful beaches, huge mountains and hardly any other people. We went for a walk on the road that circles the island and might have been passed by three cars. It was paradise all to ourself complete with a backgammon board. The next morning we rented bikes and biked a massive mountain with 12 switchbacks. The view and ride down were amazing. Heuksando absolutely won us over. It is a counter-argument to anyone that thinks Korean beaches don’t hold a candle to SE Asian beaches.

By Sam Kirby

Only with Sam Kirby do such things happen. We called it trail magic when we hiked the West Highland Way in Scotland, but I am beginning to think it’s Kirby magic. The man can spin hay into gold. Thanks again for magical memories Sam! Happy travels.