This morning woke up early to bid farewell to Kev who has now returned to England. After a quick breakfast in a local cafe we were met at our hotel by Ki-Cheol, who drove us to the Korean National Arboretum (KNA). Unfortunately today I did not have any time to look around the arboretum itself, only enough to meet and greet, have a quick overview of the route we would be taking over the next few days and get the equipment we needed for the collections before we were whisked away by our hosts for lunch.
The Seed Bank at the KNA
Ki-Cheol showing us the route
We were driven a short way into the countryside until we came to a small restaurant. This was my first real experience of true Korean cuisine and I was shocked to find myself trying everything there was. Many dishes of various descriptions were laid out on the table and it was a case of helping yourself.
After lunch we set of on a long five and a half hour drive to Daegu in the south. Unbeknown to us however, in Daegu it is the first day of the Korean National Paralympics so finding a hotel was challenging to say the least. Luckily our second guide Keum Seon is from Daegu and she knew just where to look.
I once again find myself in the position of having to pack! I am now sorting out the gear I will need for the upcoming week of collecting seeds from the south and east of Korea. As you can see it's not a small list of things and once you throw the harness in, the rope in, and all the other bits and pieces it does become quite a weight to carry around. Tomorrow we will rise early and bid farewell to Kev from Bedgebury who is returning to the UK and then for me, the real fun begins.
I have successfully orienteered my way half way around the globe and now sit typing this blog from my hotel room in Seoul. I was greeted at the airport by Ki-Cheol, one of our guides for the expedition who kindly drove me for 2 hours through Seoul rush hour to my hotel. I have met up with Michiel, Russell and Kev who have already been here for one week. They have told me that they have been having a very successful time so far and I look forward to hearing more about it tomorrow.
My one hiccup, as there is always one hiccup, was that I have brought the wrong adapter with me. Should I need to charge my laptop/phone/camera in New Zealand or Australia then rest assured I will be just fine. Fortunately for me the kind man on the hotel reception has provided me with an adapter, albeit and adapter for my adapter. Where there is a will...there's a way.
My goal for the rest of the evening, what little there is left of it, is to sleep off my jet lag.
After much planning and organising with my colleagues from Wakehurst, Bedgebury and the Millennium Seed Bank, the day is finally here. I fly out to Korea today to join up with the team who are already out there. I will be joining onto the second half of a two week expedition. I hope to be able to bring you updates of my trip (wifi depending) as I travel around the country collecting seeds. Just a few last minute items to pack!