31-Jul-2004 -- The confluence lies about 2.5kms off the Southern shore of Uldo; a tiny island in the Yellow Sea. In order to get there we rode on the subway from Seoul for more than an hour and then rode a ferry for 4 hours. Most of the people on the ferry were heading the the beaches of the more populated islands and by the time we arrived at Uldo there were only about three other passengers left.
On arrival we had been up for more than 30 hours, much of it spent bar hopping in Seoul and we were more than a little parched. We were not expecting to find an island with fewer than 30 residents. We trudged up the hill in the heat and met two baffled old ladies who didn't speak a word of English. They asked where we were going and in our broken Korean we were able to ask for water. As we were sipping in the shade the local police officer walked past and told us to join him in the 'Police Box'. It turns out that he was a 23 year old man serving his manditory military duty on the tiny island. He has been on the island for one and a half years and he later told us that he only had 25 weeks left before raising his arms in the air and shouting "Then Freedom". He was younger than any other resident by more than 20 years.
After explaining our quest to him and his deputy the best we could, we inquired about aquiring a small boat to reach our destination less than 3 kilometres off shores. The only boat avaiable cost more than 60,000 won to rent and after spending to bulk of our loot on Soju and beer in Seoul, we decided to see how close we could get to the point on foot.
Being bored and remotely interested in what we were doing, the local police official abandonded his daily duties to guide us to the other side of the island. After warning us about the wild goats and snakes while cutting through waist high grass, we made it to the rocky opposite side of the island. In most areas, the cliffs dropped 20- 50 feet staight down but we lucked out since it was low tide.
We got as far as we could on land via goat paths, rock climbing and wading through water, we took our photos. About 2kms out was a large oil tanker and we figure it passed directly over the point but we couldn't convince the cop to let us swim out. After spending a few hours swimming in the Yellow Sea, we headed back to the village even more parched than before. The police officer offered us some water at the local power plant since there weren't any stores on the island. Before we crashed out for the night, Wes made the mistake of plugging the toliet at the power plant. When we woke hours later, he tried to get some more water from the power plant but was quickly told to get lost by the plant manager after he found out what had happened earlier that night.
By the time we left Uldo, we had essentially divided the island into two groups: those who liked us, and those who completely wanted us off there as soon as possible.
If anyone plans on attempting the confluence in the future they would do well to pack an extra 60,000 won for the cost of a boat. We have a feeling the whole island was working together to ensure we didn't hire a boat for any less.