Roughie lands at Inchon

storms kim'po airport in soaking rain


The Island of Wolmi'do

Whether its success was luck, skill, or most likely sheer persistence, BEFORE the In'chon landing could even take place this island north of the port had to be secured. Accordingly at high tide the night before waves of marines came ashore and took the high ground with light casualties. They had a birdseye view of the historic landing 12 hours later.
I thought: hmmm... had expected a bigger Island, a rockier one, more dominant of its port. But the port has grown over the years, even the notorious 40 foot tides have had their teeth drawn by locks which keep the surging waters at bay. And, like the Marines who might have spared a thought about the importance of their mission but soon had their hands full with the reality of battle, I soon had other problems to deal with as a cyclist.

I knew that In'chon was west of Seoul, and that Kim'po was northwest of the Capital. Thus I certainly expected a sign at the International Ferry Terminal to show the way to Korea's premier International airport. But oh, no no no...that would be too simple, would make too much sense!

After much cussing I asked a group of parking lot attendants at the exit gate. A few cabbies were there, too...surely they would know the way to Kim'po? Sure...they all knew the way. Each one. Each one knew his own way and arms pointed in 3 directions. A chorus of laughter, but the day was late and the weather threatening. Good directions would help.

I ended up getting to Kim'po by remembering how the invading UN forces did! As you head in from In'chon you come, at some length, to a small range of hills. Beyond them you turn north and there the airport should be. I stayed that evening in a town when my radar-like nose and sixth sense told me there were cheap hotels and good food about. Right on both counts! Dinner, a shower and a nice nights rest

. The next day started foggy and grim and soon the rain became heavy and annoying. I was going in the right direction, I could feel it...but i never saw a sign for the airport until i was almost on top of it! In fact I heard the 747s taking off into the grey skies before I ever saw a sign. Fate intervened one last time and i nearly fell off the bike when a submerged pothole swallowed my front wheel briefly. My sneakers were soaking wet; they were still wet with the muck of Asia when I arrived at Bradley airport in Connecticut 2 (3?) days later. 1