GalleryI arrived in bitterly cold conditions early morning in Busan, my mission was to check out the fish markets, visit historic Gyeongju and make my way to Jeju Island further south, where I hoped to see some Jeju divers, true living mermaids who freedive to catch their haul & matriarch’s of the community there.
The fish markets were brimming with life and creatures I hadn’t seen before, the vendors weren’t particularly open to being pictured so many of my pictures were taken on the fly and rapidly as not to disturb anyone and to capture the scene in its true form.
UNESCO listed Gyeongju was well worth the 4 hour drive from Busan home to ancient emperors tombs, pagodas and snow filled parks with baron yet beautiful wintery trees, whilst walking through the parks I saw a little toddler rolling around the floor and running with boundless energy to her grandmother – I got a snap just in time & I think it makes for a great moment captured.
Jeju Island is very different to what I imagined, I had seen the rugged coastlines, wild horses roaming the countryside, but hadn’t envisaged seeing the world’s largest sex museum and hello kitty world within a few kilometers of each other. Still there’s clearly something for everyone there! I also have to say, and being originally from Newcastle in the north of England, well qualified to say so, that it was FREEZING cold there….for this reason I went two days without seeing any Jeju divers, just too cold….
I was feeling like my mission to South Korea was incomplete after much searching, that is until about 2 hours before my flight out when I saw a Jeju diver running on the rocks in her wetsuit to dive into the icy cold and torrid ocean early afternoon, my guide called out her name and I managed to get some shots before she was in the water free diving. These ladies are tough beyond belief and amazing to see how long they are able to free dive & I was so happy to have seen her. A unique sight topped off when I finished the trip with some local shell fish caught in a traditional seafood restaurant owned by a Jeju Diver and her family.