Yeongwol Pension Trip 2018 – Day One
If you can drive here, you can drive anywhere!
I posted last night that I would be renting a car and driving for the first time in Korea after living here for 8 years. How did it go? Did it live up to my fears? Yes and no. While driving in Seoul I will admit that it was stressful, but I only ended up getting honked at once which I kind of deserved, as I cut off a delivery truck. I ended up programming the wrong CJ Nine Park into the GPS and we discovered we were on Expressway 1 heading for Busan. Though we managed to make it back to the apartment, load up and begin our 3 hour journey to Yeongwol.
How was renting the car? I give Lotte car rental 3 stars. We showed up on time for our 9am rental and they had the car ready. However, there was a slight catch, which I will explain in a second. The check in process was straight forward, handed over my passport, international drivers permit, and California driver’s license. However, neither staff member on duty spoke English, so Mi Jung had to translate everything. We were then taken out to the Kia Sportage to perform the walk around, and the staff member spent a good amount of time explaining how the car operated and its special features, again translated through Mi Jung. The problem arose when we discovered they could not get the navigation unit to display and speak English! A huge problem! They went through several units and spent time looking on the internet and looking through the user’s guide trying to switch the GPS to English. With daylight burning they finally offered to upgrade us to a Kia Sorrento with a built in navigation unit. I was a bit nervous about driving an even a bigger car, but what the heck. I learned to drive in a 12 passenger van, and towed boats when I had my learners permit. The fact that we booked our car 4 days in advance under an online account that I created under their US/ENGLISH website and they did not check to verify the navigation unit could be switch to English and not having an English speaker on hand for check in is the only negative thing I can say about Lotte Car Rental. They did make up for it with the upgrade though. Though that was only because Mi Jung complained. I am glad she held her ground, because I do not think our phone navigation apps would have come close to the ease of programming and following the Sorrento Navigation Unit. Kudos to the Jungster!
Let’s talk about the Navigation unit on the Sorrento for a second. We discovered that we could search for locations by name, phone number, or address. Look our pension is already in the database! How easy is this?! Well unless there are multiple entries, and you select the wrong one!
Once we got out of Seoul, it was smooth sailing. We did manage to get off the express way once and took the wrong interchange because we did not trust the GPS. The irony of selecting the wrong interchange was it was the 55 to Daegu! It would be cliché to say, always trust the GPS, but then there are times when it tells you to turn right and your still in the middle of a bridge! So, use common sense and trust it most of the time!
Having the car on the trip so far has been an improvement over our other trips because it is easier to carry all of our stuff! Mi Jung was even able to bring her bike.
We are off for another river rafting trip in a few hours and are BBQing hamburgers and hot dogs this evening! So be ready for another great Brent’s World Blog!
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