Vegan's Chronicles + travel

Morave Gathering 2009

Words can hardly describe how beautiful my weekend was. On Friday, some friends and I headed down to Tae-An beach for Morave, which is a gathering of free-spirited, eco-friendly, music-loving people. I had never been to Tae-An before, but apparently this area was the location of the oil spill in 2007. Thankfully that has been cleaned up and it's back to it's natural state.

The actual beach spot for the gathering was pretty cool because it was surrounded by hills and forests on either side, almost like a secluded cove. It wasn't the most beautiful beach I've been to, but it was definitely one of the most unique and almost eerie beaches I've experienced. In the morning, we found these truly bizzare jelly/organ-like globs washed up onto the shore:

They looked like something from a sci-fi movie, like a slimey blob that would jiggle out and expand into a human or something. I had no idea what they were until we went for a swim and found this gigantic dead jellyfish floating in the shallow water. It was seriously huge, about the size of two basketballs combined. I guess the blob that washed up on the sand was from a giant dead jellyfish! There were also quite a lot of smaller clear white jellies floating around which made me kind of scared to swim in the water, even though I'm sure they were harmless.

huge dead jellyfish

Then we also found strange translucent, long, organic tubish things poking out from the wet sand. The guys tried to dig around one of the tubes to see where it led, but to no avail. We envisioned that it was a tiny hair follicle on the back of a huge underground monster, and that we were tickling it or something. hehe.

But by far, the highlight of the trip, and my most other-worldly experience at this beach, was skinny dipping in the night, with bio-luminescent plankton! I never knew that this existed in Korea because Korea just doesn't seem 'exotic' enough, but I was so wrong! It was stunning and totally mind-blowing. Just swimming in the water and seeing millions of tiny glowing sparkles radiate out from a flick of my leg or my hand waving in the water, was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. There were so many that if you waded through the water, the ripples around you would literally glow outward. I felt so much awe for the Creator and creation that, I'm telling you, my universe shifted.

The weather also added to the bizzare aura of this beach in that in the morning, the sky was perfectly clear and sunny, and then seriously, within a span of about 5 minutes, the entire beach was covered in a thick fog. We were literally in a cloud. It was awesome seeing the fog advancing over the ocean and then flowing through the forests. A reminder that nature can change its mood so quickly.

So now, back to the event itself. Considering that everything was planned by a bunch of hippies, I have to say that it was pretty well set up. During the day, they had a variety of activities in which you could freely participate at any time, like poi spinning, learning to play the didgeridoo, drumming, massages, henna painting, and Tibetan pulsing yoga. Then at night, there were fire poi performances, dancing, and lots and lots of music. My favorite was learning poi (without fire, ofcourse)! It's tough and I definitely need more practice so that I won't hit myself so much, but it was a ton of fun, especially when I got the hang of a cool move!

poi spinning


These poi spinners were crazy-talented.

As for food, there was only one mini restaurant and a tiny convenience store in the entire beach area, so most people brought their food with them. My friends and I also packed our own sustenance- afterall, it was a camping trip! Going there, my backpack was so heavy from all the fruit and snacks, and then on the way back, it was practically empty. :) I finally got to eat this can of baked beans that was sitting in my cupboard for almost 2 years. I called it my 'Dharma beans' because I felt like we were all castaways on a deserted island, like in LOST. :) Check out the rest of our vegan vittles:

vegan ramen

Some spicy Korean noodles (쫄면) that our tent-neighbors shared with us. Yum!

This is the trailmix I made to rule all trailmixes~. It's got roasted peanuts, cashews, almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pistachios, dried cranberries, raisins, and shredded coconut!

chips and salsa

coffee made from Matt's frenchpress, & soymilk

And ofcourse, I made sure to pack a ton of fresh fruit! I think fruit is nature's perfect food, and I honestly believe that if people shared and ate more fruit, the world would be a better place. There's nothing quite like fresh fruit to make me feel giddily alive. The stash included bananas, peaches, apples, and grapefruit.

Phew! What a trip! I came back home completely pooped out from the lack of sleep, but it was more than worth it. If I'm still in Korea this time next year, I'm most definitely going again. I ate some good vegan food, made some new friends, tried a bunch of new activities, and discovered a gem of a place in Korea. I'm still thinking about all the wonderful things I saw and experienced, especially the bio-luminescent plankton. That memory will always take me to my happy place.

environment/nature, events, Korea, music, and more:

Relevant to: Morave Gathering 2009 + travel