A Sheepish Weekend in Daegwallyeong

I grew up riding horses and around animals, but for a very long time, one of my favorite animals has been sheep. I used to ask my mom to let us get some once we moved out to the country on 25 acres, but she was against it, since sheep need a certain kind of maintenance.

My dad and I even traveled to Ireland one summer, where we passed many a sheep-covered field. The flocks looked so peaceful out on the rolling hills of green. I secretly wished I could take one home with me, but the dream was never realized.

Then, the other day I saw an advertisement for places to visit in South Korea in the fall. The trees around us are all golden, red, and orange, and they scenery around Daejeon has been so romantic. However, I felt it would be nice to get out and see more of Korea before it got too cold for us to want to leave our cozy apartment, and the place I found was perfect. The Daegwallyeong Sheep Farm.

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We arrived late the night before and stayed in a cute little pension on a hill near the farm. We waited around for a few hours the next morning to hear from Junkyu’s friends, who decided they would meet us at the farm. I guess my little idea was a good one! The weather had been edging on rainy, but we got lucky that it stopped well before time to leave.

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Finally, we headed out to the sheep farm and it was packed with people. There were lots of couples and families, so there were lots of picture opportunities and things to eat and buy along the way to the farm. We had to walk up a winding path to the hillside where the sheep were grazing.

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It was absolutely stunning. I didn’t want to leave. It really reminded me of Ireland, but it was so much better, as we not only got to see the sheep roaming the fields, but many of them came right up to the fence, letting us pet them and take pictures.

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I loved the wind in my face and the bright blue sky against the endless fields of green. The sheep looked so peaceful and amused that so many people were there to see them. We saw a lot of kids crying when their parents told them to pet the sheep, which kind of ruined the mood, but I’m a reader, so I know how to tune people out when I’m excited.

 

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We went back down the hill (albeit, I was very reluctant to go) and toward a barn full of sheep who we could feed. Each person got a free basket of fresh hay (complimentary with admission, I suppose) and the sheep gobbled it right up. I tried to save mine, so I only gave out a little at a time, and I got a lot of selfies with them because of it.

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Then, we ate lunch at a famous restaurant, but I didn’t eat much because I was anticipating what was next. While searching for the sheep farm, my fiancé found another farm with sheep and other animals where you could also make pizza!

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This place was far less crowded, so we got more time alone with the animals. They have three different admission packages, and we chose the full course, which included feeding all the animals, horseback riding, and pizza making, of course.

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The sheep and bunnies roamed around freely, and they also had calfs I had to feed with a milk bottle. There were donkeys, goats, pigs, and even an ostrich! When we got close to the horse pen, we decided to cash in our ride. I’ve ridden horses my whole life, taken lessons, ridden in many competitions, and my family has owned horses for many years. In Japan, I visited a horse show because I missed seeing them, but riding them was always advertised as $100 per hour, which I think is insane.

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Junkyu, on the other hand, had never ridden a horse, so I thought it would be a great experience for us to do together. The instructor asked if either of us had experience with horses, and since I do, he let me go first. I got to ride a white mare who had a peppy walk and a perky personality. She was much shorter than most of the horses I’ve ridden, but she was a good size for me.

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When I got off, the instructor told Junkyu and our friends that if they ever want to be able to ride like me, they’d have to practice for 10 years. It was fun getting to show off something I do well, since I can’t do a lot of things well in Korea, as I’m still new to the culture and relatively new to the language.

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Junkyu made the little horse look tiny, and he said he felt bad for it, like he was going to break her back. He looked like he had a lot of fun, but I could tell he was a little scared, especially when she started to trot towards the end.

After our horsey adventure, we finished feeding the rest of the animals and washed our hands (twice) before getting ready to make our pizza! We were the only ones there, but it was so much fun. The lady gave us our pan, which was already greased, and our dough.

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She told us how to roll it out and then gave us the cheese we used to make the cheese crust. Then she gave us our sauce, which smelled amazing and made me want to ask where she got it, and our toppings.

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We put everything on the way we wanted and waited about 15 minutes before we got to see our creations. They were delicious, and Junkyu and I finished our entire pizza, while our friends looked on in amazement. I’m a light eater, but when it comes to pizza, I can finish it no problem.

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Our adventure came to a close, and we drove back home, tired and ready for a restful Sunday. We’ve been going to an English church service occasionally, and I really love it. Everyone was so welcoming and there were lots of expat couples and Korean people who speak English. I wish we could go every week, but my future mother-in-law is adamant that we go to her church as much as we can. The people there are nice, too, but I can’t understand as much, obviously.

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I really loved venturing out, and I hope we get to see more of Korea soon! I’m always open to suggestions if you guys know of any good spots.

4 thoughts to “A Sheepish Weekend in Daegwallyeong”

  1. Looks like an excellent weekend! I am very jealous of your pastoral trip. Animals are awesome, and I love how the sheep always seem to be smiling.

    I like goats, too, because I admire their attitude. Sometimes they actually bring them into our neighborhood to clear the brush on the hills due to fire danger. All the Angelenos are like, “What is that noise? What are those white things on the hill?!”

    That’s as close as we get to actual livestock.

  2. To be honest I’d never really even considered that there would be farms and such in Korea. I realise that now seems like a silly assumption, but it had never occurred to me! Looks like you had a great time, and I like your very appropriate choice of sheep-themed jumper 🙂

    1. Haha glad you noticed! I wore it for the occasion. Yeah I hadn’t realized there were either but I’m glad I found out about it in time to go before they put the sheep up for winter.

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