Our first taste of South Korea – Russia was, let’s face it, pretty much European all the way to the Eastern Sea so after a short ferry ride we seem to have made it to the other side of the world.

After a few days acclimatising (and not going more than 3km from where the ferry dropped us off) we were ready to venture southwards but we couldn’t miss the Sokcho Cultural Festival. And despite the free food, ball room dancing exhibitions, cuttlefish-gutting competition, stilt walking and the breast cancer awareness tent it seems Vaga was one of the star attractions as the people of Sokcho, young and old, came to touch her, stroke her back and whisper sweet somethings into her ears.

I’m beginning to wonder if Vaga resembles some cartoon character that’s on TV at the moment because, unfortunately for her (she dislikes this kind of child-like fuss), the attention seems to be a trend as we move into the Korean hinterlands – with everyone waving, whistling or blowing kisses at her as we pass by. And to think I was once intending to stencil “Apple iDog” on her back, attach the logo and put some LEDs on her collar in an effort to render her electronic and thus inedible because I was worried that some East Asians might think she was food…

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