Our next stop was for lunch. As the Gocahng area lies along the coast where many rivers meet the sea, the specialty of this area of Korea is eel - fresh, brakkish or salt-water. For lunch, we were treated to spicy strained freshwater eel stew. In order to make this delicacy, the eel is boiled until all of the flesh is melted off and the bones and other bits are then strained out, leving a thick rich broth. While I quite enjoyed the taste, the mushy texture was not my favourite. I much prefered the seafood rice porridge we had along with it.
Koreans do not only visit Gochang Fortress for it's scenery and historical value. There is also a well preserved oral tradition that claims that if a woman walks around the fortress with a stone on her head once, all her illnesses will be cured; twice and she will have longevity; three times and she will go to paradise when she dies. Apparently the best days for this are the 6th, 16th and 26th of March in the lunar calendar when the gate to the other world supposedly opens.