I am sad I forgot my camera for this one…
Our school, Reading Town and our sister school, Avalon, all went on a hike yesterday and my legs have never been so sore. Our boss, Mr Choi (pronounced Che) handed out spikes to attach to our shoes when we arrived at 8am to take the bus.
The bus ride was about 3 hours, with bad traffic, and we got started on our hike of the Soysan lake area around 11:30 am. The mountain we hiked has 5 peaks so you hike up one, go down some and then back up. The top of each peak was a gorgeous view of a big mountain valley with peaks all around. The trees were relatively small bonsai-like pines, there were large boulders to crawl over and between and you could see the Soysan lake way below.
Parts were so steep that there were chains to hold on to that you used to pull yourself straight up and the spikes in our shoes definitely helped. One peak had a Korean poem on a plaque, which translated was roughly about, ‘if you get the top you will gain the wisdom of the mountain and be able to admire its views’.
The hike up was intense and beautiful, and I was relieved to be able to start heading down until down became much harder than going up. It was incredibly steep and there were many times you had to use the chains or ropes to scale down steep rocks. even when you didn’t need chains it was still so steep that it used all your leg muscles and put a lot of pressure on your knees to get down.
It also felt like it went on and on much longer than the way up. Someway half way down was a colorful, small, Buddhist temple. Our group of 20 had long ago broken up into smaller groups of 5 or 6, one girl with us was so tired she said to me “I’m going to cross the Rubicon”. She’s one of the Korean teachers at Avalon and I didn’t know what she meant. She looked at me again and said “I’m going to cross the Rubicon” and another Korean pulled her up and said not now.
When we finally made it out of the mountain there was still a 40 minute flat-land-finally, walk to where we were going to catch a ferry to take us back towards the bus. We barely made it to the last 4:30pm ferry.
After the ferry we all had dinner and on the way home the bus became a “noribang”, which means ‘singing room’- it was equipped with karaoke. All in all an awesome but very tough day- a kind of hiking I had never done before and had not expected.