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Mudeungsan National Park 7.Mar.15

Hiking with Hye-Rim

sunny 63 °F

After the wedding I got us lost.

We were supposed to, quickly and easily, swing by Kahve Hane coffee shop, and pick up our friend before heading to Mudeungsan Mountain. It didn't play out exactly that way.

Short story long, getting into a taxi when you don't speak the language, you don't have a destination address, and the one landmark you know is, unbeknownst to you, one of two - and you're at the wrong one - is not the way to be punctual in a city of 1.2 million people. (Okay, maybe not too long a story, but definitely a run-on sentence!) I should also mention that Alexis was cryin' laughin' as the taxi driver drove the opposite direction from where we thought we were headed.

So, following the taxi ride, two separate bus rides, and a lot of pavement under our feet we arrived at the coffee shop an hour and a half late. After explaining to our good friend Hye-Rim why we were late we made our way to the park.

Map of Mudeungsan National Park

Map of Mudeungsan National Park

Making our way up to the trailheads we passed a restroom and a boot cleaning station. The latter is the oddest, but most sensical thing I've seen near a heavily traveled hiking locale.

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Now, in typical Korean fashion hikers wear the latest gear, matching outfits from the hat to the boots. They normally carry hiking poles and packs, also. But, we, on the other hand, came straight from a wedding and kidnapped Hye-Rim from her coffee shop. We were gettin' some funny looks, not to mention we're foreigners.

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Our good friend Hye-Rim

Our good friend Hye-Rim

We took some pictures here and there, at a cute little bridge. Then, noticed some steep, stone steps ascending the mountain. We had no real intention of trekking too far, but we started to climb, nonetheless.

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Decked out hikers were comin' down the trail in hordes, wearing bewildered smiles on their faces at the sight of our group. So, I took some pictures. After all, I'm just some crazy white guy, right?

The point of no return was a sign indicating that we were 1/3 of the way to this particular vista. So, we pushed on. Secretly, I was just getting a kick out of thinking what was going through everyone's head as they witnessed us hiking!

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Some of us are mature, while some of us are not...

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We spent some time soaking in the scenery, catching our breath, and makin' plans to come back.

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We made our way back down toward the park entrance.

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Alexis and I then find out that Hye-Rim has only eaten a smoothie all day. She's famished! On to the "temple food" buffet. *Monks eat vegetarian. And, I don't know if this buffet is operated by monks, but people call it temple food.

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Paper lantern pagoda on the way to the buffet.

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Finally, Hye-Rim can eat.

After dinner we made our way back to the coffee shop. It was a good day. Excellent weather, wonderful company, and delicious food. I capped the day off with a tasty and beautiful iced café mocha. Thanks, Hye-Rim!

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Posted by Jason Willis 08:01 Archived in South Korea

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