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Published: October 29th 2012
20th Mar: Up very early. We left Seoul at 8 a.m. to drive to Seoraksan. The drive wasn't too bad. We had a couple of breaks including a stop at a great viewpoint to get some photos of Seoraksan. It's a beautiful mountain to look at, all craggy edges and still covered in snow, which I didn't expect. We stopped at 12 for lunch at some Bibimbap place. It was ok, a buffet so you could put what ever you wanted on your bibimbap. But I hate it when you get a fired egg and the white bit, is still clear in places. I always fear for my health. After lunch we drove a little bit further to reach the park entrance. The weather was not looking good and I am glad that I was taking the easy option (the cable car) and not doing the hike.
After we entered the park we split into two groups the hikers and the lazy gits, who would take the cable car. We went and bought uor tickets nad then queued for the cable car. The cable car wasn't great we were all rammed in, so unless you were standing by the window
you couldn't see much. Also the weather was really foggy, so there wasn't much to see either.
When we got to the top, we headed out to walk to the peaky bit and have a good look around. The walk didn't take too long, about 10 to 15 minutes, however it did start pissing down on the way. When we got there, we couldn't see very much apoart from some sharp drops down the mountain. Also the mountain was still covered with snow and this combined with the rain made it very slippy. So I didn't venture too far on the snow. We walked back to the cable car station and there was a cafe in their so we stopped for a hot coffee.
We took the cable car back down the mountain and still had lots of time to kill before the bus would take us to our accomodation. It was still raining hard, so we ventured into another cafe at the bottom of the mountain. This cafe was really nice and the woman in there made all her own teas. We at sipping tea, drying off from the rain and trying to warm up. Since the
rain didn't stop we sat in the cafe all afternoon and the owner even got the Noraebang (kareoke) out for us to entertain ourselves with. Although she made us stop when some other people came as she obviously wanted their custom and our singing would of scared them away.
At 5 p.m. we left the park and drove for a good 45 minutes to our accomodation for the evening. We got sorted in our rooms and had a bit of time to chill. Then we headed out for dinner around 7. We went to a restaurant in the tiny village where we were staying and had some lovely samgyeopsal, washed down with plenty of beer and soju. After dinner we were at a bit of a loss for what to do as there weren't any bars around. However the jimilbang (sauna) had a noraebang so a big group of us headed there. When we got there they let us use the main hall, instead of one of the smaller side rooms. It was funny because it was a massive function room and only about 20 of us, at the most. We had a good few hours in there singing,
dancing, laughing and chatting. Around midnight we returned to our hotel. When we stepped out of the jimilbang it was snowing. Although it was only a little snow shower, it put a big smile on my (drunken) face, as I love snow.
21st Mar: Woke up properly around 7ish. I didn't have a great night's sleep. Went and had brekky in the reception area. Peanut butter on toast lovely. It was pretty cold but atleast the sun was shining and it wasn't horrible like it was yesterday.
We hiked the Jujeongol course, which took under two hours and was easy as there was no climbing any mountains, just a pleasant stroll in the valley. The hike started just outside of the village. We stopped at the stream first to taste the water there is Osaek mineral water, very famous in Korea, apparantly.Our next stop was Seongguksa Temple. That was really pretty and we spent a while there taking photos. Then we were off properly on the hike. There was lots of wooden walkways that had been built for us to walk along most of the way, so it was pretty easy. Although we did manage to get off
these paths for a bit and had a proper walk in the woods. We walked to the end of the trail, where there was a lovely waterfall. After taking numerous pictures of the waterfall, we headed back the same way we came. The views of the valley were gorgeous. It was a beautful walk.
When we arrived back at the village we had a bit of free time before lunch, so we had a wander around, not that there was much to see in the actual village itself, and then took a short walk along the river at the other side of town. We went back to the same restaurant that we had been at last night for lunch. The lunch was really nice. It was one of my favourites, dwenjang jjigae with rice and some side dishes. After lunch we went back to the hotel and grabbed our bags. Then it was back on the bus for the journey back to Seoul, which wasn't too long. I really enjoyed the morning hike, but would love to go back to Seoraksan in the autumn (to see the leaves changing colour) or later spring / early summer, when the weather
is better and this time do the hike. I would also like to stay in Sokcho and explore that area a bit.
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