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Bukhansan National Park

October 5, 2012

For the Chuseok holiday I enjoyed three amazing days in the Bukhansan National Park. To my surprise, I can be out in the middle of the mountains in about 40 minutes upon leaving my apartment. Who knew? I mean, wasn’t it obvious enough that every time I ran down by the river I had a clear view of this gorgeous mountain peak? I guess I never thought that I could just go there. Thankfully, I have friends who thought so.

We packed up and wow what a trip! Anyone that knows me well, knows that I love adventure and especially being outdoors. It awakens something deep inside me that being in the city just can’t do for me. It connects me to God in a way that nothing else does.

I don’t know if you know this or not, but hiking in Korea is not like hiking anywhere else in the world. Not because the mountains are more spectacular or that they have better outhouses. What makes it unique is that the Koreans have built in staircases and railings all over the mountainside. Anyone can go! And everyone does! That’s the other part about hiking in Korea that makes it so unique:  you are NEVER alone. There are tons and tons of people– especially when you are nearing the peak. The people flow both directions, packed in like ants trailing up the mountain.

  

Something I love about traveling and adventures are the people– both who I travel with and those that I meet along the way. I LOVE meeting new people and hearing their stories or just having fun interactions with them. Our ventures in Bukhansan National Park definitely fulfilled this part of me as we met several people along the way.

During one of our hikes, we met a guy who thought he would just go for a nice hike alone and get some peace and quiet. Ha! Was he ever wrong. The mountainside is swarmed with people, lots of people! But, lovely people. I’ve discovered that I really appreciate the Korean hikers. They tend to be more laidback and friendly than people in the city.

On our journey we met some amazing people and had God provide for our needs in such cool ways. Since we wanted to rough it and were camping for two nights, we had a massive amount of stuff. It was no joke.

Before we started our hike, we were told that there was no drinking water at the top. We took this seriously and had to carry up two huge packs of water. What was a short journey up ended up feeling like forever with all the weight. Tammi and I were sharing the weight of one tent. At some point along the trail I threw the tent up over a rock before climbing up. Some Korean gentleman came by and took it. He proceeded to carry it all the way to the top! But not before adding the second tent to it as well! We were so blessed!

Not long after that, another Korean man came by and saw Ted carrying the two water cases. He took one of them and carried it all the way to the top as well! Wow, we were so blessed!

The man who was carrying the tents gave us his ribbon. We like to think it’s because he considers us expert hikers. Ha! I’ll just keep thinking that….

We hiked up the mountain on our second day and met several more people. One family adopted us along the way. Their son, Inho, spoke English so his dad wanted him to practice. =) He was the sweetest kid and his parents were amazing hikers! Like mountain goats! When we got to the top, they insisted that we have lunch with them. We exchanged Korean and Western food along with Konglish.
 

Did I mention that the weather was a-maze-ing?! Because it was! Korea doesn’t have clear blue skies very often, but all three days it was perfect weather! =)

That same day we met another sweet man who wanted to take our group photo. He got our email and sent us the photos later. I mean, really… I just love these mountain hikers! They are so friendly!

And my favorite…the music guy! He was playing an ocarina, harmonica, and a homemade bamboo flute. It was beautiful. We were all taken away by “El Condor Pass” as we sat in the glory of the mountains with the sun beaming down on us. I decided to pull out my harmonica I just happened to have with me, and then he pulled out another harmonica that was the exact same! I could not believe it! Same case. Same “key of c” sticker. What? haha I love when stuff like this happens. So fun!

  

If you are in Korea and like to hike, this is definitely a nice hike!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. October 5, 2012 8:29 am

    oh my word, what a great trip! I am so so so so happy you have people who will camp with you^^

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