Friday, April 16, 2010

friday excursion parte dos

After last weekends sporting events, bowling, baseball, soccer, I decided to follow what I had been watching and have a more proactive healthy week. I started this by laying off the booze and followed up with a strict running regiment. Now that it's Friday I am totally sore and decided I needed a day off training. (This week I did two 10ks and two 5ks- yey!) . For my Friday excursion I decided to climb a mountain. And I did.

I took a 30 minute subway ride up to the end of the brown line (my line) to Buhkansan Mountain. It's a lovely little town with nothing going on. I wandered around for a solid 20 minutes and couldn't find where the paths started. I could see the mountain, just couldn't get to it! I finally stopped an ajuma and she led me. No wonder I couldn't find it. You had to hike up some back roads, go through a farming (I guess?) field, climb through the woods a few hundred meters, and just then do you see the sign for the mountain depicting the paths. Geeze. This ajuma was super sweet and even though her English was super limited, we managed to chat a bit on our 30 minute walk to the mountain. At the base we parted ways. She went down, I went up. I always think of Korean hiking as BS. But man they don't joke around here! I started going up easily enough. There were rock staircases and some level ground. I don't do hiking lightly either. Go big or go home, right? Instead of leisurely making my way up the mountain, I was basically trail running. I got up about 1km when I saw a sign. Left to the peak or Right to the ranger station. I had only been hiking 30 minutes so I went for the peak. That's why I'm here no?

So I start climbing. Unlike my last hiking experience in the fall, I only passed 10 or so ajumas and ajusi. At the last mountain it was 10 every 10 meters. So it was nice to feel I was actually kind of alone in the woods. Then it got steep. It went from jumping rock to rock to rock climbing. As I approached the steepest part an ajusi got in front of me from another path. I thought "oh great I'm going to have to pass him on this steep ass rock." But no. This man must have been a billy goat in another lifetime. As I said, I wasn't meandering around these rocks, I was hardcore running up them. I had to stop every 100 meters to catch my breathe, but I was quick. This dude, with poles in hand, was in front of me the entire way up. He didn't stop once until we were at the top. I don't know how this old man was able to get up there so quick and skillfully. I was using my hands and feet, this dude just hopped along up and up. When we got to the top and was like "you quick" and motioned with my arms in a fast running motion. He kind of just looked at me and ignored me. Which seemd to be a theme of the day. The rare person I would pass I would say "anyanjaseo" to which the reply was either a group of people laughing or just silence. So I shut it and kept on keeping on.

I got to the top dripping sweat. It's a chilly day here in Korea, but man this mountain kicked my butt. I took some pictures, and sat with my book. You must read "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo." i have about 50 pages left and I started it 2 days ago (it's 800+ pages). It's awesome!! Anyway, I plopped down on a rock and enjoyed some sun and some Swedish lit. After 40 or so minutes I had to use the restroom so I hopped back down the mountain. This time it only took 30 minutes or so, but by the end my quads were shaking. I'm not used to hopping rocks down a mountain! I went to a cute little restaurant, where I sat alone, and enjoyed some fishy soup. Yum. I am seriously going to miss Korean food. I never totally know what I'm ordering, and even if I do, each restaurant prepares it their own special way , and each restaurant always has there own special sides. YUM. Talking to my mom this morning, she says you guys sure eat a lot over there. Yes, that's all there is to do. And drink and climb mountains.

Anyway, it's Friday night in Seoul. My neighbor is supposed to have a roof party; her roof looks directly onto mine {note to self, don't sunbathe topless} and everyone thought it would be spring by now. No. It's 50 degrees and when the sun goes down I'm sure it'll be right back in the 30s. Screw you Korea. Oh well, I have an interview in Itaewon at 11 tomorrow morning for an evening position, so I should be well rested anyway. And tomorrow I am going to attempt to run 7 or 8 miles on the Han, aLthough I'm pretty sore after this "easy" hike I took today. Tomorrow night (this is the comment that sparked mom's comment from above) is my friend Darren's birthday. He got a deal at La Plancha, a Spanish steakhouse in Itaewon, where you pay 20,000 won and have an unlimited buffett;"150 minutes of meat." Then it's Sunday Funday!

Enjoy your weekends and I will try to be better about posting more often next week!!

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