Sunday, December 11, 2011

My First Hike

Mt. Geumdangsan is located in Nam-gu by the World Cup Stadium.  I went hiking with 5 Canadians and 3 of their kids. 
This was the first stop.  The hike begins with about 50-65 steps about the size of my calf.  Once you make it up the steps the trails up the mountain begin.  This is a great view of the World Cup Stadium and the Purgam Reservoir.
        Along the trail is stretching and workout equipment so during your 3-4 hour hike you and can stop and get your ab workout in.  All over Korea there is workout equipment everywhere, along pathways, at parks, or just randomly on the corner.  People use them all the time too, they have weight machines and non-electric elliptical type workout equipment.  You see men and women of all ages using them on a daily basis.  Even the children enjoy using the workout equipment, in Korea working out is fun.
  They also are big into hiking gear of course and they sell hiking clothing and shoes everywhere, even at the E-mart.  Hiking is a big part of the Korean lifestyle, families hike a lot.  While we were hiking we saw families with children and older Koreans around 60+.  They stroll past as if it is nothing and then stop to do some crunches and push-ups.  I was struggling up the first 60 steps and the hike up the hill.  It never stops surprising me how fit Koreans are and it never stops making me feel that much more out of shape. 

 This was along the top of the mountain.  Lets just say these Canadians were in shape too, the men carried the boys on their shoulders for the last 100+ steps up to the top.  It was steep and I could barely make it, I don't know how they carried kids on their shoulders.  It took about 1 hour and 45min to make it up the top.  Dan (the one in the red coat) told me that when they do not have kids they usually run down on their way back, boy was I glad we had the kids with us for this hike, run down? Are they crazy?

 I was so happy to be on the top, it would be a piece of cake from here on out right?  NOPE...little did I know.

 We had to hike about another 30 min on the top and some parts just continued to go up and down.  It was steep going down too there were jagged rocks everywhere, I was just waiting to fall. Again run down? Crazy!
 You have to love the small village feel Korea holds.  Most things are shared here.  This is their water fountain.  They have a scoop that you fill with water and drink from, everyone drinks from the same scoop and it is left there.  No one worries about sickness, they embrace nature and are some of the healthiest individuals in the world.
 I love this.  At the end of the mountain on the bottom they have a whole system for cleaning your shoes off.  This is the air pressure sprayer.  It helps get the dust or small rocks out of your shoes, they are so fun.
This is the area you scrub your shoes pratical.

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