Hiking the BukhanSan..

31 May 2010

versi bahasa Indonesia

Been waiting so long, but just now finally I’m able to hike a mountain in Korea…

Before the trip was to start, I used to see Korean people, mostly elderly, wearing mountain gears. Whether a bag, sticks, or shoes, were easy to be found in the Seoul subway. One time, when I visited SNU (Seoul National University), I saw some elderly wearing those gears, and started hiking the hills in SNU (FYI, SNU is a campuss arranged by a number of mountains/hills). Little bit curious, but I didn’t take this Korean people hiking hobby seriously.

Until then… [May 9, 2010]

I, Ardy (Yonsei), Widita (KU), and Sung-Hyeon (Yonsei) decided to hike BukhanSan (???) or mount Bukhan. “San” (?) means mountain in Korean.

No Big Deal!!

From the info I heard, mountains in Korea are relatively short (compared to Alps, i.e.), the highest is HallaSan (???), only 1950 meters above mean sea level, located in JejuDo (???) or Jeju island. That, too, the trail wasn’t challenging, and easy to take by normal walk. Whether the mountain, or that particular trail passed by my friend is so easy. And in my thought, BukhanSan, which is only 837 meters, was neither going to scare me nor make me exhausted.

The trip was started from GupabhalYok (????), “Yok” means station, on line 3 of Seoul Metro Subway. The four of us met in the door of “Yok” (?) and opened conversation. What a nice day to hike, nice sky, not too hot.. [Aaah, the bliss of spring!] From Yok it’s still far enough to the foothills, so we got ourselves into the line to take a bus. But.. zzzz.. the line was very looong… (about 60 meter/20 feet). In fact, ever since in the subway train, many people’d been seen ready with their mountain gears, and guess what.. outside of GuphabalYok, they’re all gathered to go to BukhanSan. Since we couldn’t wait to go, we just took a cab..

>> just after the taxi >>

Unexpectedly, the hiking starting point was full with vehicles and people. The parking lot was full with the private cars. Even they’re building another parking lot and convenient store. [hmm.. guess it's something..].

The hiking was started at 9:20. The nature in the foothills was so beautiful, river poured with clear water, striking rocks, and also cherry blossoms (say it like, sakura) along it. Seen also an open sky tavern, like a traditional Indonesian “warung lesehan” (barefoot stall).

Saying the foothill’s nature was so beautiful, then what above is more exotic. Yup, a forest with subtropical vegetations (some cherry blossom) escorted with gigantic rocks that’re easy to be found in left/right of the trail (as I remember, mountains in Indonesia don’t have this many gigantic rocks). A couple of big black birds (looks like a crow, but not sure what it is..) flew between herons, oaks, and cedar trees..

In journey to top, number of people, old (let say, 50’s) and young (teen or 20s), partner or family, were seen walking together. Despite the tiredness in their faces, they seemed enjoying the trip. Occasionaly, we found a group of hiker taking a rest in the wide and flat/slightly slopy area. We, ourselves, only had one break before the top.

Koreans always come with safety first. Without conflicting the excitement of the hikers, they prepare guard strings, steel or rope, and also signs, either for direction or warning along the trail. Why not rubbing the fun? the challenge of the hike itself doesn’t just go away with those tools, the thing is there were contingency plan and preventive measure if we got fell or lost.

Approaching the top, more strings are put aside the trails. The trail itself was becoming more dangerous with the cliff beside us. The view was becoming more dominated by rocks. Rocks Rock!! Again, unbelievably, so many elder were there (you can say em grandma or grandpa, mr. oldman and mrs. oldlady) been there before us. In the other side, we can see people doing rock climbing, and miraculously.. some ajuma (lady aged 40-50’s) were doing that thing >,< (omg!) Though they seemed doing it pretty rough.

And at last… (inspite of taking so many pics) at 11:40, I reached the top.. [feels so great.. ^^)/]

But (haha) not really reaching top, the others had grabbed the top, but I just arrived to the place that approximately 20 meters from the top. And in that place, we had a lunch… and I (as usual) keep.. taking pictures ^^ (of course I’d the lunch too!). Ah, about the lunch, all the servings were done in one man girl show, Widita?.. (hehe.. ?????..)

This was my first time that I saw so various people like mom, pop, grandma, grandpa, all the brother and sister, colleagues, young and old couple, altogether in the mountain top..

And finally, I came to that one-inch-left top… [Sung-hyeon was not to up to go there again since so many bugs were there]

Only this time, I found the rock top having so many bugs… =:)(thanks to their tiny size, they’re not appeared in the pics..)

Had enough rest, 1300 hour we started to go down. Master Ardy, the true mountain lover (he cant stand seeing a mountain without climbing/hiking it), said that going down was more difficult than going up (Ooo..). Okay then, just go down, shall we?! After a little going down trip, yeaah.. rite .. going down is much harder! And only Sung-hyeon? could rover down very fast (rite, he’s Korean! hehe..)

And as mountain guru proposed, we chose a different route/trail to go home (so we got more satisfied, the story was..). Gorgeous views didn’t like going to stop to come to draw in my eyes. Not only the beauty of nature, but also foretress, gate, castle-like gate, helipad, and also clean shelter, add more pleasant to my hiking experience. [and those tiredness's superseded by fun..]

Approximately at 14:20, apparently we’re lost.. (dang, how’d we just realize?!) [yeah.. long story..]

Not having our way down home, we were actually “obliged” to climb another mountain (later known as SamgakSan). And this one, was way more… steeper, and from a distant look, there’s no safety guard there (???..). But since going back was also a long-long way to go, and moreover it would be like pain in the ass if we had to go back walking so hard in the same route, so altogether, the wrong way should be taken as the right way, like an indonesian rhyme says “ikan pari, ikan cucut.. lanjuut..!!” (”lanjut!” means proceed!)

And eventually, thanks god we’re alive! (exaggerated).. About at 15:20, we’re really walking down the mountain (say: a way back home, yippie!)… In the way down, sometime I saw the average hiker, young and old (definitely not the the ranger or staff!) carrying a big tweezers and big plastic bag. [I wonder..] Unexpectedly, they re walking down the mountain while collecting trashes, like cans, bottles, etc., they met along their way. (?_?) b sooo nice… That’s what I called a true nature lover! Salute to Korean! Not only for their mountain hiking hobby tradition had so many benefits, but also for the fact that they treated their mother earth very well… =)

TAGS hiking green earth green people korean love nature mountain nature lover



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