Day 46 An Unplanned Hike: Mt. Achasan
I originally wanted to visit Dobongsan in the morning, but i woke up a little late and i really don't know why but i always postpone my trip to Dobongsan. I am quite paranoid so i keep thinking that i will slip off the rocky slopes in my sport shoes. Also, i am not confident of scaling Dobongsan because of the level of difficulty(according to online sources and my imagination).
Mt Achasan is situated beside Goguryeo Blacksmith Village and i was thinking, hmmm why not? I read somewhere that it is the easiest to climb out of the few mountains that the author climbed.
I bought a can of Gatorade and gulped it down to replenish some fluids before i began the hike. I was completely inappropriately dressed - from my beige shorts that i got from Dongdaemun to my leather pumps(but thankfully, with decent rubber soles). The only saving grace i had was the cooling towel that i got from a subway peddler at 3000won sometime back. I have no idea why i decided to buy it either. Fate, perhaps.
In the first few pictures, i went up the route that branched out towards the right in the first picture. I scaled some boulders before realising that it should not be this tough and that i was probably heading the wrong way. There was also no one in sight(something that is virtually impossible in a mountain in Korea on a weekend). My gut feeling told me that i will fall and die and never see my mother again if i continued. I nearly heeded the advice given by the voice in my head that told me, 'you can do it! go up, up, UPPP!'(presumably my unconscious prideful self). I feel lucky to be typing here as i recall those heart-racing moments.
At one point, i saw a pavilion overlooking the the city. I walked towards the platform in front of the pavilion and marvelled at the view in front of me. There was a lot of chattering going on in the background but it seemed as though the beautiful scenery pulled me into her arms and cradled me like a child as i curled up and rested on her lap. It was that peaceful.
I was halfway up when i saw a man trying to take a photo of himself with the picturesque scenery in the background. I asked if he needed me to help him to take a picture. From that point on, i hiked up the mountain with him and we descended together as well. He asked some personal questions about my family and i was not surprised because i did read somewhere that it is common for people to do that here. He is a big fan of chinese songs by Deng Li Jun and during the descent, i was craning my neck and trying my hardest to translate the lyrics to absolutely broken Korean.
Honestly, i did have some reservations about hiking with a stranger, but gradually, because there were so many other people around, i felt much safer. The initial part was awkward because ahjusshi would always help me to take pictures. I didn't know how to tell him that i don't usually like to have my picture taken but gradually, we ended up taking some self-shots with his mobile phone as the ice between us melted. I met a new friend in the hills of Achasan and i am grateful to have a hiking partner during my first hike.
The view at the top is nothing short of magnificent. Looking at what was before my eyes, i sort of understand the attraction people have towards the mountains. The view at the top is alluring.
It was not an entirely easy hike for me but it was manageable. I suppose if i can reach the peak with a good pair of pumps, then i should be able to climb Dobongsan with good shoes and a hiking stick! Hehe.
I started my hike at the entrance of Goguryeo Blacksmith Village. An alternative starting point is Achasan station. Follow the directions given here.
|Best not to proceed beyond the deck at H unless you are a pro. HAHA|
Felt too uneasy to take pictures after this.
|A hiker choosing the more challenging route up.|