Remind me never to do a step-class back home...

Trip Start Aug 07, 2011
Trip End Jul 14, 2012

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Flag of Korea Rep.  , Gangwon,
Monday, April 30, 2012

Andy here today!

On Sunday it was time to leave our leave our family in Seoul and head east towards Seorak National Park. It wasn't a sad goodbye since Jay, Heesung and Elina had decided to spend the next weekend with us down in Busan/Jinju so we were really happy about that!

We had a late brunch in a famous Seoul eatery called The Frying Pan, before heading to get a bus from the station. They kindly kept us company while we waited before we got on the bus and headed east. We were actually very happy with the plush bus. Having had many bus journeys, good and bad, on our travels we were glad to finally have a very spacious and comfortable coach journey - 6 words, 'leg room and fully reclining seats', done!

We arrived in Sokcho and needed to get a connecting bus to Seorak so by the time we got to our hotel it was gone 7pm. After a quick dinner we hit the sack.

The next day we got up and started our walk to Seroaksan National Park. This park is known as one of the most beautiful and iconic in Korea. Since we needed to get to Gangneung later in the day we decided to do the 4-hour round trip hike to the 873m high granite cliff called Ulsan Bawi.  It's a 4.3km hike with the first 2.5km being relatively easy but the last part is a solid climb up a path that traverses the mountain-side and goes from metal staircases, to what seems like a path made from fallen rock and where you have to hold onto railings or ropes to haul yourself up! 

It was hard-going, particularly the final 808-step ascent, but once at the top it was all worth it where we received a warm congratulatory applause from the locals, together with some stupendous views of the national park and the craggy granite cliff in front of us - over 850m above the sea!

After some photo ops with a Korean flag at the summit and a Korean iced tea we headed back down - its always a little quicker than coming up!  We made it back to Seorak picked up our rucksacks and caught the bus to Gangneung an hour or so away.

It was a tough but really enjoyable day in which we'd hiked a total of a good 11km or so and by the end of it we were shattered so in Gangneung we tucked into some grub and chilled out for the evening.

Tomorrow we're heading to Jeongdongjin to check out some old North Korean military hardware - one for the boys me thinks!

Catch you later,
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