Tuesday, April 30, 2013

April 29th, 2013-DAY 1 of my trip around the Peninsula!

So my plan was to leave at 6am on Monday morning and drive towards Seolak Mountain. 
(Seolak Mountain is the highest mountain of the Taebaek Mountain range located in the Gangwon province.)

It kind of didn't work out because first, it was raining awfully bad with thunder and lightening.. and I had some unfinished business to take care of. But we - my mum, our dog, Nari, and I - were on the road around 7:40.

The reason for heading to Seolak Mountain was to visit the Ulsanbawi, which  I had climbed to the very top when I was 5 years old. And I have a medal to proof it!
Ulsanbawi is in a rock formation and tor climb it you have to go up these incredible steel staircases. The original path up the mountain was taken down because it was too old and getting rusty here and there so, they have a new and better and safer path up to the top. I remember this particular climb even though I was only 5 because it was slightly drizzling and when I was on the top I remember reaching up and being able to touch the clouds (or so I thought . It was the most amazing thing and it still is one of the most amazing memories that I have of my childhood. Also, the fact that I was only 5, and yes I have a medal to prove this, and climbed the whole 808 steps all by myself was very self-satisfying. So, I wanted to go down that memory lane and experience it again.

It did give me a fright and I was half worried and half daring when the rain kept pouring. Plus, we took the wrong highway, the longer one, and went around because I forgot to check the map and print it out before I left.. Though it was a  big relief to see the sun peeking out when we reached the east coast and finally headed to the mountain. The beach was just so marvelous that I had to stop and take a moment. So we parked and took pictures and breathed in as much as we could. I was worried at first because it wasn't what I had planned but I figured I'm not really in any tight schedule and this is what road trips are about.. So started enjoying the delays and detours. 

Since this was my very first time driving somewhere besides the vicinity of where I live AND without a map... we got lost again.. yes my fault.. but  no biggy...

When we finally reached the parking lot of the mountain, we were so glad that it wasn't raining anymore. However it was very windy and the park rangers and the shop keepers kept telling us we might not be able to make it to the top....NO! I told myself I came all this way and I'm going to the top. AND I did!

The wind was really strong. You could hear it howling and it also sounded like huge waves crashing in. You could also feel it push you this way and that..but after an hour and half we finally made it to the top with a few rest in between. 
And on our way down..
We settled on spending the night in Seokcho so found a nice motel overlooking the East Sea. Had dinner at the beach fish market and I finished my work that I still had to wrap up. 

I guess because of all the excitement I couldn't fall asleep so started writing this blog but didn't finish it because I started to feel drowsy around 1am. So.. here I am finishing it up. ^^*

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