Sunday, April 24, 2005

Never, Never Follow the Leader

Today, Sunday, the four of us ventured just outside of Seoul for a four and a half hour hike. But we’ll discuss last night first.

Last night we had planned to begin the evening with some Korean BBQ and head out from there for some Apple Soju (Korean vodka served in a hollowed out apple).

As I have mentioned in earlier posts, I am taking a break from eating meat for a while. So my meal was limited to rice, salad, tofu soup and this interesting egg soup-type dish. Some item in that list did NOT agree with my constitution and upset my stomach to such a degree we had to return to the apartment and spend the rest of the evening in.

We have all concluded that after a month of eating pretty mild food, the few bites of spicy soup was enough to set my stomach on strike. Not fun. Luckily Z, Brett and Karen were very understanding and the four of us watched the movie "Sin City" instead.

Today we headed out to Bukhansan National Park for a long hike. Three hours up-hill and one and a half down.

When we got off the subway we had to trek up towards the park through various food and clothing vendors. As you may or may not know, Koreans eat a great variety of foods.

And being the responsible American tourist I took it upon myself to take a bunch of photos of some of these snacks.

Notably, you can see here in the front the steamed silk worm larvae. Believe you me, they were very hard to resist.

We hit the trail with bold enthusiasm.

Since Z and I have been living a fairly active life style in Maui – including a number of serious hikes we were confident that this *little* Korean hike would be a breeze. Arrogance will always get you into trouble. Koreans are very serious hikers – or at least the ones we saw are. Must be all the silk worm larvae they eat.

As I mentioned above – three and a half hours UP hill.

Pretty soon we were all feeling the burn. But we doggedly pursued and eventually we reached the top. We snacked on some granola and fruit and discussed the best plan to descend. There were a number of trails leading down, and unfortunately Karen and I acquiesced to Brett and Zach’s bright idea of taking the Ridge trail down. Bad idea.

The Ridge trail was a narrow, steep and dangerous round-about route down the mountain.

Luckily I had a personal mantra on hand in order to calm myself as I crawled from boulder to boulder – “I HATE you Zach, I HATE you Brett, you are in SO much trouble” – managed to do the trick. The upshot was that such a potent fear for life and limb *magically* eliminated all lingering stomach pains from the night before. Funny how that works.

Surprisingly we all survived in one piece without any significant bruising or scrapes. We picked up some fresh noodles (made right in front of us) and some sprouts and greens for dinner tomorrow night.

All in all, it was a fantastic day. We are all exhausted and will sleep VERY soundly tonight.


Blogger jenny said...

wow...WOW i am pretty sure all other words escape me at the moment. You are sooooo taking me with you when you travel from now on. Hi to Karen and Brett!

1:52 PM  
Blogger aLANA said...

I forgot you were bouncin' over to Korea! Cheers ya'll! Glad to see you are L-I-V-I-N':) I thought the larvae looked extremely As for Meeammii, well, things were looking fantastic until yesterday afternoon...we head to Virginia Key, one of the first of the Florida Keys, to do some hiking around and meet our friend at this hidden island bar where he plays reggae with his band on Sundays...we park in the lot, as it is a state park, and spend a day. Upon return, I discover my car has been broken into, my stereo, a/c, vents, cds, purse and wallet, clothes were all thieved!! We see the suspects, take down the license plate, get our car dusted for prints, and move hoodlums. at least i'll get a nifty new stereo courtesy of insurance!! Ahh, but the purse was new and fabulous....who cares about the potential identity theft? Imagine, 2 Alanas.....too much. Miss ya'll!!

11:11 AM  

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