Mountaineers

South Koreans love their mountains and it’s a good thing considering there are mountains everywhere you look.  Surely it is impossible to live in this country and not have encountered a mountain.  It truly makes this country beautiful and nothing is better when you live in the city and make an escape to the mountains.  I remember after living here for a month and having everything/everyone on the constant go it was a breath of fresh air (literally) to go to the mountains. 

Although I have enjoyed the ocasional (okay, rare is more like it) hike in the mountains I by no means have the motivation to do it on a regular basis like the older generation does here.  The older generation here has hiking clubs and mountain parties galore.  There are also stores devoted to mountain hiking gear and let me tell you…I felt a bit under dressed and like a complete amateur showing up in my chucks and with no walking stick or fancy gloves to speak of.  In tourist fashion however there are shops at the bottom to equip you with all your hiking needs or hydration needs.  It’s a bit odd to see a pop machine so close to the mountain but there you have it.

Nevertheless I have made the trek up Mudeung Mountain twice and have never conquered it.  It is freaking hard and with an ACL repair almost impossible without massive pain the next day.  My boyfriends mother though often goes on day hikes up mountains and has a blast.  They look for moutains to hike, make a plan and then take a picnic with them.  Sometimes they even make food while up there.  Last time she brought delicious rice porridge.  What I am trying to say is that the moutains are apart of the lifestyle here and a very healthy lifestyle for the older generation here.  Most of the temples are also located in the mountains.  Perhaps this is where all the clean living happens and that’s why all the monks look 10yrs younger.  Enjoy the photos I have of temples/moutains!

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