Friday, March 12, 2010

seokmodo, minbaks, great stone buddhas, and caps

here's some pics from a weekend hiking trip i took to 석모도 ('seokmodo'), a small island off the coast of incheon, with my friends matt, his wife hyejin, and their friend juhee.

our plans to make an early start on saturday morning were foibled by heavy drinking the previous night (surprise?), but we didnt let this get us down. after waking up around 11, instead of trying to rush out as quickly as possible to make up for lost time, we decided to take a leisurely (and delicious) breakfast at a pancake house (that served these excellent cinnamon pancakes) before boarding the bus that would take us west to the outskirts of the beautiful coastal city of incheon.

from here we took a ferry over to seokmo island. it was a beautiful day.

[on the dock waiting for the ferry, looking out toward the coastal islands off incheon]

upon setting foot on the island, we boarded another bus that would take us around to the other side of the island where we would begin our hike. the island is basically just some stubby, forest-clad mountains popping out of the ocean. not many people living there. not a very popular tourist destination. not a high profile hiking spot (hiking is THE sport in korea, but most people venture only to the most high-profile mountains which are as a result TEEMING with people). in other words, the lack of people made this the perfect place for a weekend trip in late spring, early summer!

[hyejin and her friend joohee (who, other than her motivation, was poorly prepared for the hike) take a breather before doing a little cliff scaling]

[matty and i take a gander at the view]

[we rest on a flat rock before heading down the other side of the island]

[zoomed in view of the distant temple below]

[one of buddha's secret chillout spots]

[there's buddha in the distance... see him?]

After our hike we managed to find a pretty reasonable 민박 ('minbak') to stay the night. Minbaks are kind of like motels, but smaller. we got some food at a local restaurant and picked up some beers to take back to our room. We had a nice evening kicking back and throwing back a few with some good chitchat sitting out on the deck and a couple nice arguments to spice things up. Later, Matt coerced me into playing a game of caps with him which was foolish but not as foolish as how stubbornly i kept playing even after i was clearly unable to represent myself... I slept on the floor.

[the view from the deck in the morning before heading back to seoul]