Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Old Trail

Before public transport services were operated in the modern times, travelling on foot was the only way available for the ordinary people. Koreans usually wore simple shoes called Jipsin 짚신 made of rice straw.

The shoes are not enough strong to cover the walking distance, so travelers prepared extra pairs depending on the distance of the journey. Sometimes they go together with livestock as native goat, rabbit, chicken and cattle for sale.

Hiking along the trails on the mountains becomes sports for health these days. But in the past, walking along the mountain trails was just one of the important parts of ordinary life itself. They needed to exchange their own products with others away from their villages and walking across the river, fields and mountains was natural and inevitable. 

They walked and hiked along the shortest paths and trails between areas. They used the carriers named Jige 지게 made of wood and rice straw to carry daily necessaries to sell or buy in the local markets. To save time, it seems they tried to find the shortest and gentle paths. The past roads for walking travelers in the fields don't nearly remain any longer, but some trails on the mountains used by them still partly remain. 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Long Awaited Winter

Winter has come back to the nearby mountains. Even a few leaves remaining on the trees are ready to drop when the chill wind blows across the ridges. Winter is the best season for hikers and trekkers in Korea.  They are happy to walk along the path on the ridge again, feeling cold one year since last year.

When the scorching heat wave hit the country last summer, it felt like those sticky summer nights will last forever! Global warming has already affected our environment in a lot of ways. Summer becomes the toughest season of the year in Korea. Personally, winter is preferrable, because one can walk nearly any time of day without sweating.

Anyway, it certainly feels like winter has arrived again!!! Enjoy the moment now, nobody will get this moment back.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Snow Covered Scenery

Once again, I return to the blogspot for a long time. The autumn had passed and the winter has aleady come. We had snow a couple of times this year, they say this winter feels colder than before. The snow also fell on the railway and the rice field harvested during last autumn. The photo was taken somewhere around Gyeongju 경주, the antient capital of Shilla dynasty.

This single track railway form Gyeongju to Busan 부산 was built in 1935 by Japanese during the colonial period. I walked along the railway track. Cold winds blow across the fields, touching my face. A few minutes later, I heard the horns far away and then the train was approaching from behind. I stepped aside for a while to see the train passing. The train journey is well worth considering for its winter scenery in Korea.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Drag Your Bike

Bicycling on weekends becomes recently another pleasure in life for the avid cyclists. Going up or down the new cycling path along the river makes us feel like that we are on an adventure. Most parts of the path are flat and accessible to all bike riders, but it has some very steep section near Hapcheon weir 합천보, which starts at the entrance of Musimsa 무심사 (Mind free) Buddhist temple. This section covering a distance of about 3km has been famous for its steep trail among two wheelers since the path was opened.

The road goes up zigzag over a mountain behind the temple, and down on the opposite side. The path near the top of the mountain offers a beautiful view of river, village and fields. The road can be so dangerous for those going down, so several warning notices along the path say "Danger", "Slow",or "Drag your bike".

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Cross-Country Riverside Cycling Trail

Korean avid cyclists are so happy to celebrate completion of the cross-country riverside cycling trails along 4 major rivers across South Korea. 1757km (1092 Miles) is the total length of the cycling trail network, which has been created by 4 major rivers restoration project.

This riverside cycling trail can be seen around Daegu 대구 city partly surrounded by Nakdong river 낙동강. To the west of Daegu located Gangjeong weir 강정보, which is the largest in size among 16 weirs of the four rivers. Dalseong weir 달성보 is to the south, and Chilgog weir 칠곡보 to the north. Every weir is connected to each other by the trail, which is well paved either inside or on the riverbanks.

The environmentalists have always argued that 4 major rivers restoration project including this riverside cycling trail unintentionally destroys the nature of the rivers, not restoring or conserving it. The government, however, consistently insists that the project has aimed to restore and conserve the rivers eco-friendly. Anyway, the project was finally completed last month. Time will settle the arguement.

I have ever riden a bike several times to 3 weirs as Gangjeong, Dalseong and Chilgog. The path is mostly smooth with only a few ascents or descents. The fresh and cool wind always blows across the river, touching my face. One spot between Dalseong and Chilgog is still under construction, so the cyclists have to take a detour. Rest rooms and benchs with shade are found occasionally along the two wheeler road. You can make a pit stop in the control office attached to each weir, and cv stores are opened for visitors in some weir control offices.