This is me with Sang Soo. He's the owner of the gym and club. He summited Everest this summer!
This is me climbing a climb called "April"
So here's a picture of me a the top of the mountain. Everyone was getting their picture taken with this dead tree, so I thought I'd go for it too. I think it says something along the lines of this being the top of Halla mountain.
Ryan and I were commenting on the way down from the summit about how extremely friendly some Koreans can be. For example, at the summit, one person from the seminary group just came over and gave me a candy bar. He said "Dan, a present for you, bye," then walked away. I just thought it was amazing that this one guy who I only talked with for about 5 minutes would just come out of the blue and give us a little gift then leave. I don't think I've ever seen a complete stranger do anything like that. The thing is that similar things like that happen all the time. People will fish in their pockets for anything they can give you. Ryan even had someone invite him to his house once and gave him a box of oranges when he left. Just completely random, unprovoked acts of kindness.
Ryan, Brad, and I went out for a bit of a walk today up Mt. Hallasan, this time we took a trail that goes up the east side of the mountain that reaches the summit. The views from the top were specacular. You could see into the crater, but the lake was dry. There was also a great panorama view of the island. There was no trail around the crater, but you could still see Seogwipo City to the south, Jeju City to the north, and ocean everywhere in between.
Well, I have to say that I feel I've finally settled into a routine. Its a pretty nice feeling actually. I fear though that I'm running out of things to write about in the blog since many days are pretty much the same and probably not very interesting. I want to keep the blog interesting and fun for my family and friends who are reading. I think I've now reached the stage of living Korea where many things are no longer new and exciting. I feel that this is a good thing but it certainly doesn't make interesting reading for someone else. To be honest though, I'm starting to like the routine that I've been getting into.
Chuseok is Koran's "Thanksgiving Day" Here's the definition from the Wikipedia...
Chuseok, also sometimes spelt 'Chusok', is a major traditional holiday in Korea,
celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month of the year. It is a feast and
is also called Harvest Day, Harvest Moon Festival, or Hankawi (한가위,中秋节)(from
"han" = "great" and "kawi" = "middle", i.e. "a great day in the middle of the
Honestly, I don't really know much about it except that it's
one of the two biggest holidays in Korea and nearly everything shuts down that
My only real complaint about my job is that I don't get ANY
national holidays off. This really sucks when everyone else in the entire
country gets all week off. We did end up getting the actual Chuseok day off, but
we had to make up the classes on Sunday. So we took the Friday off and all went
as a happy working family down to the southern part of the island for a
mini-vacation. I am the only one who can drive a stick, so I drove everyone in
the bus to the Jungmun area, which is the fancy resorty area on the island.
First though we stopped at this place that you can see in the top picture. It is
an island that during the exceptionally low tides, you can walk to. Apparently
it was one of the only 9 islands in Korea that you can do this. I have to say
that it actually was pretty cool. Ryan and I had fun turning over rocks and
finding cool sea life. Michelle even found an Octopus! Afterwards we went to the
Jungmun beach and played in the waves. The waves were huge and Ryan and I had
just the best time getting completely pounded by them as people surfed on past!
Michelle treated us to an expensive, fancy buffet at the Jeju Grand Hotel in
Shin Jeju for the evening meal. It turned out to be a wonderful holiday.
Went out on Tuesday for a bit more rock climbing with the club. We went down to the southern part of the Island and climbed on one of the oreums called Dansan. It was a beautiful day and a great day to ride on the bike down there. The route we climbed was two pitches. We climbed the first pitch once, which was really quite easy as you can tell by the photo, had lunch, and then did the first and second pitch. All of this before I had to work that evening! The views from the top were incredible, you could see the sea and the big mountain, "Sanbangsan" in the background.
I finally got out to climb "The Mountain." You see, Jeju-do is a pretty small island that is dominated in the center by a mountain, Hallasan, or Halla Mountain. I don't mean to confuse you by saying climb, because I didn't rock climb up it. "Climbing" is the Korean way of saying "Hiking."