Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Seoraksan National Park, Day 3

On the morning of my third day in Seoraksan National Park I was awoken at the ungodly hour of 4 AM by a Gangneung University student who had befriended me. He was keen to view the sunrise from Dae-cheong-bong - the highest peak of Seoraksan. The sunrise could be expected at 5:20AM; we were at the peak at around 5.

The lowlands were thoroughly veiled by a sea of clouds. The East Sea/Sea of Japan, the city of Sokcho, the North Korean territory nearby - all were there somewhere below the clouds.

We had brought a portable boombox with a tape of Strauss's 'Also Spake Zarathustra' and, as the crimson sun pierced the cloud bed, we blasted the opening piece into the heavens, the timpanis blaring. The spirit of Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey lives on in South Korea.

On the way to Ma-deung-ryeong (마등령) Pass. This was a tough slog. Not recommeded for the faint of heart, as the course involves at least 6 extreme descents and ascents. 'Ma-deung-ryeong' means 'Dinosaur's Back' - so I was told.

Back in Sokcho. The Sam-ho Park Hotel owner had allowed me to store my baggage in the hotel stairwell. Here is a small glimpse of his rock collection. The lobby is full of interesting finds from the seashore and the slopes.

1 comment:

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