Leaving footprints, heart and soul in Korea: Hiking Mt Soraksan on Day 4

11 December 2014

Our stay this times includes breakfast so we were up early for breakfast. The view from our seats.

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Bright and early because the plan today is to hike Mt Soraksan and visit the Biryong Falls.

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Scrumptious breakfast.

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I am catwoman today. This cute sweater was bought by my brother and sister in law and I have not had the opportunity to wear it because its so hot in Singapore lol.

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Finally ready to go. We were hanging around for quite a while in front of the hotel because we kept forgetting to bring stuffs. I was the third person to go up to get my wallet that I have absent-mindedly left behind.

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Dried tree branches and blue sky is all I need.

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Actually even without the snow, it was still beautiful. Its a different kind of beautiful.

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We chose to stay in Kensington again because it was a 5 minutes walk to the national park.

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We are here!

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Taking the cable car ride up. It was so crowded, perhaps we should have left our hotel earlier.

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Back to this same view, without the snow.

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Time to climb up all the stairs!

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I am more prepared this time. The last time I was here I remember I kept slipping and falling down. I cannot even remember how many times I fell down but I kinda blame my slippery shoes and my lack of experience in winter.

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This time I am carrying a backpack instead, so I can support myself better and be more balanced. These are winter boots and the last time I was in Switzerland with all the snow, it supported me well and I did not fall down even once. I am also wearing my knee guard tightly on the outside. I usually wear my knee guard inside the pants but since I am wearing 2 layers of pants, wearing it inside will be tight and if it rolls down along the way, it will be difficult for me to pull it back up. So I wore it outside. I know its ugly but I reckon that my knee health and safety was more important than looking good.

No snow but there was still ice around and it was really slippery.

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I was also armed with heat packs and gloves.

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Hiking without all the snow was so much easier because its not slippery. The rocks on the stairs and pavements provides good friction, though we still had to be careful and watch our steps.

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It was still cold and our fingers would be numb if its left exposed to open air for a long time.

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Look at the frozen waters among the dried leaves behind me.

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Finally here at the same spot after climbing up. Yup, I was out of breath and the wind was not helping.

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Frankly I was tempted to climb up more because we could not do it the last time because it was too slippery and dangerous.

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However the wind was simply too strong. It was difficult to stand and move around because no one could predict how strong the wind would be. As a result we ended up sitting down and taking photos. Lol.

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This same view without the snow. Perhaps I will do a comparative of the photos later on.

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I was also afraid to stand when we were near the edge. The wind was too strong and I felt myself move forward unknowingly.

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For the one who was lighter, it was even tougher. She was too light that the wind was able to push her. Scary I know.

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Sitting down again to take photos lol.

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My favourite photos! I was looking around to see where to stand that would create the illusion that we were at the peak.

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This is much better.

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Don’t we look like we were standing near the edge?

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I think we took a long time to take photos mainly because there were six of us.

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After a while the crowd seemed to subside.

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Quickly taking photos because there were not many people in the background. Look at our tudungs fail thanks to the wind.

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One last group wefie before making our way down. And I did not manage to include the beautiful scenery behind us. Clever.

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Last shot before leaving and I did not realize the vapour that was on my camera lens.

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As a result, all my photos after that had this kind of effect.

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Oh well, it still looks nice, like in a dreamy state.

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Going down the mountain and this time we got to stand near the windows. Yay.

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Back to these stones.

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Ready to see the waterfall this time.

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Let’s walk and enjoy the view. This trail should be easier to walk compared to the last time.

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Yup I had my walking cane with me. Lol.

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The trail to Biryong Falls is less crowded. Ok, actually its almost empty and we hardly see anyone. I guess tourist groups don’t really choose this route because its a 2.0 km walk?

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Everything looks so different.

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Yup I take crazy selfies like this.

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The makciks behind me were really not bad. They had good stamina!

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I love nature.

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Look how all the trees were swayed towards the same side.

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Look! A frozen pond! I decided to walk in but the rest behind me followed suit too. Kekeke.

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The dried leaves were trapped inside.

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We could almost walk on it but of course it would be slippery and dangerous if it cracks

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So we simply stayed at the side and takes crazy photos such as these. Or is it just me?

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We are here at this bridge!

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We stopped here the last time because the rocky steps at the end of the bridge was covered with ice and snow and we were not allowed to climb up unless we were in proper hiking attire like spiky shoes.

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Still beautiful. Its frozen waterfall.

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So everyone wanted to continue climbing and that is good.

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I decided to wait here because even though I know I can climb the steep rocky steps, climbing down will be a challenge for my injured knee. So I told them to go ahead and I shall wait for them here.

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Actually I only waited for a bout 15 minutes before I got bored. I took so many selfies from different angles and no one was in sight so I ended up talking to myself.

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I decided to go ahead and climb because frankly I do know know how long they would be gone. Looking at the rocks…I have to give it a try right?

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So many steps omg. My knees were not happy.64

When I climbed further up, I saw this!

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The makciks were also there waiting. Lol.

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Wow look how high and the stairs go! Thankfully they built the stairs huh?

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I guess the bestie climbed up with the two girls? Lol….but then look she was seen coming down alone.

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I decided to stop here. I know I can climb up more but will probably take a longer time to go up and to come down. I can push myself but I don’t want to risk any more injury to my already damaged knee.

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And so we waited for the two girls here.

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It was still a breathtakingly beautiful view.

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I am proud of myself and my knees. Lol.

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Time to make our way down because we wanted to visit the beach and it was going to be dark soon. Look at all the stairs.

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I was tired but the view kept me going. Even though its my second time here, the gorgeousness of nature never fail to amaze me.

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Very challenging to go down for me because of the steep rocks and the fact that I cannot fully bend my left knee. My walking cane did helped a lot.

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I moved on first because I knew I would take a longer time. The ones who were behind me.

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When I finally made it down, I was like….YES.

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Being in front means more time to take crazy and silly photos. Hahaha.

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The long empty trail before me.

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So I walked on first. There was no one around.

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At one point I turned back and could not see anyone behind me so I sat around and waited until I hear their voices. I could hear them first before seeing them lol.

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Happy that we made it in and out of the forest safely.

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Thank you for the company and what amazing stamina everyone has!

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I did not fall down even once. Wow that is amazing and a record. Haha.

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I had a great time. Time to head to Sokcho beach.

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Looks like the sun is starting to set.

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The love tree is still here. Can it give me more luck this time? :p

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A visit to the beach would not be complete without these kind of poses.

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One group wefie before leaving! At least the beach can be seen here. Lol.

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Dinner in a restaurant by the beach because we were starving.

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We actually came back to the same restaurant because they had this special squid stuffed with rice and its delicious. Look at the number of side dishes!

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If you are here in Sokcho you have got to try this!

End of day 4! So tired but so proud of everyone!