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Newer Page 549 of 968 Older Full Trip Report
Korea Incheon Hiking

4 March 2015

My ears are cold

Hiking in the cold in Incheon

When I woke up this morning, it was too early to go anywhere, because Koreans get up late to sleep off last nights Soju or because they are lazy or both.
I paced around my room until 8am and headed out, and all coffee shops were closed until 10am. Someone tell me how that works.
Anyway, I walked further and eventually found one that was open, yes Starbucks, all others shut. They must make a stupid amount of money in Korea because they charge the same price as they do in Australia. The non Starbucks places are 1/2 the price, because, Starbucks! so fashion!.
However, my general rule still applies, when in a country without a creased upper eyelid (lookup Blepharoplasty on wikipedia), Starbucks is best option, but you pay for it through the (big) nose. When in Australia, worst option. In North Korea, the best coffee is existing.
By the way, the westerner insult of 'Big Nose' has backfired, as anything to describe a westerner such as creased eyelids, is now a desirable cosmetic surgery procedure, so Koreans are paying to get big noses.

After my coffee, I wandered around the local area, admiring all the citibanks from where I can withdraw money fee free at the current exchange rate. To celebrate this I withdrew about $20 from 3 different locations.
Eventually I found a hill, with a walking track around the top, and a heap of grandmas in full hiking gear engaging in the national past time of Korea, hiking.
Unfortunately the top of this hill was not accessible, as there was a high razor wire fence, shade cloth on the fence, and Korean soldiers posted at the gate.
I dont really know what the 17 year old conscripts were hoping to achieve up there, probably just happy to be posted somewhere where they can ride their fold up scooter home each night.

Now onto the cold. It was -5c when I left this morning. However it was also windy. The initial shock was, thrilling, I thought my ears had frozen solid. Also despite wearing gloves, my hands were frozen. Puddles were not puddles, dont be fooled, they are solid and slippery. I almost flipped, twice, despite wearing awesome new boots that I bought, which keep my feet perfectly warm.
Its important to realise that drain covers are the source of all evil, they normally collect a bit of water that freezes, I saw a guy on a bike pull off a front wheel drift making a left turn across traffic, no helmet of course, the look of terror in his now very widened narrow eyes as he came millimetres from grinding his ear / face off on the road was excellent.

Korea-Incheon-Hiking - Typical workwear for professional women in Korea. This particular shop specializes in uniforms for comfort girls employed by the Japanese.

Typical workwear for professional women in Korea. This particular shop specializes in uniforms for comfort girls employed by the Japanese.


Korea-Incheon-Hiking - A nearby apartment building complex. Dont worry, the novelty of these sort of photos will wear off fast.

A nearby apartment building complex. Dont worry, the novelty of these sort of photos will wear off fast.


Korea-Incheon-Hiking - My breakfast, it wasnt good. The coffee was ok, they had non fat milk. I now have bananas and similar stuff so I wont need anymore cake related items.

My breakfast, it wasnt good. The coffee was ok, they had non fat milk. I now have bananas and similar stuff so I wont need anymore cake related items.


Korea-Incheon-Hiking - The local citibank building has numerous pointless sculptures they are paying for entirely with interest on my money.

The local citibank building has numerous pointless sculptures they are paying for entirely with interest on my money.


Korea-Incheon-Hiking - This seems to be a sculpture for the 1988 Olympics, which were held in Seoul, not Incheon where I am. I presume that little black thing was the mascot

This seems to be a sculpture for the 1988 Olympics, which were held in Seoul, not Incheon where I am. I presume that little black thing was the mascot.
I can remember the opening ceremony, they had a tae kwon do demonstration with lots of wooden board breaking, but due to over exuberance a guy got kicked in the face, hard, and had to be stretchered off.


Korea-Incheon-Hiking - Big tobacco companies have infiltrated the far east, and found some guys with beards to get the kids hooked on vaping so they can later decide its far

Big tobacco companies have infiltrated the far east, and found some guys with beards to get the kids hooked on vaping so they can later decide its far easier and cheaper just to absorb nicotine through smoking it.


Korea-Incheon-Hiking - This is my local street, alongside the 'Arts Square', hence the vaping stores.

This is my local street, alongside the 'Arts Square', hence the vaping stores.


Korea-Incheon-Hiking - At the base of the local climbing hill is a compressed air gun station. Why? I dont know. I presume the signs are warning people not to shove the guns

At the base of the local climbing hill is a compressed air gun station. Why? I dont know. I presume the signs are warning people not to shove the guns up peoples asses, because thats fatal, it really does happen, including at the Holden factory in Adelaide that since closed, because of bills over fatal anal compressed air explosion law suits.
Koreans (and Japanese) have a socially acceptable habit of doing that. Google Kancho or ddong chim. I am here to educate.
Back to the compressed air gun, they really do work, and all I can think of is that in summer you use them to blow dust off your boots?


Korea-Incheon-Hiking - Its not much of a hill but I had a good time. Its also very dead looking due to winter. New growth was starting to appear on things in some parts of t

Its not much of a hill but I had a good time. Its also very dead looking due to winter. New growth was starting to appear on things in some parts of the city.
Enough botany, the path got muddy in places, I am glad I had my boots. I now will clean my boots in the hotel bathroom sink using the free toothbrush they put in there.


Korea-Incheon-Hiking - The view back over Incheon from one of the lookouts. That is not Seoul, which is about 40km away (I think).

The view back over Incheon from one of the lookouts. That is not Seoul, which is about 40km away (I think).


Korea-Incheon-Hiking - A unique feature of this lookout is the free open air library. In case you want to sit out in the freezing wind and read some sort of nationalistic sa

A unique feature of this lookout is the free open air library. In case you want to sit out in the freezing wind and read some sort of nationalistic saga about how Japan was defeated.


Korea-Incheon-Hiking - Like all hills / mountains / slight changes in elevation, there is a temple. I decided to photo the sea of buddah. There were a group of old folks sit

Like all hills / mountains / slight changes in elevation, there is a temple. I decided to photo the sea of buddah. There were a group of old folks sitting eating their little tomatoes (no. 1 hiking food for old people world wide).
One of them asked me where I was from, Australia I said, he said oh! why come here, Australia much nicer than Korea, want to have some of my Soju?
He handed me his flask, but I told him I dont drink. He asked if I was a priest or monk.
Yes, Yes I am.


Korea-Incheon-Hiking - So then I headed to my Church. Yes this building seems to be a church / TV station / money collection centre for the Korean catholic church. Wisely, t

So then I headed to my Church. Yes this building seems to be a church / TV station / money collection centre for the Korean catholic church.
Wisely, they have constructed it of a material that appears to be fire proof, so as to resist my god given right to church burning.


Korea-Incheon-Hiking - This is the local Shinsegae department store. Theres also a similar sized Lotte and a couple of others. All have excellent food courts, restaurant flo

This is the local Shinsegae department store. Theres also a similar sized Lotte and a couple of others. All have excellent food courts, restaurant floors, just like similar ones in Japan.


Korea-Incheon-Hiking - The Shinsegae food court has an excellent ordering system. Theres about 20 stalls selling stuff, with basically no signs. Instead theres a few central

The Shinsegae food court has an excellent ordering system. Theres about 20 stalls selling stuff, with basically no signs. Instead theres a few centrally located touch screens, and you can browse through what you want, with pictures.
The only English on the screen is a number, so I ordered the number 42 from the centrally located cashier by miming 4 fingers on one hand and 2 on the other.
She loaded up the same picture on the cashier, and we came to a mutual agreement that I would pay for the goods.
The only problem, when my buzzer went I had no idea which stall to get it from, so I had to wander past them all playing snap, looking for something that resembled the picture on the touch screen.


Korea-Incheon-Hiking - My lunch was again, Bibimbap, and was excellent. So healthy. Theres other things there I would like to try, things I would nore likely have for dinner

My lunch was again, Bibimbap, and was excellent. So healthy. Theres other things there I would like to try, things I would nore likely have for dinner, dog meat skewers are best eaten just before bed, for maximum virility absorption benefit.


Korea-Incheon-Hiking - Second coffee, epic disaster. No non fat milk, but I agreed to proceed. I got a cup of only froth, so hot that the plastic stirrer melted. I dont know

Second coffee, epic disaster. No non fat milk, but I agreed to proceed. I got a cup of only froth, so hot that the plastic stirrer melted. I dont know how you can make froth as hot as they did.
Ediya espresso is now firmly on my list of places to avoid.
As I was leaving, the boss man decided he could speak English, and said 'best coffee in all Incheon!' I pretended to speak only Russian, NYET!.


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