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Korea Hiking Incheon

6 March 2015

Multipeak

Nothing like following up a day of climbing up and down things by doing it again.
Today there were multiple peaks involved, I dont really know what they were all called, just that to get there I first had to get to the Incheon Grand Park, which was indeed grand.
My plan was to walk from my hotel, to this park, then climb over multiple mountains which I assumed would be connected by hiking tracks, and pop out somewhere in the adjoining province near a subway station.
This took about 6 hours and was very enjoyable.

First of all, to get to the park, was further than I thought, and took me through various neighbourhoods of people doing numerous things with kim chi.
Eventually I rejoined the main road, and found a public convenience in a gas station, it was touch and go there for a while, a public urination event was on the cards.
The gas station rest room was surprisingly luxurious, with an attendant, in pink overalls with a cartoon duck.

I then found out that I was basically at the park, the road gave way to a nice path full of 90 year olds jogging or using the various exercise machines dotted along the path.
There were also streams and lakes, frozen over, probably not enough for me to walk on though, as the bigger lakes were not frozen.
A bunch of people with tripods and big cameras were excitedly taking photos of ducks or geese, or maybe just the different types of swamp grass, as there were signs explaining that there are different types to see.
I like to think I had stumbled onto the Korean swamp grass photography appreciation society of Korea.
Eventually, I made it out the back of the park, to a large car park area, but still no mountain.
Even though everyone in Korea hikes a mountain daily, the entrances to the trails are sometimes quite hidden, however I could hear a compressed air gun being used, up what appeared to be a driveway, and sure enough this was the entrance.
I now know that the compressed air guns are used for cleaning your boots, and not bursting the lower intestines of unsuspecting passers by.

The hike to the first and biggest peak was great, I could see below a live firing range of the Korean army, and they were firing machine guns. The serenity of the cool mountain air with machine gun fire is not to be missed.
Once at the top, a very confused Korean had 20 questions for me, this is becoming a habit. He asked why I would come to this place as a tourist, its not very well known, why not go to imperial palace or lotte world.
I couldnt tell immediately if he was annoyed or thrilled I was there, but eventually I must have won him over as I pointed into the distance and explained where I had walked from to get here, conveniently theres a football stadium near my hotel that stands out on the horizon.
Random Korean guy explained to me that the Gold Coast in Australia is the greatest place on the face of the earth, he went 15 years ago and dreams of returning. He also explained to me that his Australian friends told him that only the very wealthiest of Australians are allowed to live on the Gold Coast, and that we do not allow Koreans to live there.
Yep.

I then continued on my way over some other peaks, enjoying the barbed wire that fences off various training course things for the Korean army to use. After some time, and some serious mud (now need to wash boots in sink again) I arrived back in the city.

The fun for the day wasnt over, as it turns out Bucheon is a bustling area of excitement, with much to see, and eat.

Finally, I boarded the subway, transferred to the other subway, contemplated if it would be quicker to walk back instead (no), and I arrived back at my room, ready for my 2nd shower for today (see yesterdays rules for travel).
Unfortunately, or amusingly, the Korean cleaning lady on my floor saw me coming, and launched into a tirade. Yesterday they tried to clean my room at 4pm, when I was in it, and I told them to come back tomorrow.
Today she was having none of that at all, and literally yelled at me without taking a breath. I tried all I could to calm her down, hand signals, chinese, english, eventually I just turned around and went down the street for another coffee, hoping that when I returned to my room it would be cleaned and scary Korean cleaning lady would be gone.

Korea-Hiking-Incheon - In the backstreets I found an IGA. They present themselves as Australian in Australia, advertise as though they are the local grocer compared to the b

In the backstreets I found an IGA. They present themselves as Australian in Australia, advertise as though they are the local grocer compared to the big 2. In reality they are a huge South African (I think?) owned corporation, now in Korea.
I went in and observed that their meat was of a poor quality compared to their competitors, just like at home!


Korea-Hiking-Incheon - Look closely, this lady must be German.

Look closely, this lady must be German.


Korea-Hiking-Incheon - I didnt know how far to go to the park, so I climbed up an overpass to look. I could look on google maps, but its hard to get my phone out of my pocke

I didnt know how far to go to the park, so I climbed up an overpass to look. I could look on google maps, but its hard to get my phone out of my pocket without removing my gloves.
Those hills in the distance, thats where I am going, on foot.


Korea-Hiking-Incheon - Look closely again, and you will see what appears to be a fire engine ladder, but its not. This is how you move house. Couches and tv's and whatever e

Look closely again, and you will see what appears to be a fire engine ladder, but its not. This is how you move house.
Couches and tv's and whatever else are put onto a tray, unsecured, to be lowered down this ladder to the street.


Korea-Hiking-Incheon - Frozen lake. I wanted to go ice fishing. Not really. They seem to do that a lot on crap tv shows.

Frozen lake. I wanted to go ice fishing. Not really. They seem to do that a lot on crap tv shows.


Korea-Hiking-Incheon - I think this is an artificial ski field. Only I cant work out where you stop. The bottom is a fence, I guess you stop by hitting the fence.

I think this is an artificial ski field. Only I cant work out where you stop. The bottom is a fence, I guess you stop by hitting the fence.


Korea-Hiking-Incheon - Welcome to Korea, where clean public toilets exist on the hiking trail. With Wifi.

Welcome to Korea, where clean public toilets exist on the hiking trail. With Wifi.


Korea-Hiking-Incheon - Now for some photos from the small mountain. This expressway tunnels under it, the powerlines however go over it.

Now for some photos from the small mountain. This expressway tunnels under it, the powerlines however go over it.


Korea-Hiking-Incheon - Todays paths were mostly like this. However every now and then there were mud pits, and sometimes rocks to scramble over.

Todays paths were mostly like this. However every now and then there were mud pits, and sometimes rocks to scramble over.


Korea-Hiking-Incheon - I was totally out nerded by these guys, I believe I came across them just as they were starting their remote control car race. About an hour or so lat

I was totally out nerded by these guys, I believe I came across them just as they were starting their remote control car race.
About an hour or so later, as I was coming back down, they were almost at the top, presumably after multiple battery changes.


Korea-Hiking-Incheon - The top.

The top.


Korea-Hiking-Incheon - Heres a panorama from the top, looking back in the direction from where I had come. At about this time I was again subjected to 20 questions by a rand

Heres a panorama from the top, looking back in the direction from where I had come. At about this time I was again subjected to 20 questions by a random Korean man wanting to practice his Engrish.
This never happened in the past. My appearance and demeanour must be mellowing in my old age, I need to work on that.


Korea-Hiking-Incheon - Non panorama photo from the top.

Non panorama photo from the top.


Korea-Hiking-Incheon - And one looking in the other direction. The haze generally gets worse as the day goes on, at dawn it always seems very clear. I guess factories are to

And one looking in the other direction. The haze generally gets worse as the day goes on, at dawn it always seems very clear. I guess factories are to blame. Or chemtrails from the many jets going overhead. Or the Korean army is letting off too many smoke grenades.


Korea-Hiking-Incheon - Here I am, again. Much warmer today, a balmy 4c I believe. Had to take off my hat and unzip my jacket. Lucky I didnt buy a big thigh length winter coa

Here I am, again. Much warmer today, a balmy 4c I believe. Had to take off my hat and unzip my jacket. Lucky I didnt buy a big thigh length winter coat.
I now have buyers remorse for spending money on the hat. Although I have been informed I look like a gumnut baby, which is a bonus.


Korea-Hiking-Incheon - Theres fenced off areas everywhere for the army to use. Lots of pill boxes, flying foxes, rope courses, waterboarding tanks.

Theres fenced off areas everywhere for the army to use. Lots of pill boxes, flying foxes, rope courses, waterboarding tanks.


Korea-Hiking-Incheon - And now I return to civilization. I am lucky I didnt try and find the path from this side, as its literally out the back of a church. I had to go thro

And now I return to civilization. I am lucky I didnt try and find the path from this side, as its literally out the back of a church. I had to go through a closed gate to get back onto the street.
There are also no sign posts from this side.


Korea-Hiking-Incheon - Heres another panorama, this time of a random street in Bucheon. Korean cars come in multiple pieces.

Heres another panorama, this time of a random street in Bucheon. Korean cars come in multiple pieces.


Korea-Hiking-Incheon - This is a traditional market, very much like one you would find in Japan. There were wet areas, I should have taken a photo, but a feature is coagulat

This is a traditional market, very much like one you would find in Japan. There were wet areas, I should have taken a photo, but a feature is coagulated pigs blood, which looks pretty awesome.
It is used mainly to make pigs blood sausage, but also a kind of soup. I also heard a lot of dogs barking, then, nothing!


Korea-Hiking-Incheon - Todays lunch was quite Japanese. Chasu don, with udon. Nice and damn cheap.

Todays lunch was quite Japanese. Chasu don, with udon. Nice and damn cheap.


Korea-Hiking-Incheon - After being denied access to my hotel room, I had to go find another expensive coffee, this time from Paris Baugette. Coffee was terrible, but their c

After being denied access to my hotel room, I had to go find another expensive coffee, this time from Paris Baugette. Coffee was terrible, but their cakes and sandwiches look nice.
An old lady and an even older lady came in, the ancient woman was in a wheelchair. They wanted to sit but the only spare chairs were at my table, old lady didnt want to sit next to me, but ancient lady insisted. I gave my best creepy smile at her, and she showed me her remaining teeth.
She then used those teeth to chomp through an assortment of iced baked goods.
They were very thankful when they left that I let them sit near me in my muddy boots.


Korea-Hiking-Incheon - My reward for multiple peaks, neapolitan pop corn. Very good!

My reward for multiple peaks, neapolitan pop corn. Very good!


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