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Newer Page 64 of 909 Older Full Trip Report
Korea Daejeon Hiking Gyejoksan

7 April 2019

All day clay

Today I went and walked in some clay, for many many hours.
East of Daejeon is a small mountain, Gyejoksan. That is not generally where people go, but I went there to climb over it to get to the start of where I wanted to be. Most people drive to the start of the famous clay walk. Allow me to explain.

Once you are over the mountain there is a 13km loop track, which has one side of it covered in red clay. The clay has a special name, or maybe its just Korean for red clay, but the name is Hwangtogil, and hence it is called the Gyejoksan Hwangtogil trail. But wait, it gets more impressive from there. Here are just 4 of the awards handed to the red clay trail in the top 4 google hits -
• 33 travel destinations to go back to (2008)
• The must-see place in May - Korean Traveling Agency (2009)
• Top 100 destinations Korean must visit (2011)
• 2nd G Market Local Government E-marketing Fair Grand Prize Winner (Year unknown)

So as you can see, its kind of a big deal. The above list suggests its the place to go in May, and now its April, so I am too early for the water truck to travel the 13km course and spray it with water to turn it into mud so that you can walk barefoot the whole way on some kind of weird pilgrimage that may or may not be an officially sanctioned United Nations Childrens Event featuring orphans from Uganda (another google link!).

I was actually very glad that it was not mud, I cant think of anything worse.

Korea-Daejeon-Hiking-Gyejoksan - Getting to the base of the mountain to climb over to get to the start of the clay trail required the subway, and then a bus. I had chosen my bus wisel

Getting to the base of the mountain to climb over to get to the start of the clay trail required the subway, and then a bus. I had chosen my bus wisely, route number 2, red 2, it comes every 5 minutes. I followed my progress on my phone and got off in the middle of nowhere and was greeted by a grey day. It would soon be bright sunshine. Annoyingly this is the only location in all of Korea where there is no convenience store within 3 metres of where I am standing. I had to walk about 5 minutes down the road to buy water and double back to my starting point.


Korea-Daejeon-Hiking-Gyejoksan - There is the rather small mountain to climb over, that was not the goal today. Actually the road up to the mountain was the steepest part.

There is the rather small mountain to climb over, that was not the goal today. Actually the road up to the mountain was the steepest part.


Korea-Daejeon-Hiking-Gyejoksan - Along the way I made a friend.

Along the way I made a friend.


Korea-Daejeon-Hiking-Gyejoksan - The hiking trail proper had a very impressive golden something to let me know I was in the right place.

The hiking trail proper had a very impressive golden something to let me know I was in the right place.


Korea-Daejeon-Hiking-Gyejoksan - Note that the important grave has Chinese characters, because China > Korea.

Note that the important grave has Chinese characters, because China > Korea.


Korea-Daejeon-Hiking-Gyejoksan - This was the last bit of the path up to the top of Gyejoksan, well formed well signposted path today.

This was the last bit of the path up to the top of Gyejoksan, well formed well signposted path today.


Korea-Daejeon-Hiking-Gyejoksan - The view from the top was ok, trees in the way, too much smog, but many white identical apartment blocks below.

The view from the top was ok, trees in the way, too much smog, but many white identical apartment blocks below.


Korea-Daejeon-Hiking-Gyejoksan - Here is a bit more view in an even smoggier direction.

Here is a bit more view in an even smoggier direction.


Korea-Daejeon-Hiking-Gyejoksan - I had gone very hard up to the top, you can see I am sweating. It is not cold at all today. Korean people like Japanese people are very concerned if a

I had gone very hard up to the top, you can see I am sweating. It is not cold at all today. Korean people like Japanese people are very concerned if anyone starts sweating. All it would take would be for me to step in front of a fan and I would die instantly. I am having a great hair day though!


Korea-Daejeon-Hiking-Gyejoksan - The path down to the path with the clay was purple.

The path down to the path with the clay was purple.


Korea-Daejeon-Hiking-Gyejoksan - They love to pile things up in Korea, bags of rubbish, rocks.

They love to pile things up in Korea, bags of rubbish, rocks.


Korea-Daejeon-Hiking-Gyejoksan - And this is where I joined the looping clay track. There were lots of little stalls set up around the front side of the course, but none on the back s

And this is where I joined the looping clay track. There were lots of little stalls set up around the front side of the course, but none on the back side. Also, old people exercise machines.


Korea-Daejeon-Hiking-Gyejoksan - So there you go, walking barefoot prevents diabetes, eliminates unwanted ghosts and apparitions.

So there you go, walking barefoot prevents diabetes, eliminates unwanted ghosts and apparitions.


Korea-Daejeon-Hiking-Gyejoksan - Another pile of rocks, also a pile of red clay. The clay is not naturally here, the government has trucked in about a quadrillion Korean tonnes of HWA

Another pile of rocks, also a pile of red clay. The clay is not naturally here, the government has trucked in about a quadrillion Korean tonnes of HWANGTOGIL, and then they have to wet it hourly during barefoot walking festival season.


Korea-Daejeon-Hiking-Gyejoksan - This will give you an idea of the clay path, seen here on the left.

This will give you an idea of the clay path, seen here on the left.


Korea-Daejeon-Hiking-Gyejoksan - It is genuinely impressive that they managed to do this for 13km, and I can confirm there were no gaps and it does go all the way around even on the r

It is genuinely impressive that they managed to do this for 13km, and I can confirm there were no gaps and it does go all the way around even on the remote back side of the course.


Korea-Daejeon-Hiking-Gyejoksan - Bees! Millions of angry bees! I had to charge through here screaming.

Bees! Millions of angry bees! I had to charge through here screaming.


Korea-Daejeon-Hiking-Gyejoksan - Around on the back side of the course there were basically no other people, but there was a view of a dead looking forest, and some more smog.

Around on the back side of the course there were basically no other people, but there was a view of a dead looking forest, and some more smog.


Korea-Daejeon-Hiking-Gyejoksan - Down there is a bit of a very large lake which I believe has a running / cycling track all the way around it. Its a shame I am not here another day to

Down there is a bit of a very large lake which I believe has a running / cycling track all the way around it. Its a shame I am not here another day to also run a lap of the lake (I go back to Seoul tomorrow). I have run laps of big lakes in Taiwan and Japan in recent years.


Korea-Daejeon-Hiking-Gyejoksan - Nearly time to head back down, heres some more apartment buildings. UBIQUITOUS!

Nearly time to head back down, heres some more apartment buildings. UBIQUITOUS!


Korea-Daejeon-Hiking-Gyejoksan - Behold, the same spot where I started, albeit shot from a different angle. Loop completed!

Behold, the same spot where I started, albeit shot from a different angle. Loop completed!


Korea-Daejeon-Hiking-Gyejoksan - And as a last shot for the day, a swamp with people fishing in it. I remember passing it on my way up and thinking, thats a strange spot for a sewage

And as a last shot for the day, a swamp with people fishing in it. I remember passing it on my way up and thinking, thats a strange spot for a sewage farm. But no, its a fish farm. Actually it might be both.


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