|Once we left the summit the trail became much more rugged and dangerous. Still, traversing rocks was a lot more fun than climbing endless stairs!|
|Looking back at Manisan, you can just about see some of the other hikers making their way along the ridge of the mountain, as well as the alter and the helipad at the very top.|
|There were lots of crevices, slippery rocks and steep drops that posed as obstacles on the way along the crest of the island. It was really fun getting over them though. Kind of like living a real-life platform game.|
|This friendly Korean couple was kind enough to offer us some hot tea and tangerines.|
|A fellow Seoul Hiking Group member, scouting the trail ahead.|
|Here I am just before a steep cliff, which we had to abseil down using a rope.|
|We had to be really careful of some of the steep rocks at the side of the mountain.|
|Finally past the rockier part of the trail, we made our way down the woody lower slopes of the mountain...|
|...and discovered a Buddhist temple.|
|A woman praying.|
|After the hike was finished we took a quick bus ride to a nearby town with a beach. On this part of the coast there was no barbed wire or military personnel, thankfully.|
|A love note etched in the sand in Korean.|
|Even in the winter Koreans have time for some beach-badminton.|
|Fireworks on the beach (you can just about see one in the photo).|
When I woke up last Sunday morning I really wasn't in the mood to go for a hike. But I'm really glad I dragged myself out of bed at 7 in the morning and forced myself to go, because what an awesome adventure it was! I got to see some stunning mountain scenery, hiked along some particularly challenging rocky terrain (which has helped prepare me for some of the more difficult hikes I'll go on later in the year), AND I got to see North Korea. Overall, a very successful day.
Speaking of North Korea, I'm hoping to get a much closer look at it sometime in the weeks ahead. Expect a DMZ post soon!