Well, I rate the iPhone post experiment as a success, despite its obvious limitations in the photo department, and you can look forward to some highly digestible near-daily Postcards from Wherever during my upcoming ramble. Meanwhile, with the post-hike luxury of cushion, keyboard, light and air-con, here’s the more complete story of my killer weekend: with its killer views, temperatures, insects and a humidity/dehydration double that packed a killer punch.
A little experiment. I’m tapping this in the dark on my iPhone beneath the weathered pine you can (hopefully) see in the (hopefully) attached phone picture. It’s my favourite tree in Korea, and I’ve wanted to get to know it better since seeing a man in a business suit leaning on it on my first “proper” hike in this country, six months or more and over 70 walks ago.
A popular legend describes the governor in charge of [Dongnae] fortress, Song Sang-hyeon. When Konishi Yukinaga [leader of 7,000 Japanese invaders] again demanded before the battle that the Koreans allow the Japanese to travel through the peninsula, the governor was said to have replied, “It is easy for me to die, but difficult to let you pass.”
I suppose it says something about my tastes that on my very first journey into Busan, second-largest metropolis in Korea, I bypassed the city itself without a second thought and headed straight for the mountains behind the city.
Well, this is a first. I’m writing this standing up (computer mounted on a podium) in the Fortress of Solitude at N2, having already uploaded the pictures at home. No classes today as they’re having some kind of career information day.
Part Two of the Birthday Epiphany saga. I was absurdly comfortable and warm in my down bag and bivy. I woke a few times in the night with a delicious breeze sweeping up from the valley and over my face; each time the far-off sirens and car horns had thinned out a little more.
Lunchtimes Monday to Wednesday I escape N1 and stroll to a park five minutes away with a sandwich, a coffee and the Kindle. I didn’t think much of this scrappy little patch of green at first, but with Summer it’s grown on me, like much of Korea — an oasis of respite from the chaotic din of the corridors and the depressing chimes that divide the school day. It’s even better when the two old men who enjoy staring at me from the opposite bench are absent.