Hiking, Korea, Mountains
Comments 12

Half Moon over Big Rock Mountain


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.

It’s worked out better than I imagined. It was a hot day today, very hot; kids cavorted in the town fountain and old people sat in the shade halfheartedly swinging fans. I didn’t start up through the woods till 2:30, knowing I had a good six hours of daylight to play with. Bulmo-San was almost deserted, the heat and drenching humidity apparently as effective a deterrent as any storm. I carried four litres of water and wish I’d brought more — I just ate a vegetable croquette that was equal parts salt and oil, delicious but oh, so dehydrating.

Last time I came up here I succumbed badly to dehydration and half-drained the Jangyu Temple springs when I finally made it there. Hopefully the ice-cream vendor who hikes up Bieum-San with a homemade icebox on his back will be there in the morning, an hour’s walk along the ridge.

I’m stealth-camping tonight here on Daeam-San — Big Rock Mountain. The ground here under the tree is stony and uneven; I’ll probably stretch out on a bench in the nearby pavilion. I wish you could see the incredible spectacle of the lights of Changwon sparkling into the farthest corners of the valley floor. Shirtless, my stinky shirt fluttering from a pine bough, the breeze sweeping up across the ridge from the nearby coast feels magnificent. Big Star are singing ‘Watch the Sunrise’ in my headphones, advice I plan to take in a few hours’ time.

Oh, the experiment? I’ve only blogged “from the field” once before using the WordPress phone app, but this time next week I should be enjoying my second night of a multi-day long-distance ramble I have in mind for my summer break. All going well, I’ll be posting regularly en route to who the heck knows where.

Time I started blowing up the old air mattress. Hope the very laidback resident chipmunk doesn’t take any liberties with my food sack…


~ And that’s all the Goat wrote



  1. Alice says

    It reminds me of the trees at timberline in Colorado–twisted with time and wind, but branches, nevertheless, aloft. You are in a magical place–sweet dreams with “stones for pillows.”

    • Cheers, Alice. That was one of the better sunsets I’ve seen in a while and the tree with its commanding view did not disappoint. I’m back now, a little sun-dazed but very satisfied.

  2. You’re quite the tech-head! Next you’ll have one of those portable solar panels for continual posting on the go (don’t worry, I’ve investigated that myself!) The question now is. Did you manage to get an ice-cream in the morning?

    • Ha, yes, the weak spot of the iPhone is the battery life, and I have looked into lots of options, but I’m not sure I’m ready to commit to any yet. It’s all more technology and weight to lug, and the efficiency seemed dubious last time I agonised over it all. But these things develop fast…

      The ice-cream was a crushing disappointment. Maybe I was too early, but he would’ve made a killing up there today! Not to worry, I wolfed down a Coke (which I almost never drink) and TWO “Tornadoes” from the local Lotteria junk food emporium when I got down! It was HOT. I’d already drunk 1.5 litres of H2O at the temple…

  3. This experimental iPhone post has worked out well, hasn’t it? More of these from time to time would be great — there’s a thrilling immediacy and present-momentness to it which are quite attractive.

    • Agreed, SW! I’m pretty happy with how it came out. The biggest picture-size option wouldn’t load, but the one I used looks pretty good considering. Can’t wait to look at the NEX ones of course. And I’m delighted there were no obvious spelling areas or predictive text cock-ups, since I was squinting into that little screen in the dark. I’ll definitely subject my readers to some daily or near daily updates while I’m travelling.

  4. Barbara says

    that is such an amazing photo.. I have saved it to use as a screen saver for a while!
    All the best Barb

    • Haha, thanks, Barb! Wait till you see the “proper” ones from the “real” camera. Sometimes it’s good to have a back-up, though!

  5. I agree with SW about the thrilling immediacy etc of posting on the go. The iPhone battery life is a problem though. You are teasing us with these hints of epic hiking to come.

    • Yeah, you know, I really enjoy this type of blogging now and then. A “normal” post can take me 5-6 hours or more sometimes. Just tapping out what you’re feeling without too much deliberation is liberating and fresh. You just have to watch that damned predictive text when you’re typing in the dark! All kinds of mix-ups are possible!

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