Month: August 2012

Goat Killer Trail, Day 6: Pictures

I hope you’re not tiring of this series — I’m only halfway through! I almost wish I’d never started, but at least it doesn’t require much commitment on your part — or mine. It’s refreshing, actually, to churn out some posts that don’t take several hours out of my Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones and Mad Men time. Meanwhile, a typhoon is rattling my windows and turning umbrellas into confetti.

Goat Killer Trail, Day 1: Pictures

G’day and good evening to you all. Well, it was back at “work” yesterday, where I spent the whole day in my chair catching up on blogs — no students till Monday. I did enjoy the looks of horror on the faces of the vice principal and other staff as I cheerfully described my holiday fun and had it all translated. My ravaged feet were regarded with delicious horror, and the first aid kit was duly placed on my desk. Spray-on antiseptic, local anaesthetic and Band Aids were generously applied. Life was good.

Liberation on the Goat Killer Trail!

Made it! In fact I made it yesterday and slept in my own bed last night, but was too beaten up, down and all around to type anything. This is coming to you from my favourite coffee shop back in Jangyu, the So Pung, post-2nd latte and kiwi smoothie. It’s good to be back. So, how did I get it done so fast? By quitting, about which I could write a how-to guide. Not quitting the Busan-to-Sokcho trek, the original concept, but the perhaps suicidal Soerak-San mountain-climb climax I invented in some deranged ecstasy of road love. Here’s what happened.

My Kingdom for a Foot Massage!

DAY 11. Hi, readers. Well, here’s a sign of progress: this picture, taken a few hours ago, shows the first road sign on the whole trip to mention my destination, Sokcho. As you can see, it’s tantalisingly close. The bad news is my feet. Road-walking in the rain today did them no favours, and they feel like they’ve been shotgunned, sprinkled with sawdust and dangled in a cage full of rabid beavers.

Great Tunnel Journeys of the North Gyeongsang Coast

DAY 8. So I finally busted out of that last rest area and went dancing, I mean striding down the road. Or should I say “up” the road? I am walking north. Damn it, I’m always walking north. Anyway, moving ALONG the road. I was in dangerously high spirits. This was fortunate as I had a 35-mile day in mind. But all my distances are educated guesses based on my speed, duration and the very rare useful road signs; I might have done even more when I finally admitted that high spirits alone would not carry me all night, and started scanning for a place to crash.

Route 7 Revisited

DAY 7. Hi, all. I’ll make this short to reward readers for sticking with my endless saga of asphalt, sunburn and depressingly little romance… NEWS FLASH! I’d no sooner typed the above when an attractive young woman from one of the shops here just came out to my picnic table and said, “Excuse me, are you looking for somewhere to charge your phone?”

Why Can’t I Find a Woman?

SINGLE BROWN MALE SEEKS ROMANTIC PARTNER TO SHARE HOBO LIFESTYLE ON LIFE’S CROOKED HIGHWAY. MUST ENJOY TRAVEL & THE OUTDOORS. LACK OF AMBITION AND OPTIONS A BONUS. ALL OFFERS DESPERATELY CONSIDERED… DAY 5. Sometimes I see my reflection in a roadside mirror and everything makes sense. Well, you have to laugh, especially when you’re hard up for entertainment:

Infinity or Bust!

DAY 4. Exiting cities on foot is usually a dreary and protracted trudge, but leaving Ulsan yesterday was rather pleasant, for more than the obvious reasons. The road, Rt 31, was straight and not too jammed with cars, I was on the shady side and I quickly found myself on the northern outskirts. I’d stopped for a latte and a cheesecake that quickly succumbed to the heat, collapsing in a slimy puddle. But I needed the calories, so…

A Long Haul into Ulsan

I doubt there is a creepier compound noun in English than “sponge bath” so I’ll henceforth refer to my first action on reaching Ulsan at 10:00 today as “doing the dance of the wet bandana”. This was a matter of some urgency as I was suffering what male thru-hikers blushingly describe as (to use another euphemism) “chafing issues”. One of the hazards encountered in the extreme sport of long-distance walking…

Anyone for Barbecued Goat?

Hi, all. It’s hot. End of weather report. And as you can see, they don’t allow trumpet playing here, which is another downer. I’m tapping this in the shelter and squalor of a former beachfront house that has been abandoned, ruined and completely degraded, though not necessarily in that order. It’s an utter hovel apparently used by uncouth fishermen and maybe wild boars.