This week has been quick and fun. Monday and Tuesday at work were term tests, so I spend my first two days of the week proctoring tests. It was great, because I was able to get all of my essays marked in a timely fashion. Wednesday was newspaper day, and on Thursday and Friday, we had event days. For the foreign teachers, event day means Halloween Day. We basically created Halloween themed lesson plan, played games with the kids, and ate lots of candy. I urged all of the kids to wear costumes; I told them that if they wore costumes, I would give them 2 stamps (incentives for being good students: they can be used to get out of detention and other things). I was lucky enough to have about 8 or 9 students dress up. I don't have much to tell about this day, but I figured it would be fun to put up some photographs.
As soon as class was finished on Friday night, I went out for a five minute beer with Jen & the guys, because it was her birthday. I drank the beer very fast and cycled Ciaran's bike home as fast I could. I changed, did some last minute packing, and hopped a bus to head into Seoul to meet up with the hikers at Sinsa Station. Chelsea beat me there. By the way, it seems like I may have passed the hiking bug to her. This was two weekends in a row that Chelsea came out to hike with SHITY. This trip was sort of strange. The SHITY hikers were going out to Naejansan on Sunday, so I was planning on missing it for Mindy's wedding, but due to some of the super hardcore hikers that wanted to hike Naejangsan on Saturday and Backyangsan on Sunday, everything became possible. The super hikers let myself, Chelsea, and a few others tag along with them. Jin-young organized for us to ride out with a middle-aged singles hiking group, called Sunshine. After the hike, the Saturday only hikers just went back with them, while to others hitch hiked out to Backyansan.
Blah blah blah, everything worked out, and I was able to have one hell of a hike. We were on a bus from midnight to about five and began hiking in the dark, once again. It really is something else to hike in the dark, and all of the sudden, see the sunrise in the mountains. It feels good to be up that early, doing something that feels so epic. We hiked for about eight hours, and during those eight hours, we hiked over eight different peaks. It really makes the journey fly by, because as soon as you hit a peak, you know that just around the corner, you'll find another one. Because it was a circle of peaks, we did most of our hiking along ridges, which were gorgeous. There were a lot of stretches of this hike, where you were just walking on rocks, and you could look down huge drop offs on both sides.
Another nice thing about this hike was getting to know a few of the hikers a lot better. The group of us that was hiking together was quite small, and we pretty much stuck together for the whole hike. They really are incredible people, and I can't wait to get back into the mountains with them. I never thought that I could get this into an outdoor activity. Seriously, who would have guess that this would be my new favorite type of weekend outings? Not me.
(One of the many ridges)
(Chris, Meg, Jin-young, & Andrea)
(Myself at one of the many peaks)
(Andrea, Jin-young, & the orange suit guy [똥팬티])