I’m into my fourth week of being paid to go into school with no students and chill for the day; and it’s actually going great! Two main reasons: having 3 day weekends every week has been a dream and then the fact that no one in my school seems to mind when I’m around so I can slip out for most of the morning to hit the gym, take extended lunch breaks to shop, clean, eat and then just relax with a bit of Netflix in the afternoon. It’s not the 8 hour drags that I was worried it was going to be.
So the time is ticking over and I’m now into the final month of renting my own apartment for the foreseeable future. The weather has been ups and downs from below freezing to fairly mild. Daegu had a snap of snow, a rare occurrence, for a brief morning the city was whiteout, transforming the grey landscape into a gleaming white as I skidded my wholey inappropriate summer race bike into work.
On mine and Victoria’s long weekends we’ve been on search for more snow with Will and his eldest Autumn, skiing again, followed a blissful hot tub beer session. It was snowing during the morning and we had a few patches of actual snow on the runs that semi gave me back the feeling of hitting powder that I yearn for. Visibility dropped to about 2 metres for a while, which made the runs interesting, as you followed the fence down and prayed that no one had decided they were going to take a rest halfway down a run. Continuing our wintery theme, Vic and I also went to the riverside ice skating rink, doing a few laps, just enough to fully the deserve the evening of drinks at Will’s afterwards.
Vic and I have also been out on one of our most adventurous hikes in the Korean High Alps. For some reason this area isn’t deemed a national park, but I’d heard about it through an ultra race I considered signing up for until frisbee got in the way.
The route was a dramatic frozen waterfall then a steep climb up, followed by a fun ridgeline, then finally an exciting decent down. There were two routes up, the standard one and then the ‘don’t go this way it’s too dangerous, but we’ve still installed ropes just in case you want to try it way’. You can guess the one we took, grabbing the ropes and rock holds as we climbed up the snowy faces in our running shoes. The views from the top were worth the climb as the various peaks scattered the golden landscape from the plants that grew up there.
We’ve also continued exploring the small trails near Vic’s apartment. Heading out in our matching Korean ultimate sports hoodies, before realising that it was a random hot day and leaving everything not concealed in a bush and t-shirt running until we couldn’t find where the trail was due to steel work developments and had to figure a loop to get us back to the local markets for a 3 dollar eat.
We took advantage of having a car again to go to Korea’s most Easterly point to watch the sunrise. Korea has built a lovely hand statue, that must signify something, but we’re not sure what. After persuading Vic that we should get out of bed at 5am and putting her seat warmer onto extra hot we zoomed along the darkened coast to the hand and waited amongst the modest crowd for the sun. The sun inevitably came up, it wasn’t that impressive to be honest, and the crowd got a bit annoying, so we swiftly moved into the coffee shop for the ending.
Vic and I also ventured to the historical city of Gyeongju, which we’ve both been to many times before, but it has a very hipster brunch street that we wanted to check out and it’s super close to Pohang. We dined on a delicious actual fresh salad! Which is so hard to get in Korea. And then also a three cheese melt sandwich with fries, just to balance out the healthiness.. Gyeongju has a very small national park, that we went for a quick loop through after lunch, (pics included in the slideshow above), before continuing our cards, wine and Netflix enjoyment – general Sunday evening fun times.
Oh and Vic finally made me win her one of the toys in the stupid claw machines that Korea has everywhere and that scams your money by slightly releasing the claw just before the drop zone. I hate them with a passion, but was eventually worn down, and I guess it was bit exciting when the thing finally dropped through. And it made her smile so all worth it.