Monday, 9 March 2015

Yangmingshan National Park, Taipai

 So whilst I've been travelling in and out of south and east Asia I happened upon a book called Wild which put the idea of hiking over 2500 miles up north America. This idea seem perfectly feesible while I'm fumbling my way around Asia that I decided to get some practise in and hike at every opporunity!
 Hence why I am in the Yangmingshan National Park in Taipai in pretty bleak weather but hey! I feel right at home having been born in Yorkshire~

Friday, 6 March 2015

Bimbling around Bukhansan, South Korea

Well I was aiming to summit Baegundae but sadly didn't make it that far. 
I'd left it too late in the day to get there and back and my black boots weren't adapting well to the stomped down icey paths so I ended up just having a bimble around the national park. 

It was still pretty snowy or rather icey in places, the winter weather lingering on here a lot longer than in Japan - it felt a lot, lot, lot colder here, even in central Seoul in comparison to the mountainous region of Nagano and Yudanaka, the wind bite into my face harsher here.

Even though I didn't make it to the tallest peak which stands at 800m I was still pleased with this view over Seoul.

There were a lot of pro looking hikers all marching along wielding hiking poles and designer clothes. One woman glared horrified at my choice of footwear :p

Midway work out, not a bad exercise station.

Once out of the National Park I headed back to my hostel along a sweet little river walk. Inside the city this waterside walkway was a lovely way to get about without heading into traffic or cyclists or just being able to avoid the overload of people.

I followed it has far as it would take me until it disappeared shyly under a road. I paused to think about following it, the water surrounding the entrance way shallow enough for my boots to dip into without getting soaked. So off I went under the roadway in pursuit of drain adventure....

Monday, 2 March 2015

Mount Takao, Japan

 Looking to get out of the Inner city Pressures of Tokyo I took a train from Shinjuku and headed up into the mountainous hills of Japan.
 I'd chosen Mount Takao as my destination of choice and was glad I'd made today my hike day as the weather the day before was grim.
Today though proved to be lovely!
I didn't have any maps but fortunately the route has several trails, I opted for trail 1 on my ascent and trail 2 for my descent.
 Something that is always great to see is the amount of people of all ages taking the hike. The gentleman in the photo above was taking baby steps and I soon passed him, on my way down though he was almost at the top so had made good time. Good on him though as there was a cable car halfway to up and he'd chosen to take the task of using his legs to get him there! 
Slow and steady!

 I soon materialized at the top and was amazed by the amount of shrines there and a few stalls selling fried octopus and ice cream - not together o course. I obviously had an ice cream :3
 Do feel very welcomed hiking in Japan, as I was one of the handful of rare westerners venturing up and Japanese people would smile and bow their heads saying Konnichiwa and on occasion Hello.
One man said good day to me and told me that Mount Fuji was visible from the top.

 The view everyone's going for.

 Like many places in Japan I've found, there are several clans of cats living in the hilly suburbs. Unlike other stray cats I've seen around the world these furry ones are all thankfully well fed and here are being tended to by a lovely local - my grandma's Japanese cousin :p

 On my return route I decided to take trail 2. This one was not as maintained as the first and had an earthier feel to it.


 These were everywhere lining the trail and huddled in clusters here and there.
This was a little hide away I found, a little prayer cave, a very peaceful place.