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Evaluating from Moseulpo to the fringe of Gotjawal[Jeju's Trails] Day 19 of a 1,200 km journey recording Jeju's hiking trails, oreum (volcanic cones) and Olle courses
폰트키우기 폰트줄이기 프린트하기 메일보내기 신고하기
승인 2011.09.27  13:22:48
트위터 페이스북 미투데이 요즘 네이버 구글 msn
▲ Photos by Steve Oberhauser

Contributor Steve Oberhauser has meticulously planned (and now will execute) an ambitious project to hike and write about all the main Jeju mountain trails, every oreum (volcanic cone) open to the public (about 150 of them), and assess every Olle trail, all in the span of about 50 days. Look for Steve’s reports over the coming weeks, and as always you can send your feedback to Steve and The Weekly on our Facebook page (Facebook.com/JejuWeekly). —Ed.

The Journey
These are the top nine sites in sequential order for Day 19: Springflower Guesthouse - Moseulpo, Olle Course No. 10 finish / Olle Course No. 11 start - Daejeong Five-Day Traditional Market - Moseulbong, peak 1 - Moseulbong, peak 2 - Moseulbong, peak 3 - Christian burial site - Sacred ground of Jeong Nan Ju (Maria) - Sinpyeong (Olle Course No. 11) Market, backyard



View The Jeju Weekly's Hike Jeju 2011 in a larger map. Use Chrome or Firefox for best results.
Spent
PC room -- 5,000
lunch, Sanbang Sikdang -- 23,000
market -- 12,500
Total -- 40,500 won

Consumed
Sanbang Sikdang lunch of cold noodles, boiled pork and sides, 1 bag crackers, 1 bag potato chips, 1 noodle cup, 350ml Gatorade, 2 small cold coffees, 1 Vitamin C tablet, endless amounts of water

Thoughts from Day 19
Take a number please. I started the day before heading out on the grinding Olle Course No. 11 at the busiest restaurant in Moseulpo, decades-old Sanbang Sikdang with the owners of Springflower Guesthouse for cold noodles and boiled pork. Before waiting, remember to grab a number from the front for the long queue. The wait was at least 20 minutes on a Sunday. So successful, the noodle joint is soon opening another location in Jeju City. Highly recommended. The noodles resemble ones from a thick spaghetti dish. This is the only real restaurant I have been to, and will go to, on the trail.

Similar long walks. I forgot to mention, two people who have shared their recent long walking experiences on Jeju with me are Lee Choon Wha (70 days duration) and Kang Bo Sik (for 40 days), President of the Jeju Seon Culture Promotion and Education Center. Who else is out there?
▲ Photo by Steve Oberhauser
▲ Photo by Steve Oberhauser

On the Chusa trails. It was reaching twilight and I almost slept close to Jeong Nan Ju’s grave, where in 1994 Catholics declared the site sacred, according to the English version Olle Trail book. For those readers who do not know, including me, Jeong plays a part in the Chusa story. Who is Chusa? The best way to understand this man is reading “An artist’s contemplative island exile” by none other than The Weekly’s Editor-in-Chief, Todd Thacker.
About Jeong Nan Ju, from the sign, she died in 1838, two years before Chusa was exiled around the site. Jeong lived in exile because “her husband Hwang Sa Young wrote a petition against the government’s suppression of Catholics.” She is the niece of Jeong Yak Yong, a well-known Sirhak scholar. Chusa respected Jeong Yak Yong and hence, knew a lot about Jeong Nan Ju.

▲ Photo by Steve Oberhauser

Roasting Todd. As the fifth and longest (and hardest) working editor for The Weekly, Mr. Thacker, my boss, gets excited about a few things. Chusa is one. Technology is another. What he is probably not too excited about is the underestimation of the unending work I am cranking out for him with Hike Jeju. Looking great and there’s more to come, a lot more, edits also. The night before I left to start the project, the oft-times cynical (and dedicated) newspaper man gave me these words of wisdom: Don’t break a leg. So far, so good.

Moseulbong. Jeju’s largest graveyard. It was also my 25th oreum climbed on this venture. According to Jeju Olle, they restored the path, a forgotten road, with aid from the Forest Fire Patrol. I assume at the top that is a very important military project, since the barbed-wire fence wrapping around the peak looks exactly like a maximum security United States’ federal penitentiary. For any doubters out there, 25 oreum may seem like a low number (out of 20 total days.) There is a plan to speed the oreum count up significantly during the last three to four weeks.
▲ Photo by Steve Oberhauser
▲ Photo by Steve Oberhauser

Changes are evident. Things change fast in Korea. So do the Olle trails. Parts that used to be included in Course No. 11 are now part of No. 10. The sea routes are, in many places, washed away. The maps change. The detours change. The seasons change. Constant change.

Feeling my Olle oats. I walk. I think. I sing. I write. I sleep. Release me on this long road.

Understanding a fine line. It’s OK to talk to yourself. We all do it from time to time. It’s not OK to let other people see you doing it.

Where did you sleep last night?
I’ve written this idea before. It’s worth a second go. Part of the joy of walking around Jeju is connecting between the days, sleeping outside in the open. A Southern Appalachian American folk song from the late 1800s (popularized by Nirvana) runs through my head an hour before darkness, especially “in the pines, in the pines, where the sun don’t ever shine / I would shiver the whole night through.” The mosquito intensity is dying out. The nights are becoming coolly manageable. Crisp.

Best store, best experience, best (three-hour) dialogue with a Korean family. I passed on sleeping next to Jeong Nan Ju’s grave because Gotjawal was a few kilometers away. I stopped in the Sinpyeong (Olle Course No. 11) Market about 6:15 p.m., with another 1.5 kilometers left until entering Jeju’s last untouched (real) nature, the dense forest of Gotjawal. A Korean mother owner and her middle school son worker (they) had a conversation with me.

They: Gotjawal? No. Me: Gotjawal. They: Hands crossed, meaning no entry. Me: What? eyeing the store’s clock. They: Dangerous. Me: People or animals? They: Animals. Me: Big, big pigs (boars)? They: No pigs in Gotjawal. Me: Snakes? I’ve been told there’s poisonous snakes around. I don’t doubt it, but to what dangerous extent, I think that’s a bit exaggerated. They: No. Me: thinking Bigfoot or Chupacabra? They: No-ru (deer). Me: thinking, oh yeah, I forgot about those special predatory Jeju deer. They like foreigner’s blood. They: Tent? looking at my sling bag. Me: No. They: Sleeping bag? Me: No. Ground. (At this point the son was laughing and couldn’t believe this.) They: Backyard, pointing in the direction. Me: Sweet. They: Both really laughing next when I bought 10 hard-boiled eggs.

I had a fairly intelligent conversation with the family off and on for three hours - as I sat in back, inside at a table - through the translation of the son and high school daughter. Basically, I was the first foreigner any of them have had a conversation with ever or seen right off the trail. I find this to be typical on Jeju. I learned a lot and it was pretty similar to other rural Jeju experiences. They own the best market on the trail, I have experienced so far. Spacious and immaculately clean (and the bathroom out back). All other Olle markets should use this place as a model. The father, Kim Mun Hui, proudly showed me the autograph of Olle founder Suh Myung Sook on the wall. The family owns the market, farms tangerines and cucumbers, has another business, and is fiercely loyal to family, their hometown and Jeju. They visit Jeju City maybe three or four times a year and rarely travel to the mainland. Love pop songs and all things Korean. Asked me the typical personal questions related to age, marital status, hometown, jobs and money. They told me to sleep on the floor of the market, rather than outside. Good people. These are the things I remember.

Date
Sept. 25, 2011
ⓒ Jeju Weekly 2009 (http://www.jejuweekly.com)
All materials on this site are protected under the Korean Copyright Law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published without the prior consent of Jeju Weekly.
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Photo by Steve Oberhauser
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