Climbing Geumosan Mountain, Gyeongsangbuk-do, Korea - 24th June 2012

It might not sound much at 976 metres high, but Geumosan Mountain on the edge of Gumi City rises pretty much straight out of the flat alluvial plain in which Gumi lies. Hyosoo, who's with Nosher and his showing him the Korean ropes, and Chris from work who's stayed on for a couple of days to help hand over the reins, decide to climb the mountain as a Sunday activity (Chris had already done it the week before). The total hike is about seven kilometers, followed by another two or three walking back towards Gumi, which combined with some fairly vertical scrambling, is intensly hard work. However, the view over Gumi from the top of the mountain is worth it, and the various Buddhist temples and interesting features on the way add to the enjoyment (in that masochist kind of way).

next album: Seomun Market, Daegu, South Korea - 1st July 2012
previous album: Stephen Fry Visits Work, Southwark, London - 19th June 2012

A first look in daylight at Gumi city reveals a fairly grim sight out of the hotel window

Chris has the sensible idea of photographing our route before we set off

Ancient Chinese calligraphy is carved in to the rocks

Several large stone 'cairns' are dotted about

A Buddhist bell

Chinese calligraphy and ornate painting

The God of the North Wind plays a lute

A smiling gold statue

Curious pock-marked 'moai'

A row of praying Buddhas

Chris and Hyosoo ponder things in Doseongul Cave

Some dude does some moves in Doseongul Cave, the site where hundreds of Koreans hid out during the Japanese occupation

Hyosoo and Chris negotiate the sometimes-precipitous path back down from the cave

After some serious hiking, we make the top of Geumosan Mountain

Nosher at the top of the mountain

Offerings of water are made

Chris stands out on an outcrop of rock (several hundreds of metres above anything else) and looks out over Gumi

Hyosoo tops up our water stash at a spring-fed tap

The bell tower of Yaksaam Temple

Yaksaam Temple

The curious sight of a Buddhist temple defended against encroaching miscreants with razor wire

Back at the bottom of the mountain in Geumosan, people take the idea of a 'picnic by the river' a bit too literally

The statue of some dude by the lake

Hyosoo cracks open a well-deserved bottle of Hite beer. It's been about 10 kilometers walking to get here.

We get stuck in to a good spread of Korean food

Outside, a new-but-retro bus trundles around

Korean restaurant signs

A look back at the peak just climbed

Finally, in a kind of neat book-end: the evening view over the industrial wastelands of Gumi

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A first look in daylight at Gumi city reveals a fairly grim sight out of the hotel window