2020 got you down? Me too. Sitting in a post-summer slump has a magical ability to pack on a few pounds.
So as summer rains subsided, I thought it no better time to once again explore some local islands around Yeosu – get in a hike and allow the trees to shower me with their love. That’s how the science works, right?
I hiked the Geumodo Bilonggil (a hiking trail) several months ago – yet I failed to take any pictures. The price of being present. So I headed down again a few weeks ago for some rebuttal photography as well as some peace and quiet.
One blessing that descends from the blight of a 5:00 A.M. wake-up call is taking in the morning sunrise from the sea. The sky radiates as the sun ascends over the island hills.
As one who suffers from chronic seasickness, it takes a while for this land lubber to slip into his rubbery sea legs.
One common warning when entering and exiting the ferry is to watch out for exiting cars. I’m sure my island-dwelling friends have much crazier stories about ferry life.
As a child of the coastline, I have a soft spot for small coastal villages – especially in Korea. Visiting the islands of Korea reminds me of my California home – a land known for both its coastal towns and mountains.
Lying in the northern edge of the Subtropics, Deep South Korea always amazes me with its lush hiking wilderness. Through the green, I grow serene.
The 비롱길 (bi-long-gil) is a well-known Southern Yeosu hiking route. Stretching about 18 kilometers down the coast of Geumodo, it’s rarely too steep for comfort with gorgeous seaside views around every bend.
Hardcore hikers may disagree, but I appreciate the care Korea takes in its recreational infrastructure – plank decks and staircases line well-traveled routes like the 비롤길.
Few experiences rival the tranquility of lapping waves and warbling birds on a Korean island hike. The peaceful feeling of solitude is unreal.
My favorite part of this hiking trail is the logical breakdown into break points. The Bilonggil consists of 5 courses – the shortest being 2.8km and the longest about 5km. Small coastal towns bookend each course of the trail – each town boasting water filling station and toilet. Most have restaurants in case anyone wants to break for a bite to eat or a swig of makgeolli (a Korean rice wine famous among hikers).
Or if restaurants aren’t “natural” enough for you, may I interest you in some barbecued chicken?
As an island, Geumodo has many old stone derelict buildings – signs of how a place can be both untouched by modernity yet weathered by time.
Sadly, I could not complete the Bilonggil this time around – construction on Courses 3 and 4 forced me to hike up the pass and down into another local village. But I’ll be back. You better believe it :).
This beach is not from Geumodo, but nothing drums up a hankering for a swim like a long hike. This beach, Bangjukpo, is my favorite beach on my local island of Dolsan-do.
And here’s a couple of dragons from Hyangilam – Dolsan’s province-wide famous seaside temple.