I am physically tired but it's been an awesome day. Charles took Y and me, plus a couple hiking on one of the best and most interesting mountains in the country, Namsan. It is in the Gyeongju area, which was the ancient capital of the Silla dynasty. Nam Mountain boasts many artifacts and it geographically interesting, with all its craggy peaks.
Charles being the wildman of the woods that he is, and in his desire to break away from the work-a-day world, likes to take us on the lesser beaten paths. He prefers rugged climbing to mere hiking. We started at a far off corner, having to take a taxi there and back, actually. We soon found out that it was one of the hardest climbs of the mountain because several sections are rock faces for which it is necessary to use a rope to rappel oneself up and down. The hiking was really mountain climbing that day, for sure.
Surprise, surprise! This is Charles' idea of an "easy" trail. Actually, I am familiar with his thinking with respect to planning hikes. He has an idea of where he really wants to go, then he sees who shows up to hike with him and assesses what he thinks their potential (not actual) ability is, then makes a final decision. Had other less avid hikers turned up, I am sure he would have headed for a regular hiking path. However, the one he chose today was difficult, for sure.
Well, it was difficult for me. Never having liked gymnastics and such, I was kind of nervous about some of the rock climbing, especially in using the ropes. Not sure how much to trust my body in many types of physical tests, I was not sure that my arms and shoulders would be up to the required tasks, especially the bum shoulder. Thankfully, the recent swimming has made them stronger. I was okay, but lacked confidence in a few sections and, embarrassing enough, required the aid of fellow climbers to guide and even push me a bit. I have not had much experience at rappelling while hiking or climbing. With a little training, I am sure I would get more confidence. As it was today, I was unprepared.
Regardless, it was a fun time most of the time. Having Y there made it enjoyable, as well as seeing C again. Y rattled on and on about her life, rather spontaneously. I learned a lot more about her today.
Getting to the mountain around 10:30 a.m., we had a lunch break at 11:00, then a snack break around 12:30 after getting through all the rockiest patches. We shared food and drink and enjoyed the wonderful scenery with all the new bright green growth of spring and fascinating bloom.