Daedunsan Hiking, Saturday 3rd December 2011.

The main event of this weekend was the second leg of the K-League play-off final between Jeonbuk and Ulsan. Jen and I had travelled down to Jeonju to watch it and with the game not taking place until the Sunday afternoon it meant that we could do some hiking the day before.

Jeonju is pretty well situated if you like spending time in the hills. We’d hiked in the nearby Moaksan Provincial Park a month earlier and Maisan Provincial Park isn’t too far east of the city. Maisan is famous for having a couple of peaks that are supposed to resemble horse ears. Rocks that are reputed to look like people, animals or bits of people or animals aren’t exactly uncommon over here but most of them just look like rocks to me. Still, rocks are good, even when they just look like rocks.

The other option was Daedunsan Provincial Park. It’s about an hour to the north of Jeonju and is probably somewhere that we could have tied in just as easily with a match in Daejeon as Jeonju.

Daedunsan map

Daedunsan’s advantage over Maisan though is that the hiking didn’t look as strenuous. Despite all of the walking that we’ve been doing on weekends I’ve gotten a little out of shape. I had a medical recently and from what I can gather too much of my body is made up of fat and not enough of it from muscles or bones. I’m not really sure what I can do to increase my bone content apart from maybe eat more chalk, but on this occasion the slightly easier hike seemed sensible.

We caught the bus from the Inter-City Bus Terminal at 9.40am. It was just as well that we didn’t miss it as the next one didn’t go until after 2pm. Daedunsan mustn’t be a particularly popular destination for people living in Jeonju as despite the fare being less than 6,000 won we were the only passengers on the bus. We picked up a couple of people on the way and arrived at Daedunsan, as expected, just over an hour later.

Daedunsan High Street

There are  a few hotels at the bottom of the hill and a row of shops selling mainly hiking gear and crappy souvenirs. There are also plenty of restaurants and food stalls, plus what appeared to be a couple of nightclubs. We bought a pair of cooked quail at one of the stalls to go with our lunch. You know as soon as you look at them that they will be more effort than they are worth to eat, but at 2,500 won a go I find it hard to walk past things like that.

Doctors would be impressed by the ratio of bones to everything else.

Despite our bus having been almost empty, the area around the shops was fairly busy. One of the attractions of Daedunsan is that it has a cable car that goes about three-quarters of the way to the top and so it’s a popular day out for people who don’t fancy hiking but are keen to combine quail and nightclubs with a trip up a hill. Despite my low ratio of muscles and bones to fat we didn’t bother with the cable car, at least not on the way up. I don’t mind saving my knees on the way down a hill but you don’t really get that sense of achievement if you’ve only done half the ascent by yourself. Besides, we’d just spent an hour on a bus, it was time for some fresh air.

Our route wasn’t too far away from the cable car, just closer to the ground and after about an hour we reached the point that the old grannies and small children had got to with a lot less effort. To give them something to see without the need for them to hike to the top, a suspension bridge had been built together with what I suppose you could describe as a ‘suspension staircase’.

The bridge enabled you to get near to where you had been 20 minutes earlier.

Neither of them were necessary, but had been built to allow people to go up in the cable car, cross the bridge, climb the steps and loop back to the cable car again. Fair enough I suppose.

Luckily it's one-way only.

After working our way around the single direction bridge and staircase we pushed on towards the 878m Macheondae peak. It was a lot steeper than I’d expected, so maybe I’d got this place and the horse ear park mixed up. Whilst most people seemed happy to return to the cable car without reaching the top, there were plenty who had decided to hike the final stage. They were rewarded at the summit with a shiny metal tower that looked as out of place as, well, a cable car and a couple of superfluous suspension bridges. I suppose that if your rocks don’t resemble equine extremities you have to jazz them somehow.

It blends in so well.

It was quite misty, so once again there wasn’t much of a view, although we were able to spot a couple who had found somewhere quiet to eat their lunch.

You can find the odd quiet spot if you try hard enough.

It took a while for us to get down to the cable car station. The rocks were slippery and after I had whacked my knee against a railing due to losing my footing I was more than happy to take the easy option of a ride down to the bottom. As part of my healthy eating regime we had some fried battered ginseng when we got there. It was ok, better than we expected and judging by the number of places selling it, pretty popular in Daedunsan. The area at the foot of the hill was just as busy as when we’d set off, this time with people selling acorns, chestnuts and mushrooms to the visitors who had built up appetites riding the cable car.

The lady on the right offered us what she said was a good deal on acorns.

Like a lot of places, Daedunsan is somewhere that we’ll probably go back to. There’s a route that misses out the bridge and staircase completely by following the ridge up one side to the peak and then continuing down the other side. I suspect that at the right time of year that trail would be virtually deserted.

2 Responses to “Daedunsan Hiking, Saturday 3rd December 2011.”

  1. Cogstar Says:

    Stuffed animals at the top of Lakeland fells rather than the dull trig points would splendid. Although they may get compared to rocks which would just confuse me.

  2. The Lion King Tickets Says:

    That meat on the grill looks really good. Nice and tasty! 🙂

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