A week or two ago, I was commenting on how clear the air was. Now, not so much.
Here are pics from Aug 28 (top) and Sept 13. As always, click to enlarge.
It was a great hike. Well, 'hike' may be exaggerating. The signs do say 'deung-san' which means hike, but I think the trail more of a mountain-book path -my translation for 'san-chaek-ro' (A proper translation would be nature trail or walking path).
There were places on the path in which I could almost believe I was the only one on the mountain. I even found myself looking for wildlife and trying to walk quietly to better find some. Beyond squirrels and several birds, I didn't see much wildlife, though.
On another part of the hike, I came across a man playing a trumpet - his music carried for minutes along my walk.
Mountains are a little strange to a guy from central Canada -well, strange for me. I guess I always had an impression of mountains as being natural but basically of a pyramid shape. Travel in southern China did nothing to dispel that image with isolated mountains popping right out of rice-fields. Chungdaesan, like most mountains, has more of an octopus shape. There are ridges and low points followed by new high points and branching ridges.
What I'm getting at is that I got lost briefly on the mountain. I followed a new ridgeline and thought I could just go down a slope and up the next and be on a familiar trail.
Nope. I was in shorts so bushwhacking through thorn bushes didn't seem fun. I ended up backtracking a great deal but also met a few interesting people so I can't complain too much.
In the past two weeks there has been a lot of work on the trails. New steps have been added and a barbed-wire fence put up to keep people from making new trails all willy-nilly.
I understand how people could use the, uh, backpack to carry stuff up but I think they would have to make a special trip just to carry the wheelbarrow up - the trail is too narrow and steep to push it except for at the top.
I have also seen new 'San bul Jo Shim' (beware of forest fires) signs. Hopefully they are an indication that the rains have eased for a bit - I don't want fires but dry weather would be nice - maybe rain at night would be acceptable.
Later, I saw the main reason for the warning about fires. The work crews have been piling kindling and firewood to dry everywhere.
Okay, that's not really firewood. Still, I don't know exactly why the brush was cleared. The grounds have a neater, more park-like appearance but that's not a good reason.