Saturday, May 09, 2009

Biryeong Falls, Seorak National Park

Today, the Coast Guard had their semi-annual picnic in Seoraksan and the picnic included a hike to Biryeong Falls.  As Kwandongwife is a coastie, the little guy and I were invited.

Although I thought I had been just about everyplace in the park, I had missed this place.

From the Seorak Dong entrance (closest to Sokcho), your choices are some seriously long hikes or several around 2-4 km.  These shorter hikes all seem to be pool table flat for eighty percent of the hike and ranging from steep to very steep for the final bit.  The hike to Biryeong is no exception and wheelchairs could probably make the first kilometer and a half.  The final 700 meters include a lot of steel stairs, some with fencing overhead to stop or slow down falling rocks.

The little guy had a fever through the night, but recovered in the morning.  Still, I didn't begrudge carrying him when he asked.  By the end of the event, he was tired and now he is feverish again.  I foresee a trip to the hospital soon.

Anyway, we saw a few animals along the way.
I caught this frog and showed him to my son.  After I returned him to his pond, a man told me to wash carefully.  I planned to, anyway, because the pond water was dirty and I was worried about parasites.  He explained, though, that he was concerned about poison.

The frog did have bright warning-style coloration, but only on it's wonderfully orange belly.  I didn't think there were poisonous frogs in Korea.  I did wash my hands and don't seem to have suffered any strange effects.

I was more cautious with the snake we saw and chose not to catch it.  It was about 30cm long and not at all afraid.
The hike started at an overflow parking lot 2km from the main entrance.  We then hiked to the entrance, which was about the halfway point of the hike.  Once we had visited the waterfalls, we returned to entrance area and picnicked under some trees.  Carrying the little guy slowed us down so we arrived late - happily I was carrying my beach blanket so we settled down to lunch quickly.
I recommend the hike, especially if you don't have much time.  This hike doesn't have the long views that the other hikes do.  This is more intimate, although not private.  Actually, I don't know how many people normally do this hike as I was surrounded by over 100 coasties.  Still, no short hike near the main entrance is going to be solitary.

Oh, in case of emergency,  figured I could call 122, as it would be a Coast Guard emergency - is that funny?

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