Thursday, August 18, 2016

Hoengsong and Sokcho. Camp and Pokemon

I haven't taught at every GLPS camp at Minjok Sagwan High School in Gangwon Province, near Wonju, but I have been to many and greatly enjoy them. I probably enjoy them more than the students but I will save that kind of commentary for the end of this post.

It has been six years since I lived in Gangwondo and the places I remember have changed greatly. This post will be something of a tourist's report of my visit.

I had been suffering a slight abdominal pain, low and in front of my left hip joint for nearly a year.  Will trying to get in shape using the rowing machines at camp, something worked the pain is gone!

But I didn't exercise much as the temperature was high all camp.  I think we saw rain twice, both early in the first week of camp.  The rest of the time, we cooked.  I took the dog for walks but she didn't get as much time outside was either of us wanted.
Camp Pictures!
My son on the steps on the right. He joined a class attempting to safely drop eggs from great heights.

A student taught me about Hot Pepper Dragonflies.  This one, Crocothemis servilia only turns such a beautiful red during mating season. 

These two of a spider were the only good ones I took.  My phone camera would only focus on the distant sky.  What really drew me to this individual though was his loss of legs.  This is a four-legged spider!

Walking stick.

Some of my students had trouble doing actual research outside rather than just catching critters.

I found this salamander after one of the two rains we experienced.

One weekend, we returned home.  Good for us, but boring to write about.  The next weekend we went to Sokcho.  My son was born there eleven years and a few months ago but he hadn't visited in the six years we'd lived in Busan. He was very interested in seeing our old apartment and seeing what he might remember.

But mostly he was interested in Pokemon Go! In Korea, this game can only be played on Sokcho so far. This audio interview (autoplay) explains why. Basically, Korea is officially at war and Google isn't allowed to publish certain details on its maps in Korea so the resolution isn't good enough for game play (Daum does have that level of details for some reason).  The block of globe that Google aloted to Japan has a funny wing that reaches into one part of Korea - Sokcho - so the game is live there.
Sokcho is Pokemon-crazy with sign everywhere directing you in where to go and how to play.

It is horrifying to think that people are so into Pokemon that they throw their pets into the garbage!
Below, Ulsan Bowi was barely visible through the heat haze.

 After cooking in the direct sunlight, we found my only friend who still lives in Sokcho after six years and hung out on the beach.

These tetrahedrons are huge and break up the motion of the surf to protect the piers.  They are mostly jumbled together so I found the long view below fascinating and unique.

We also swam at Mul-Nori Soo-young Jang, a concrete box near the camp.  I didn't take any pictures but here is what I can tell you. Yoo-bi Castle Pension has rooms and campsite for rent. They also have a pool filled by stream water that is wonderfully refreshing. To find it, use Daum maps and enter "강원 횡성군 둔내면 영랑리 119 새주소강원 횡성군 둔내면 강변로영랑6길 115" in the search bar - hope you have the Hangeul character set on your computer.

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