Finding our Chi


Kitty and Santa set off for a day in Mudeungsan Provincial Park on Saturday. Kitty routed out how to get there by bus and boom. An hour of travel and we made it happen.

Waiting at the bus stop with a pretty hefty crowd Kitty was attacked by a bumblebee the size of a cheeseburger. A little fact about Kitty is she absolutely is terrified of the birds and the bees (literally speaking) so when that flying whopper came at her face like a bat out of hell she did what came naturally. Santa was scared and crying from laughing so hard as she watched Kitty do an interpretive dance involving a lot of screeching  ducking, swinging, swatting and bouncing. After Kitty won the battle with the bee we continued waiting for our bus, only now we had a crowd of on lookers.

We finally made it to the park, or maybe this large hill is a mountain? YEP. Forgot to look into that one, we made it to the mountain for what we thought was going to be a leisurely stroll. As if Kitty and Santa don’t already under dress in gear we showed up at the base of this massive mountain in casual work out clothes and purses. So the staring continued and we proceeded to stand out. We are sort of getting use to it by now.

Definitely need to take some pointers from this guy next time. Prepared for all types of weather! (mind you, it was 82 degrees)

I’m not going to lie, this freaked us out. Especially with no translation of the sign. We determined it meant there were dragon snakes hiding in the rocks that were either going to A.eat Bambi’s dad in front of us or B. swallow us whole. After talking it out we decided if one of us was attacked by the dragon the other person should sacrifice themselves as dessert because finding help with no cell phones or in korean was going to be next to impossible. Kitty and Santa are both very happy we survived.

After hiking up, up and away we finally came to the temples. How amazing. This temple, Jeungsimsa Buddhist Temple, was built during the Silla Dynasty….wait for it….in 57 BC. (ya know, BEFORE CHRIST). Well, I think Kitty and Santa were both in absolute awe that we were able to not only see these temples but politely take our shoes off, offer a prayer and snap a few pictures. Awesomeness.

our first Buddha encounter

incredible views

It was incredible to see people still using these prayer rooms as we walked around

Prayers.

Drinking from the fountain of youth.

“The mountain of the Gods”

After Kitty and Santa journeyed through the spiritual realm of Buddha we were motivated to keep going. So UP the mountain we went! Along the way we were greeted by every child under the age of 11 and every old man over the age of 70. Yes, even the 70 year olds were hiking up, up and away. Shouts of “HELLO! HOW YOU!!!”  came bellowing from friends all around us. It took Kitty and Santa a little off guard as we are so use to blank stares. Eager to respond Santa would shout back “KAMSAMNIDA” in Korean…Kitty later asked Santa why she was saying that to everyone. Santa replied that she was just being friendly. Then Kitty informed Santa she wasn’t saying HELLO she was screaming THANK YOU! ha!

Kitty also noticed that all of the old people smelled like booze and seemed to be staggering at high elevations. We remembered that someone told us about this. Some type of cultural thing where old people drink and hike all day. We should look into those facts but it was strangely interesting to see.

Looking at our city from above the clouds 🙂

Kitty and Santa decided to go off the paved path and onto a trail to seek out another temple. It was a vertical incline but the sign read 1 KM and we thought that shouldn’t be too bad so up we went. Along the way we didnt see many people but we did run into an old woman. She didn’t speak any English but she kept looking straight up and wiping her head as if to sweat – we were too stupid to figure out the warning.

 Kitty, Santa and that old man in the blue hiked and hiked and hiked. We saw a sign that said we had only 1.9 KM left. WHAT?! Well, we already went so far so we had to keep going. The 3 amigos basically walked up those bolders stairs with dragons hiding in them for a good hour before we got worried. We decided that even if we made it to the top theres no way we would have any energy to make it back.  Unlike our friend old blue, we forgot our gear so pitching a tent and having a 5 course meal wasn’t an option for us. So down down down we went.

We thought this would be easier but it actually ended up to be the worst park. We had JELLO-LEG. This is when your legs begin to shake compulsively and move with no control. We were flying down the mountain, crashing into trees was our only hope to slow our speed. It was pretty hysterical and looking back probably a little dangerous. BUT we made it out alive to tell our story.

At the end of the day Santa found a park bench and we took it all in…yes, yes, we live in Asia.

“NOT ALL THOSE WHO WANDER ARE LOST.” -J.R.R. TOLKEIN

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