Happy Lunar New Year Hallasan!!

This week started off with no school for Lunar New Year! The Year of the Dragon was absolutely fantastic!! Now the snake has slithered it’s way into 2013, hopefully bringing along with it as much health, happiness, and adventure as the dragon did! A bunch of us met up in Jejusi at one of the temples for a fun-filled day of flying kites, hacky sack, and NEOLTTWIGI!!! We also enjoyed some delicious hoduk and bulgogi! HAPPY LUNAR NEW YEAR!

Wishes for the new year!

Wishes for the new year!

Karima doing an amazing job with that kite!

Karima doing an amazing job with that kite!

Kite Repairs!

Kite Repairs!

Let's go fly a kite, up to the highest height!

Let’s go fly a kite, up to the highest height!

Uh-oh.

Uh-oh.

K and I dominating at Neolttwigi!!

K and I dominating at Neolttwigi!!

Get it, Leo!

Get it, Leo!

Tuho!

Tuho!

Maybe a little closer...

Maybe a little closer…

There we go!

There we go!

On Tuesday, it was back to desk warming… Yippee. This week of desk warming consisted of working on my blog, putting videos together from my trip to Vietnam and Thailand, repairing some holes in my backpack, emails, and Facebook. It was super nice when I had to take a break from desk warming for my after-school classes and a trip to the dentist!

Galentine’s Day

If you’re single, Valentine’s Day is a lovely little reminder that you don’t have a Valentine… So instead we celebrated Galentine’s Day! A fabulous day full of love from your gal pals! Karima, Jordan, Tara, and I headed off to a restaurant Jordan had been to before only to find that it’s no longer there. Boo! So instead we found this Italian restaurant on the top floor of a building across the street… Pizza, pasta, REAL garlic bread!, wine, and girl talk all makes for a fabulous evening on Galentine’s Day!! And the little funny man we had for our cab driver home was a nice little touch as well!❤

Friday night was spent with some more lovely ladies eating some DELICIOUS butter chicken curry at Raj Mahal! (I’m really going to miss that place when I leave!!) We also got to see Jen and Evan there… Their last night on Jeju.😦 Happy trails you two! Hope you have a fabulous time!🙂

Safe travels you two!

Safe travels you two!

Hallasan

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Saturday morning started off very, VERY early… We hopped on the 6 a.m. bus to bring us up to Seongpanak so we could hike Hallasan!! (A.k.a. Halla Mountain- the tallest mountain in all of South Korea!) After getting off the bus, bathroom breaks, and buying last minute snacks, we started our journey at 6:50 a.m!

Here we go!

Here we go!

We were following the snow-covered trail through a bunch of pines when the sun was coming up. It was so beautiful coming through the trees.

Good morning Halla! (Photo Credit to Sarah Ranco)

Good morning Halla! (Photo Credit to Sarah Ranco)

The next thing that really piqued our interest didn’t happen until about 9:30 a.m. when we first saw the top of Hallasan (from below). We could finally see where we wanted to get to!! We still had a long way to go, but after trudging up the side of the mountain through the snow-covered rocky trail in a single file line, this was quite exciting!

Almost there!

Almost there! (Photo Credit to Sarah Ranco)

Then we turned around and realized that we could see the landscape below the mountain… Breathtaking! And it only got better the higher we got.

First view of down below!

First view of down below!

Looking down at Seogwipo!

Looking down at Seogwipo!

An absolutely beautiful view during our little break! (Photo Credit to Karima Walker)

An absolutely beautiful view during our little break!
(Photo Credit to Karima Walker)

Sarah taking it all in!

Sarah taking it all in!

The last 20-30 minutes before we reached the top was pretty rough… Koreans and their ideas of how stairs should be built… Well let’s just say they try. FINALLY! At 11:10, we reached the top!! People were scattered everywhere taking pictures, resting, and enjoying their kimbap and soju. After all the Olle trails I had walked, I thought my legs would be better prepared for this mountain climb, but my legs have never hurt so bad in my entire life! It was worth it though, I suppose. What a great feeling it was making it to the top of this mountain with 3 of my closest friends here in Korea! And the views weren’t too bad either. (We could have done without the cold, intense wind though.)

My first view of the crater at the top of Hallasan!

My first view of the crater at the top of Hallasan!

Right after I screamed "Woo-hoo!" at the top of my lungs!

Right after I screamed “Woo-hoo!” at the top of my lungs!

We did it!

We did it!

Chillin' at the top of the tallest mountain in South Korea!

Chillin’ at the top of the tallest mountain in South Korea!

Yay!!

Yay!!

Now to head back down… And there were even more gorgeous views! If it weren’t for these amazing views, I feel that keeping up the motivation and a smile on my face would have been quite challenging, so thank you Jeju for being so beautiful! We took a different trail, Gwaneumseo, down and it was a bit difficult. It was very steep most of the way down. Sarah and I had cramp-on cleats that we put on, but Karima and Hannah had a good time sliding down on plastic bags in some parts… Crazy girls.🙂

Looking down at Jeju City starting our descent!

Looking down at Jeju City starting our descent!

Happy!

Happy!

Cramp-ons!

Cramp-ons!

No cramp-ons!

No cramp-ons!

My friend Hannah, from Australia, had never seen snow before living here on Jeju, and thus, has never eaten snow… Until today!! And there was so much fresh powder on this side of the mountain to choose from! YUM! The Koreans that passed us kept saying, “No, no, no.” Haha we’ll survive.

First time eating snow!

First time eating snow!

So beautiful!

So beautiful!

After about 8 1/2 hours of climbing up and down Hallasan, we finished our journey at 3:20 p.m!! VICTORY!! And we all still had smiles on our faces at the finish line!

DONE!

DONE! (Photo Credit to Sarah Ranco)

Our before and after bathroom pictures…

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Then it was time to catch a bus back down to Seogwipo, take a quick shower, then head back up to Jejusi to have dinner at Seunghee’s with her family! She, as always, made a delicious meal for us!! Karima also brought her guitar and played some music for them, which they absolutely LOVED! Hyun-jeong and Jong-eun were SUPER excited when I gave them each a CD with Karima’s music on it and they each got Karima’s autograph. What a lovely night!

With my Korean family!

With my Korean family!

And for anyone that would like to listen to Karima’s amazing voice, you can listen to or download her music here: A Good Year

Sunday was a rainy day, well spent making chocolate chip cookies, cleaning, doing laundry, and drinking Karima’s delicious mulled wine! I also had a little outing with my friend Harris…

Alive Museum

We had a pretty fun time at a trick art museum in Jungmun…

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If you would like to see all the fun pictures we took, check them out here.

Another lovely week well spent here in Jeju! 

 

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