The first part to the peak, a 500 metre ascent, turned out to be crowded with Korean tourist wearing professional trekking clothes. The main points of interest are a buddhist temple and a granite statue of the Buddha sitting on a lotus flower. We made it to the summit in just over one hour, while the Korean lady said it would take at least two. Barbara didn’t feel like carrying on so she went back, but I had a thirst for adventure so I carried on alone, trying to understand the direction signs which were mostly written in Korean.
After walking along the wide path for a while, I came up to the ruins of an ancient temple and noticed a sitting Buddha carved out of the rock in front of it. Around me nature was lush and silence sublime – after passing the summit I didn’t meet anyone else. At a certain point the path dissapeared between steep rocks and I found some fixed ropes which I used to make my way down. I then walked through a wood, enjoying peaceful loneliness in nature. I believe I got lost because I had no idea of where I was going, but instead of being worried I felt incredibly free. I looked at the mountain and decided it to cross it and reach the opposite southeastern side, so I needed to find a stream that runs between the two peaks of the mountain. After falling several times on the slippery rocks I finally found a path next to a nearly dry stream leading South-East, as confirmed by my compass.
After exploring the surroundings for a few hours without meeting any other person, I suddenly reached a lake hidden by the trees. The sun had been out for a while and it was getting hot so I bathed completely naked, since I knew nobody else was around. I then resumed my hike and heard a familiar sound of an animal. It sounded like a pig, so I looked in the direction from which the sound was coming from and saw the silhouette of an ugly boar. Luckily it didn’t want to attack me so I swiftly put as much distance as possible between the two of us. I then found some indications leading to a nearby temple where I met some monks and some Korean hikers. Carved into a wall, there were also a 3 metre tall Buddha and two bodhisattvas at its sides that probably go back to the VIII century. Another 2 metre tall rock had several rappresentations of the Buddha with different hand positions on its four sides. I sat down, drank a cup of tea offered to me by the monks and gazed at the new side of the valley.