One sunny Saturday in Korea, we got invited by some faculty and staff from Kongju Communication Arts University to a picnic somewhere in Daejon. A picnic sounded nice but not until we got to the place when we realized that Korea’s idea of a picnic is a hike. Our “picnic ground”: Gyejok Mountain.
Gyejok Mountain Park is so famous for its annual Masai Barefoot Marathon, a 13km (or a choice of the 7km) trail that should be hurdled on barefoot. This is the only barefoot festival in the world where one can walk or run on the red-clay soil. We were told that walking barefoot on this mountain is good for the health.
Our course map.
Going up, we saw a “No Smoking” campaign by some elementary students. The students were campaigning for a smoke- free zone parks. Kudos to these kids for taking such an advocacy at a young age! Love the creativity too! Hiking is a quite a fad in Korea and every national parks I went to, there were always droves of hikers.
After a few hours of walking (No, we didn’t do a marathon and we just hiked for like 5 kilometers), we reached the top.
We got a beautiful view of the city.
Love this picture!
Our team: The Kongju Communication Arts University Faculty and Staff
An aerial view of the race. This was taken probably in one of the event marathons. (I just took this shot from the framed pictures displayed along the road.)
And on our way down, we did it barefoot.
At the end of the hike, they give out certificates for those who finished the course.
Lining up to get my certificate 🙂
Tada! My certificate!
I had to pose at the marker to prove that I’d been to Gyejok Mountain Eco-Healing Park. (Actually, I just wanted to get the name of the place for the purpose of this blog. I’m not good in remembering names in Korean.)
Another unique experience for me in the Land of the Morning Calm.
P.S. At the foot of the mountain, there were fresh fruits being sold: Persimmons and Apples!
Persimmon is what is referred to as the “fruit of Zeus or pear of Zeus” in Greek literature. It was my first time to see and tasted this fruit in Korea and it tasted like our Philippine “Chico.”