코스 5-1 | Course 5-1

Highlights of this course include huge lions, mudflats, and miles of painted walking paths. Lowlights include walking past love motels, gas stations and huge trucks on the way to the highlights. I recommend wearing a mask and maybe some sunglasses when you’re in the less desirable spots. Turn on a great podcast like WorkLife with Adam Grant and the time flies by. I did this on a Friday and there were very few people on the best parts of the trail and it was like a dream. Being in the city, but mostly alone, is one of my ideal situations. The 5-1 Course is the longest I’ve ever walked in one day. It took me over 5 hours, which I split up by having lunch with a friend who works in the area.

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코스 4-2 (반), 4-3 | Course 4-2 (Part 2), 4-3

With the weather finally warm enough and the semester finally in swing-enough, I fetched my trusty sling backpack, my sunhat, and loaded up the tunes on my phone. Spring is a time for exploring and I needed to think about something other than work so out I went. Late last fall, I ended up somewhere in Saha district 사하구 on the 4-2 course. I ended up taking a few different buses to get there, but it’s also walkable from the orange line #1 Nat-gae Station 낫개역. I’m not suggesting you go here though unless you want to continue on one of the roughest paths of the trail system. Or maybe if you like to get lost. I found it to be one of those ‘Am I on the right path?’ experiences where the Naver map course and the pink and blue real-life ribbons don’t usually match up.

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코스 4-1 | Course 4-1

Visually stunning and kind of out of the way of my typical Busan life, Course 4-1 was a breath of fresh air and a reminder of just how large a city this is. There’s always more to explore and the 갈맷길 is the best way in my opinion.

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코스 3-3 | Course 3-3 from 갈맷길 365: A Year of Movement

If you like trekking on rocky coasts, this course is the one for you. It’s a lot of up and down, but incredible views are around every turn and the natural beauty of Busan is abundant. I started at Yongdusan Park 용두산 공원 in the middle of Course 3-2 and did my best to follow all the cultural highlights in the Nampo area 남포동. It wasn’t marked almost at all and I did a half-hearted rectangle around Ggangtong Market 깡통시장 and Jagalchi Seafood Market 자갈치 before crossing the Yeongdo Bridge 영도대교 and entering the small town vibe on the island of horses. Although this is part of Busan, it has a unique history of being used strategically by the Silla kingdom 신라 and later the Japanese for cattle grazing and horse ranching.

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코스 3-1, 3-2 | Course 3-1, 3-2

 

Course 3-1 and 3-2 are city courses. Think sidewalks and city stairs and steep, ridged concrete. Since Busan was mostly spared from the physical destruction of the Korean war, the way is windy and narrow and veers as people did more than 100 years ago. We came across a hill with a special name and a placard to explain that it was “Going to market Hill” 장고개 as in this was the hill that people climbed to go to Busanjin Market 부산진시장 back in the day. We also got to see the famous ’40 steps’ 40계단 where Korean war refugees searched for loved ones near Nampo Station 남포역. So far, this course has been the most historically interesting. A lot of the shops we passed were decades old with that particular font and most of the people in the neighborhoods were also along in years. It was a stark contrast from Course 2 which highlights the newer and richer area of Busan.

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코스 2 | Course 2

Wow, this was the dream! Originally when I was putting down the foundation for this Camino del Chuseok, I imagined walking with my friend along well-kept coastal trails. I wanted that magic of being together and then accomplishing a shared goal. During the walk, sometimes we chatted about the big things like work and relationships. Other times, it would have been some little comments on getting ahead of the slow-going family in front of us. Megan almost got her eye poked out by some grandma’s hiking pole when we were going up some stairs at Igidae 이기대 and we got around that group as quickly as possible. We were actually running at points feeling hits of adrenaline and I came to better understand ‘trail running’ as a sport.

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코스 1-2 | Course 1-2

Course 1-2 was the first long day.  My trekking partner came down with a migraine as we were setting out so I ended up leaving a little later. I walked over 20 kilometers through a mix of terrain and got to find all the spider webs all by myself (mostly with my face).

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코스 1-1 | Course 1-1

Before: I’ve been calling our trek a ‘jaunt’, but it’s looking to be more of a ‘slog’. It’s very wet and windy at 6:30 and it’s worth considering a delay. WeatherBug declares confidently that the rain will end at 11:45. Would it be better to head out at 11:46? I’m torn between sticking to my word and checking my ego to preserve my feet and spirit – today is the first of 6 days out here.

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Camino del Chuseok

Korea’s been blessed with a super-holiday this year and flights are too rich for my blood so I’ve been dreaming up the perfect staycation for months now and it’s just days away.

Two good friends from my days in Jeonju 전주 are hopping an intercity bus to Busan 부산 and we’re going to live the good life for a few days. For me, that means a routine of morning exercise, discovering new spots, and then watching the sunset with friends.

I’m calling the morning exercise plan the Camino del Chuseok because it’s inspired by the Camino de Santiago in northern Spain. Chuseok 추석 is a major family holiday in Korea and many Koreans will visit their ancestral hometowns to practice rites with their families. Since the three of us don’t have ancestors to visit here, we’ve had to make alternate plans~

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Welcome

Welcome to the Galmaetgil (“gahl-mate-gill”) 365 blog~ I’m going to hike/walk/trek Busan’s best trail system in 365 days, starting October 2nd, 2017. I also will be going “in order” beginning with Course 1 and ending with Course 9. Sometimes I’ll be going it alone and other times with friends – feel free to reach out through the contact page and walk with me!

I hope you enjoy reading this year and if you do catch a factual mistake, please contact me so I can fix it ASAP! I’m hoping to improve my writing skills and fitness at the same time. ^^

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