Day 3: Jeju island was formed by a volcano called Mount Halla. Most people who go to the island hike the mountain, so we thought we'd do it too. We also thought it would be a nice little stroll. Wrong. For about the first hour it was pretty easy - we were basically walking on gravel. Then we got to this staircase.
The picture doesn't really do it justice, but there were 155 stairs (I counted) and they were at basically a 70 degree angle. And it only got harder from there. The trail was totally uphill until we got to the top of the mountain, and most of the time we were climbing really big stairs made out of planks and rocks.
It took us 3 1/2 hours to get to the top. I was totally drenched in sweat and I smelled really great.
The view at the top. This is a crater, and sometimes this water is a big pretty lake. It was basically an over-sized puddle when we saw it. Not worth all the work.
This is me holding a cloud :)
The way down the mountain was not that much better. We took a path that was supposed to be easier, but it was made up of really huge jagged sharp rocks that were so much fun to step on. The trail had mile markers occasionally, and at one point we saw one and expected it to tell us we were almost done, but we still had 5.1 kilometers to go. This mountain made me so mad. I can't even remember the last time I was that angry. It was not even a little fun, and I think the worst part was that there was nothing we could do except keep going. And nobody else seemed to be struggling. Most of the people were old men and ladies, and they had their track suits and hiking sticks and were passing us, and we were sweaty and hardly moving. I finally got to the bottom and literally laid down on the ground. It took us almost 7 hours total, and we walked 11 miles. We got back to our hotel and ordered pizza because we were too sore to go anywhere else. Then we fell asleep at 9:30.
Day 4: Last day in Jeju :( We woke up late and laid around until it was check-out time. Then we went to the lava tubes. These are caves that were formed by lava. It didn't work to take pictures, but it was really cool. When we were done we got in a cab to go downtown and find some food, and our cab driver tried to rip us off. Luckily we are not dumb foreigners. Then...I threw up in the bathroom. My body doesn't do well with altitude, and the combination of being up in the mountains and then down in the caves made me sick. Not so fun. What made it worse was that I had to spend the night on a ferry. I called in sick to work the next day.
All in all, this was a really great trip! Katie, Alexis and I had a ton of fun together. We got to see a lot of cool things and have a nice relaxing vacation. But if you ever go to Jeju, DO NOT CLIMB THE MOUNTAIN!