Woraksan makali

“Sure. It will make a great story,” I said to Naomi as I led the way across some stones and down a winding path to join some friendly Koreans for rice wine (makali).

Naomi, Mr. Vandertramp, Darby and I had spent the better part of two hours trying not to die as we hiked up Poamosan in Woraksan National Forest. The trail had started lazily enough with wide well-worn paths, but soon turned treacherous (or at least more of a hike than my lazy self had planned on).

We scrambled up large loose stones and pulled ourselves from tree to tree in an effort to climb the smallest peak in the Woraksan range. Finally convinced we had had enough and positive there was no clearly marked trail we made our way, mostly sliding on our backsides, back down the mountain. At the foot of the trail, just where the journery had become more arduous than our tennis shoes were ready for, we saw a group of men and women enjoying mikju, soju and makali with a few snacks.

“Hello? Makali?” shouted one of the men.

We answered and soon joined them. The Koreans were very friendly and wanted to know why we were in Korea, where we were from and what we did. After a Konglish conversation, mandarin oranges and makali, we decided we were ready to take on the mountain trail again.

This time Darby, Naomi and I didn’t make it more than about 50 feet before turning back. Mr. Vandertramp, however, was determined to go on. So we waited for him saying good-bye to each Korean as they passed us on their way back home.

We meandered our way back to the bus stop once Mr. Vandertramp rejoined us. I ran along behind taking photos like the nerd I am. Woraksan was a lovely hike and I can’t wait to go back. Although next time, I might just take my own makali to share.

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About kristamaesmith

I'm a writer based in Salt Lake City, Utah where I cheer for the Jazz, walk my dog, and spend too much money in local restaurants. I work in marketing for higher education and blog about food, travel, film, and whatever shiny moment catches my fancy.
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4 Responses to Woraksan makali

  1. Amanda says:

    I am so jealous of all you’re getting to see and do. The pictures are gorgeous. I can’t wait until I’m no longer working weekends to have time to explore what’s outside of D.C. (supposed to be great hiking nearby) like you’ve been getting to do in your part of Korea.

  2. saltcitygirl says:

    Thanks, Amanda, all the sight-seeing has renewed my love of photography. Living here has definitely taught me I should’ve spent more time exploring the US while I was living there. I can’t wait to see what adventures you have in and around D.C.

  3. Rikki King says:

    The fall looks beautiful there. Bravo to you for admitting a failed hike (we’ve all had them, but sadly mine didn’t come with free rice wine!)

    • saltcitygirl says:

      I have to agree with the travel books fall is definitely the best time to be in Korea. I have enjoyed many a failed hike. They’re one of the times in my life when I give up on the goal and just try to enjoy the view.

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