Saturday, February 09, 2019

in Hanam and feeling fine

Route: Daecheong Tower, Seoul, to Baro Hotel, Hanam City
Steps: 38,954
Walk time: 383 minutes (101.7 steps/minute)
Calories burned: 4,338 (net 3,800-ish)
Pedometer distance: 18.68 miles (30.06 km)

Once again, the pedometer is exaggerating the distance I walked today. I'm pretty sure that Naver Map's estimate is closer to reality at 25.22 km. I know this mainly by feel: had I gone 30 km, I'd have been in far greater pain at the end of the walking day. But today was a short day, and while my feet are achy and my muscles are sore, I'm doing fine. Tomorrow, though, is going to be the real bitch.

I've taken a bunch of pictures, but I don't think I'll be uploading them until I'm back at my place. Sorry about that, but I haven't resolved my phone's technical difficulties.

The walk went faster this time, probably because I didn't wander around as much. I arrived at the Baro Hotel in Hanam City rather early—around 12:40 p.m. It was a great walk in beautiful weather, and a reminder of the walk I'd done in 2017. Instead of going straight to the hotel, I stopped at a McDonald's downtown for lunch. When I got to the Baro, I wondered whether the front-desk staffer was going to kick me out, but he gave me a room at the same price I'd paid two years ago. I could also tell he didn't want to hear any of my pleasantries ("I came here two years ago; this was the only hotel in the neighborhood that allowed me to have a room at this hour..."), so I simply stopped talking, received my electronic key, and went to my room. Once there, I dropped off my stuff, then walked across the street to the local 7-Eleven to buy drinks for today and water bottles for tomorrow.

The big lesson learned today was one I already knew but hadn't experienced directly: cold weather is the enemy of batteries. My phone's battery went from 30% charged to empty in an instant, right as I was trying to take a picture of some lovely local scenery. Irritated when I couldn't revive the phone, I switched out the battery with one that I knew was nearly fully charged. After popping it in and restarting the phone, I saw the battery was 96% charged... but a minute or two later, my phone's screen faded, and a "battery extremely low" message popped up. And once again, I was unable to take any photos. So I pulled out the big guns: my portable power supply which, thankfully, began charging the phone and did not itself go dead on me. Just to make sure the power supply and the battery didn't crap out, I tucked both into the chest pocket of my windbreaker, which was under my winter coat and therefore quite warm thanks to body heat. I let the phone charge, still unable to believe the battery had gone from 96% to nil in such a short time. Because the power outage happened when I was only two kilometers away from my destination, I knew I needed to restore the phone so I'd be able to navigate the final twists and turns to the Baro Hotel. Up to that point, the walk had basically been a straight shot along the Han River.

My path was slightly different this time: unlike last time, when I followed the bike path, I walked the pedestrian route that sprawled along the final four or five kilometers of today's trek. This was a pleasant, tree-lined path, with tamped-down earth as the walking surface. I don't normally like that surface because the dust and pebbles sometimes work their way into my shoes and socks, but today, there was no problem: the earth was slightly damp, perhaps because of the morning freeze and the early-afternoon melt, so there was no dust to speak of.

I'll spend the rest of today just chilling. My room, which is expensive because of Saturday and early-arrival fees, has Wi-Fi service but no actual internet service, which defeats the purpose of having Wi-Fi. I'm typing this post out on a desktop computer, though, so there's that. I've already hand-washed my socks, my sweatpants (which I wore under my hiking pants—and I'm damn glad I did), my underwear, and my face mask, which was smelling disgusting after being on my face since 5:50 a.m. I've also showered, so there's little left to do for the rest of the day except wait for my batteries and power supply to charge, watch some YouTube videos, and pick my ever-encrusted nose. (Dry air makes for plentiful boogers.)

I'm looking forward to tomorrow with a mixture of excitement and dread. Tomorrow is going to be ten kilometers longer than today, and it's going to fucking hurt. But I also remember the route as being beautiful, and this time around, I'll be following the river to my destination instead of diverting into the town to go on a wild goose chase for that damn certification center, which I never found, as you'll recall.

Speaking of missed certification centers: I saw the Gwangnaru certification center today; I don't recall getting a stamp for it last time, and I'm wondering whether it's because I had followed a walking path that went closer to the river last time. Today, I followed the more "official" path at that point—a path that went inland a bit, and that stuck closer to the bike path. I might have to come this way again and get that stamp if I didn't get it last time.

Regarding walkers and bikers: early in the morning, there were a few bikers and very few walkers, but as the day went on and proved to be beautiful, more of each came out and peopled the paths. While the foot and bike traffic was nowhere near springtime and summertime levels, I can say with assurance that I wasn't alone on the trail today. I got out-walked by a few ajeossis and bundled-up young women who soldiered along faster than I was going, but again, these people always kick my ass on level ground and only rarely prove able to keep up with me on uphill stretches, which is where strength proves as important as cardio. Score one for staircase training.

And there's all the news that's fit to print today. It was a great walk, and while the weather was cold, I was well bundled up and didn't experience any problems, except whenever I took a glove off so I could take a cell-phone pic. At those moments, I could feel my fingertips freezing and getting ready to break off. Tomorrow, I'll know to carry my entire power supply inside my coat so as to keep everything warm and charged. Lesson learned.


Charles said...

Good luck and godspeed!

John Mac said...

Sounds like a good day overall. Really surprised about the batteries, I've never experienced that and I used to walk on some cold ass days. Here's hoping that hot body of yours keeps them turned on!