Sunday, October 01, 2017

the Incheon Ara-gil walk: let's talk landmarks

To get a more realistic idea of the distances I'll be walking, I've decided to break my upcoming walk down into segments defined by landmarks—or, if you will, waypoints. My starting point will be my apartment building, i.e., Daecheong Tower right next to Daecheong Station. The spot where I reach the ocean—which I'll do sometime Tuesday—is officially named the Ara Seohae Gapmun Injeung Senteo (아라서해갑문인증센터), i.e., the Ara West Sea Lock Certification Center—the final red TARDIS before land's end. When I was down at the endpoint in Busan, I saw there was a stone there that called that cert center the gijeom, i.e., the starting point of the Gukto Jongju trail. I'll be curious to see whether the Incheon Ara TARDIS has a stone calling it the jongjeom, i.e., the endpoint.

In between tomorrow's starting point and Tuesday's endpoint, there are a few landmarks along the way. First will be the Yeouido Certification Center. (There's a Ddukseom Certification Center across the river from where I live, but reaching that center means walking backwards, away from Incheon, before I can walk westward in earnest.) Next up is my halfway point: the Gayang Bridge (Gayang Daegyo, 가양대교). I'll turn left, away from the water, at the bridge, heading into town so I can stay at one of several motels clustered in the downtown area. I've arbitrarily* chosen the Dream Motel, picked mainly because of the tacky name. The following morning, shortly after leaving the motel, I'll hit my next landmark/waypoint: the Ara Han River Lock Certification Center (아라한강갑문인증센터), which sits not far from the Gayang Bridge. After that, the only remaining cert center is the one by the ocean, the Ara West Sea Lock Certification Center mentioned above.

From the seaside cert center, it's about an 11-kilometer(!!) walk back inland toward the motel where I'll be staying on Tuesday night: Techno Motel. After that, it's just a matter of hitting all the aforementioned waypoints in reverse order, right back up to my apartment building.

To recap, then:

1. (Mon., 10/2) Daecheong Tower Apartments (starting point)
2. (Mon., 10/2) Yeouido Cert Center (21.47 km)
3. (Mon., 10/2) Gayang Bridge (8.85 km)
4. (Mon., 10/2) Dream Motel (2.11 km)

[32.43 km first day]

5. (Tue., 10/3) Ara Han River Lock Cert Center (8.42 km)
6. (Tue., 10/3) Ara West Sea Lock Cert Center (endpoint!) (20.57 km)
7. (Tue., 10/3) Techno Motel (10.96 km)

[39.95 km second day—longest hike of the trip!]

8. (Wed., 10/4) Gayang Bridge (again) (25.87 km)
9. (Wed., 10/4) Dream Motel (again) (2.11 km)

[27.98 km third day]

10. (Thu., 10/5) Yeouido Cert Center (again) (8.0 km)
11. (Thu., 10/5) Daecheong Tower Apartments (finished!) (21.31 km)

[29.31 km fourth day]

Today is all about prepping, but given the small-scale nature of this walk, I'm in no hurry. Also: given the proliferation of motels in the spots where I've chosen to overnight, I might end up changing my selection. That just means switching from one tacky love motel to another.

Wish me luck. Ideally, I'll be out of the apartment by 5:30AM tomorrow.

*I think of the word arbitrary as an auto-antonym (also called a contranym or a Janus word). The word's root has to do with judgment, such that something done arbitrarily has been done with some thought—some intentionality and decisiveness—behind it. At the same time, we use arbitrary with a shrug of the shoulders to describe something done seemingly at random, with little or no thought behind it. (Go to and note the contrast between the first three definitions and the fourth definition.)


John Mac said...

Best of luck to you Kevin. Looking forward to the play by play and photos...

Kevin Kim said...

Thanks, John!

Charles said...

Viel Glück!

Bratfink said...