Jangsu Pension was a bit cold at night, but I refused to turn on the floor heating, partly because I could already smell gas emanating from somewhere. The cold affected my sleep, as did the insects bombarding me in the dark, attracted to the light of my cell-phone screen.
I didn't want to wake up at 5AM this morning, so I dragged my feet a bit, but I still managed to hit the road by a little bit after 6AM. The walk was generally energetic for most of the day; I began to lose steam when I was approaching the certification center.
Farm dogs have been a major feature of this walk. Some of them see and/or smell me from afar and start barking madly; others don't start barking until I'm almost on their position. These latter pooches are the shitty watchdogs. Most of the dogs I've encountered have been chained up. One large dog was on a chain attached to a long cable, and that one startled me with how close it got to me.
We're in the boonies for sure. I went to two different general stores to try and buy some refreshments, and neither store owner would accept payment by anything but cash. Given my empty wallet, I had no choice but to walk away unrefreshed. Now that I'm in a town, I've pulled W100,000 out for use in such situations, but I have to wonder why these backward folks are so against making money that they would adopt a cash-only policy. That seems stupid to me.
There were hills during this stretch, but nothing major. (A fearful glimpse at the contour lines of the first part of the Saejae trail shows that it's fairly flat as well, which means all the steep slopes will be compressed into three of my four days on that trail.) Perhaps the worst hill was the one right before the approach to this hotel.
I had a scary moment, during the cold morning, when I was walking downhill and felt the pangs of an incipient charley horse in my right calf. I slowed to a crawl so as not to overstrain myself; I talked to my leg, warning it not to act like a bitch. I stopped and stretched a bit, then resumed walking normally on flatter ground, and the problem eventually went away. When you're walking, many of your problems can be solved by just walking more.
I think I walked close to 15 miles again; my step count was 34,759, and the pedometer recorded 17.48 miles walked. I burned a gross figure of 2977 calories, which means I actually burned a net of around 2300 calories for the day.
I bought a plastic bowl of ramyeon to supplement my MRE, as well as a slew of bad-for-you drinks. The market I went to, next to this hotel, also stocked Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, a rarity in Korea. So I grabbed a 2-cup pack.
I'm beginning to wonder if there's a pattern in how I'm assigned a hotel room. This is the third hotel to place me at the very end of a hallway. Is there some sort of shunt-the-foreigner policy, or is this just a coincidence? Maybe I'm just being paranoid. Not that it matters: as an introvert, I prefer being out on the margins, away from the hubbub of the center, so shunt away, muthafuckaz!
I have a two-night stay scheduled to begin on my final day on the Saejae trail. That day is supposed to be a monster walk of over 19 miles; I'm fervently hoping it's all downhill. Whatever the terrain, I'll have earned those two nights of rest.
It's 10PM soon, and if I want a proper ten hours' sleep, I should probably leave off here. Good night, all.