I was late (as always) so Fred and his companion went ahead. At Yongmasan station, I got a bit confused with the route (as always) and walked up and down the street. I was told to climb up some stairs but I ended up climbing up to the top of a hill... only to find out I was at the wrong place. Again, I tried another stairs up. And yes, I was on the right path. But I lost communication with Fred at that time so I couldn't confirm. But yes, I was on the right path. The path to Yongmasan. This time, I climbed up a mountain.
I have not done these mountain hikes for a long time and I'm out of shape. So It took a lot of me to reach the top. Halfway up, the foot path forked and I chose to go to the right. It was the wrong choice. It was supposed to be a path for those descending from the peak. So as I come across people, I was a bit embarrassed as I can see their expressions of puzzle, why I'm going the wrong way. Oh well, just chucking it down to experience.
I stopped somewhere to take a view of what's below the mountain. It wasn't much. But it reminds me of how my friends back in the Philippines describe my hometown at its current state. You see, I came from the mountainous parts of the country. I lived in a valley called La Trinidad. It was once called, "The Salad Bowl" of the Philippines. Its neighboring city was more popular (Baguio City) and was once dubbed, "The City of Pines." I don't know about Baguio, but I'm sure La Trinidad isn't known as Salad Bowl anymore... more like house bowl. So I took a picture of this view on one side of Yongmasan. I used my phone since I'm already tired and I still have a lot to climb, setting up my gear will just take a lot of me at this moment. My intention was to upload it on Facebook to ask my friends back home if it does look like this.
Apart from the big buildings, I imagine my beloved valley back home to now look like this. Once filled with strawberry fields and swamps, it scares me to think it now loos like this.
I got a bit distracted by my phone's camera options. I was surprised it's got a panorama shot setting. As I experimented, I figured out how it works. But there wasn't much of a worthwhile scene around to shoot pano. Maybe if I climb up a bit higher.
Indeed there was another stop just about a couple of minutes from my first stop. There was some nicely built shooting spot in place. I assume it was really made for photographers as there are no chairs around. Just a perfectly flat surface looking down on a better view of the city below. Here, I took a quick panorama shot with my phone.
Well it's not much. I'm paying more attention to what technology has become nowadays. The last phone I used to take pictures was an HTC Desire HD, and I wasn't impressed. This one though, did.
It was another photography spot, I suppose. There was another platform big enough for 5 people with gears set up. There I met Wesley Chang. I think he's more a videography guy venturing into photography. Nevertheless he's a comfortable guy to be with. He seems to relate to me as he knows the conditions and lifestyle in the Philippines. He says he's from Guatemala which is almost similar to Manila. Maybe that's why I'm comfortable with him. Except that Fred and Wesley aren't fat. And in this part of the mountain, is a bad thing. They're cold and it shows. He he he.
The time to take pictures has come. The three of us each have our gears set up. Tripod up, camera mounted, and ready for panoramas. It was obvious that the two were really waiting for the right time. Meanwhile, I suddenly got shy again. I don't get shy around Fred. But Wesley is new, so I got self conscious (as always). I couldn't bring my A game this night. So I just told myself I'd just come back some other time by myself... again.
I still got some shots and took this chance to see how fast the precious blue hour goes. It was a pretty short time.
This was one of my first shots of this view. It shows a bit of the Namsan Tower.
|Right Stuff, Wrong Time|
What I could have done earlier in time. Although this photo pleased me a lot more than the ones above, the element of "right time" was missing, in my opinion.
I'm glad Fred invited me on this hike. Despite the hike, something was kindled inside of me. I came up with some ideas that really demand some stuff that I learned this day. But as in most cases, a lot can be easily said. I can't count how many times I told myself to come climb Yongmasan one more time and take decent pictures... at least better than these ones. But it's just easier said than done. At least for someone not so disciplined, like me. But we'll see.