After working a long, hard day on Sunday preparing our windless to be welded on Monday, all of us deck hands had the day off and did what we had planned to do on Sunday which was visit the Beomeosa Temple on the outskirts of Busan and then hike 8km along the ridge top following the remains of the Geumjeong Fortress wall.
Beomeosa translates to “temple of the nirvana fish.” The names come from one of the rock outcroppings found on the mountain which has a spring fed pool of water in the crest in which a golden fish from heaven lives.
One of the monks, who PoPaul befriended the weekend prior when he visited the temple, welcomed us enthusiastically by sharing with us a picnic of fruit and Korean sweet cake and then leading us around the temple grounds explaining the various sculptures and murals and finally gave us a introductory lesson in martial arts. Bidding each other farewell, we all received an open invitation to stay at the temple if we found ourselves in Busan again (though I’m not sure if the invitation would really extend to the three of us women).
From the temple we began our hike following the remains of the old Geumjeong Fortress wall which was built in 1703 to defend against invasions. While the temple was already high into the mountains, we had a hot, humid–though really beautiful–climb ahead of us.
On the descent back into the city with Ocke the 2nd mate, Tim, Francesco and PoPaul, my fellow deck-hands. After working the 12 – 4am watch the night before, waking up at 9am to head to the temple and then hiking for 8km in steep terrain I was exhausted: upon arriving back at the ship I showered, ate a bit of dinner and was asleep no later than 6:45pm!