Saturday, February 02, 2013

양떼목장

양떼 means a herd of sheep, just like 물고기떼 means a school of fish and 비둘기떼 a flock of pigeon.

양떼목장 (Sheep Ranch,  羊群牧场) is located at Daegwallyeong highland (700m above sea level), Pyeongchang County, Gangwon Province. 3rd January, a day before Seoul recorded its coldest day (-16.5°C) in decades, the morning temperature of Daegwallyeong after a night of snowfall was a frosty -20°C.

A taxi ride from Hoenggye Bus Terminal to the Sheep Ranch took about 10 minutes. Before I got off, the taxi driver passed me his namecard so I could call him for my return trip. Braving extreme cold and strong wind, I found my way to the ranch's entrance. The ticketing staff had a piece of bad news for me. The 산책로 (walking path) was closed as snow had piled up to waist level and asked if I still wanted to enter. I paid for the 3,500 won ticket anyway.

The "stars" of the Sheep Ranch are of course the sheeps. Although they have thick wool, they still look cold and hungry.

Clear sky with strong wind at the Sheep Ranch.

On my way to the sheep-feeding experience centre.

Famished sheeps waiting eagerly for someone to feed them.

It was my first time feeding sheeps. I took a basket of dried grass and approached the sheeps. Seeing food was coming, the sheeps suddenly surged forward and I instinctively pulled back the basket fearing they might bite my fingers. My fear was unfounded, sheeps do not bite. One of the ranch staff taught me to put the dried grass on my palm for the sheep to feed. No matter how much I fed them, the sheeps seemed to be always hungry.

"I want more grass, please!"

Like they were starved for days, the sheeps would surge forward once someone with dried grass approached.

Some sheeps were not so fortunate. No one fed them, so they snuggled together for comfort.

"White Fang" swinging away the snow brought by the wind.

"Black Beauty" chose to stay in comfort of its home.

Although the walking path was closed, the steps leading to it was still open. Walking up the snow-covered steps was not easy as it was more a slope than steps. View at the top was so much better but the wind was stronger as well. A sense of peace descended upon me as I looked out at the vast plain of snow-covered landscape. Every now and then, a gush of strong wind would send the snow in its path dancing furiously up the air.

Steps leading to the walking path that circles the ranch.

The wooden shack has more or less become the landmark of the Sheep Ranch.

White snow, blue sky and whithered trees.

Calm and peaceful at the top, looking back at the path where I came from.

Warning (red board): It's slippery and dangerous. Those without crampons are prohibited from taking a stroll.

Clearing the steps of compacted snow came at an appropriate time. That made my descent a lot easier

The pureness of snow has a cleansing effect on my mind and soul.

One simply could not go home without taking a picture of the wooden shack even though the wind was blowing strongly.

Leaving the sheep feeding experience centre behind.

It looks like a harsh winter. Not really harsh but almost.

It was an enjoyable visit. I would not mind switching from city life to farm life.

The return trip to Hoenggye Bus Terminal was a bit tricky. I tried to contact the taxi driver who drove me here but he never picked up his phone. He probably thought someone from overseas dialled the wrong number. Luckily, am empty taxi came and I got my transport back to the bus terminal.

It was a very cold day out at the ranch. But it was not the coldest day yet. I took my visit as a rehearsal for my Mt. Taebaek climb the following day.

4 comments:

  1. Thank you for all the wonderful posts and photos.

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  2. you're welcome, x-wing. happy new year!

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  3. Wow, friend, you are really strong! Thank you for the lovely snowy pictures.

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  4. I was born to enjoy coldness lol

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