Main Page     All Journeys    Travel Tips




Photos  Map & Plan
Diary 1  2  3  4  5  6  7

From Diary 1 and the north eastern part, I now explore the central eastern shore and hills.
I get an early start, although the weather is not on my side. It have rained in some places, and it drizzle a bit from time to time.
I head down south to reach Fuyuan Forest. I planned to go by Country Road 193, but  is still by Highway 9, but it is less impressing here. The mountains have retired inland, and the towns and rice patches gained force.

Despite it is only 50 kilometres, it take me a hour due to the traffic - and speed cameras. I reach the village, and a big sign at the highway points to the forest. I drive right through the town, but fails to find any other sighs, My GPS leads me to The Butterfly Valley Resort, but it is not here.

I ask a lot around, and get every corner pointed out. I even try some of the long bicycle paths. Back at the highway to make a picture of the sign, which also have Chinese signs. I ask the other half of the village, but I might as well have asked their dogs.

Next sight is Shitiping or rather the mountain road leading to it. I pass some huge fields with pineapples and rice in the lowland on Country Road 103. Then I turn into the Ruigang Highway, which despite its name, is only one lane in  many places. The area it truly lush and green. The almost vertical mountain sides is covered in thick tree-, bush, and herb blankets. Here are fern trees, Begonias and monkeys.

Way down in the valley, the huge river forms a almost white belt. The huge marble boulders are almost white, and it apparently get a lot of water in periods. The road only stretch for 20 kilometre, but I spend two hours on it. I end out on the costal highway, and head for Luye town.

Here, a geotrail should offer some great nature, but I have to find it first. The Visitor Information centre ought to be able to help, but I can't find it. It is getting late anyway, and I ought to find a place to sleep.
My plan was Dulan, which is a small town, but should attract other backpackers and alike. And that could mean good food!

It is 50 kilometres down Country Road 197, another road I have planned to see. It is pretty much the same as 193, but fare from as fertile. I have driven through three rather large cities since three o'clock, and I looked after B&B, guesthouses and hotels - without seeing a single. I guess I better hit Dulan before dark!

First drive through give nothing at all, and I look in the guide book. It have several listed, and even with addresses. Unfortunately, my GPS have the town, but not not a single road listed. I ask around, even at the police station. Forth tour through, I find the right road, and ask some locals. Two say they don't know the Backpacker's Dog, while the third in the group point at the house next to us.

They have a single vacant bed in a dorm, and I consider my self lucky. I drop the bag, and head down in the mainstreet again. Here are four cafes and even some pink-faced! I see the entire street, and return to the first cafe, offering a vegetarian pizza.

An American geologist make a great conservation, and I almost forget to order the pizza. I'm back at the hotel at nine, way too late. And then the locals start asking all kind of questions, and I end up doing a short diary and mass-tack the photos. And then I have to update the plan and figure out how to find the thing I couldn't find. Additionally, it seems like I passes several things without even looking for them. At two, I better stop...
The awesome Ruigang Highway get its own little slideshow.

1/2 A bit late, I head up the costal highway 11 to cover the sights I missed yesterday. As I cross one bridge, I spot some amassing bright white boulders underneath another, and that have to be investigated. Well, from a distance, as the climb do look a bit to hazard.

The weather is not that great, but considering it might be the last day of the New Year vacation, it is expected. The drizzle only stop when it rains, and the sun seems so fare away. I use the fleece jacked and the raincoat, but mainly because I brought them. The temperature is quite stabile around here, due to the proximity to the ocean.

The narrow costal plain is used for small towns and rice patches. Many are newly prickled, but I see none in the fields, but normal tractors, who are preparing the soil.
I see a sigh pointing of to Sanxiantai, which the geologist recommended. It is a popular place among the locals, but the weather keep the number down today.

It is the island of Sanxiantai, which have been joined with the main island by a pedestrian bridge, made up by eight arches with steps on. The beach is made up by rounded pebbles, and here are some fantastic stones - and the rain does not harm the look.
I try to capture the bridge, but the lack of light and the presents of mist make it a bit hard.

I walk around the area, and find a few interesting plants. The main vegetation is Screw-palms, but here are also some succulents, Cucurbitaceae and Euphorbiaceaes. Some huge black and white butterflies are almost to cold to fly.
As I continues up the coast, some other interesting rock-formations head out in the ocean. The coast must look great in sunshine.

Some of the fields are covered in pink flowers, others in rape-flowers and some in sunflowers. It might be a way to conserve the nutrition on the fields while they are dormant - or just a farmers contribution to his country's beauty. Anyway, people appreciate it and selfies are made within the fields.

I cross over the outer mountain range by a lovely, winding road. The clouds are hanging between the mountains, which look so great. Then I reach the valley of Loshan. It is rice fields as long as one can see - in the mist. Again, many of them are covered in yellow flowers, while others have tiny plants in countless lines.
Here should be a 120 meter waterfall, but it is not the height or wide, it is the length; a cascade. I don't see any signs, and won't bother finding it.

The next target is the Walami Trail, which is within Yushan National Park. I pass the Nanan Visitor Centre, and try to get a map. Here are at least six employees, but only one understand a bit English. As expected, I have to start the track before nine, and I have to have a permission from another office.

That don't bother me, as the trail start a bit more than twelve kilometres within another trail. And I can do that trail now. As I drive to the start, I pass the Nanan Waterfall. It does look great in the dense forest. The vegetation have some interesting features like the odd lichens.

The trail start at 200 metres, and continues to almost 1000 metres height, but in a even assent - most of the way. The wide and white gravel bed of the river is close at first, but soon after, it is a remote, white band, way down below.
The peak to the mountains is covered in clouds, and the light dimmed. I try to capture the absolutely fantastic views, but the bright sky and dark forests make it hard.

The trail is mainly gravel, and the start is two metres wide, but it soon narrow down to one and then less. Here are huge ferns, tree ferns and numerous other fern species. Vines covers the stems and boulders, and mosses and lichen the rest.

The long Shanfong suspension bridge crosses a branch of the river in 40 metres height, and a waterfall can be seen on the mountain side. I guess the trail is an old connection across the main mountain, and it have been upgraded through time. Some of the bridges was made by the Japanese in 1930, and the remains of their police station are found along the trail.

I see some of the Formosan rock macaque; Macaca cyclopis, close to the track, but I have the camera on automatic, and it insist on loading the flash, while the monkeys head of. They are quite noisy, and I can see then further down the mountainside. They must be living mainly by the fig fruits.

Here are several real huge epiphytic ferns species, and a lot of other plants which look interesting, but only a few are flowering. I recognises some Peperomias, Impatience and Begonias, but many are unknown to me. Especially the vines seems so unfamiliar.
One fern loo like grass, hanging down the trees, while others look like small ears.

The Taiwanese Pine; Pinus taiwanensis are found along the trail. I don't photo it, as it look real hideously. Later, I realises that is its normal appearance.
I reach a part of the trail which have been carved out of the mountain side. In some stretches, it mean I get to walk in the dry - in others it is like walking under a waterfall. Here are many smaller waterfalls, both in the ravines, but also on the sides of the mountains.

I meet a few of the locals on the trail. "Ni-haw" work on some, while others ignore me. Some greats me with "A happy New Year, sir". I don't see any pinks.
Some parts of the trail have gone, and steep detours lead around the areas. The river is now way down below, and can't be heard any more.

I reach The pass of Jaisin, and this is as fare as I'm aloud to go. The way back is a new set of motives, but I guess I have enough, and walk rather fast. I might reach Luye Gaotai on the way home.
The GPS can be talked into using Country Road 197 most of the way, and the views are fantastic in some parts.
On some rice patches, I finally see how the rice is prickled: By a small machine, feed with mats of seedlings.

On the way up to Luye Gaotai, I pass through farmland. It is a strange combination of rice, pineapples and tea! The Luye Gaotai might offer a great view on a sunny day, but I am disappointed, and while going through the 300 pictures of the day, I realises I didn't make a single from the hill.

Time to head home. I was kicked out at the hostel this morning, as the were full this evening. I found another nearby, and it is a great feeling, having something to go back to, without spending hours searching.
I park nearby, and find a great vegetarian burritos - cold, and some grilled vegetables and mushrooms in another place.

The evening is spend working on the usual tasks and avoiding talking too much with others. The photos fromThe Walami Trail must have their own slideshow. The general photos of the middle eastern part is in this Slideshow.

The tour continues in the southern part of Taiwan and Diary 3

Photos   Map & Plan   Diary 1  2  3  4  5  6  7