Hiking In Taiwan

Hiking at Yushan National Park, Nantou County, Taiwan

October 10, 2017

What a beautiful morning in Nantou County.  Libby and I decided to stay with our friend Ying in Nantou for two days and one night.  We took to train up yesterday morning at 6 am and got to Nantou around 8 am.  We hung out with her family and her brother and sister-in-law.  Plus, there adorable two little kids.  We went to the chocolate factory and pineapple factory.  Now that you have a little back story on to why we are in Nantou, now I can talk about our hiking trip that we took on this day.  (now we can get back to the hiking story)

Let The Hiking Began!!

Like I said before, it was a beautiful morning and Ying had an easy four-hour hiking trip planned for us.  Our friend Libby had never been hiking before, so Ying found an easy trail for her.  Also, Libby hasn’t seen a waterfall before ether and this hike, from what we could see from the pictures, it had a beautiful waterfall.  I was so excited about the hiking trip, Libby was nerves, and Ying has already been to this place before but she was excited about showing this beautiful hiking trail to us.

We got breakfast first at a dumpling shop.  Libby and Ying had dumplings and I had some noodles.  After we were done eating we got into the car and we were off.  It took us about an hour to get there.  I took a nap in the back seat.  By the time I woke up its been almost an hour and Ying has stopped at a 7/11 to get some snakes for the trip.  Also, to use the bathroom because there won’t be a bathroom in the mountains.  I don’t like to use the bathroom in the mountains.  I try to avoid it as long as possible.  I picked up some water and some protein bars and we were off again.  It only took another twenty minutes and we were there.  Ying parked the car in front of a basketball court.  But this basketball court was different from what you would see in America.  Since Taiwanese people don’t like to be in the sun, the basketball court had a wall up around most of the court except for some windows up towards the top and three doors.  There wasn’t an AC inside and I don’t think it would be to much fun to play in the court in the summer.

We got out of the car and started walking.  We had to go through a tomato farm area.  It was really beautiful to see the farm and the mountains in the background.  The locals were really nice to us.  They were wounding why we were there and we told them we wanted to hike up the mountain.  We also had to be careful of the local people driving up the mountain.  They wouldn’t drive too far up the mountain.  It was blocked because that is where the hiking would start.  We kept walking a some and took some pictures along the way.  Here are some of them of things that I mentioned.

Tomato Farm

We finally saw a sign that said, ‘Yunlung Waterfall 3.6km’.  We have only been hiking for 20 minutes before the sign.  Libby was taking her time and Ying slowed down to stay with Libby.   I wanted to focus on my fitness and keep my heart rate up so I went a little ahead.  Plus, I try to get pictures without people in them and it’s better if I can stay ahead.  But once I get too far I would turn back and check on my friends.  Or if I get to a bridge or crossing or a split in the road I would wait for them but still try to get moving.  We also found another sign that said, ‘watch for falling rocks and landslide while passing Yushan Natural Park Headquarters’.   Well, that’s a little nerve-racking.  Now I have to watch out for falling rocks and landslides.  I thought this was supposed to be an easy hike.  What are we in for on this Hike.

Stairs of Rocks

We walked and talked along the hike tell we came to a corner and saw this very unstable, broken steps, or no steps at all, and just lots and lots of rocks.  With an unstable cord, and sometimes no cords at all, on the edge of the cliff.  I’m glad I wore my hiking boots for this.  It made it easier to climb up the rocks and not slip and slide everywhere.  We stayed along the rock wall area.  We felt safer holding on to the rock wall then we did the unstable cords.  We went up slowly and carefully.  We took our time and didn’t rush up the rocks.  We don’t need anyone dying today.  I got up to the top of the rock stairs first.  Once I turned around I saw Libby was going very carefully and slowly and Ying was right behind her.  Here is a picture of them.

As you can see from the picture.  The cord rope isn’t very stable and it’s a long way down if you fall.  Walking along the rock wall was a safer choice.  Even if you slip, the rock wall will catch your fall.  Unlike the cord where you have a fifty-fifty chance of surveying or falling to your death.

I was so relieved to get pass the rocky stairs.  I feel a lot safer now to be on a dirt walking path.  No one got hurt or died from climbing the rock of stairs.   We kept walking and took some pictures.  It was a very beautiful site everywhere we went on this hike.  It was just amazing.  I can’t really explain much more than that.

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We went over a bridge and we saw a sign that said, ‘Danger!  Proceed with caution!’  The sign didn’t say what to watch out for.  The only thing I could think of was rock slides.  We were walking towards some big rock boulders and dirt wall.  Nothing happened luckily but from what I saw on the trail I think the sign was for the rock slides.

Now, we got to another corner of the hiking trail and we saw some rock boulders on the left and a metal pipe railing on the right that had some dents on it.  We were thinking that metal railing has gotten hit a few times from falling rocks.

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Meeting New People

After we crossed the bridge, we hike a little bit more and took a break.  We saw a group of four guys that were taking a break but started moving on when we caught up with them.  We decided to take a break where they were taking a break at.  We drank our waters and looked at some of the signs that were there.  One sign was a notice.  It was letting us know we are now on Batongguan Trail.   Also, that sign said that the trail was only opened to Fuzih Cliff.  The rest was closed due to a collapsed path.  It was before the waterfall.  I was getting sad.  Thinking that we wouldn’t be able to see the waterfall and Libby never seen a waterfall in Taiwan.  But Ying reassured us that the path was still opened we would just have to do a little climbing.  After we were done resting, we went on our way.  We eventually cought up to the guys that we saw earlier.   It was four Taiwanese guys in their 30’s or 40’s.  They were really nice and wanted to take our pictures.  We got our pictures taken with them and they let us go ahead of them.

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Let’s Keep Walking!!

The further we went the steeper the cliffs were getting.  Also, in Taiwan, sometimes there will be railing and sometimes you are just on your own and hope you don’t fall and die.  We saw some more rock cliffs that we had to walk along next to some metal pipe railing.  We came to a metal bridge.  The bridge seemed a lot sturdier than most of the bridges we have seen here.  It even looked new.  I don’t know how people were crossing before but I’m very happy to have this blue bridge here.  We had some fun crossing the bridge.  Took some pictures and got to see the amazing view from the bridge.

As we kept walking we got to another area where we were very close to the edge of the cliff and the only thing we had to hold on to was a chain that was hooked up along the rocks.  So if you fell to your right, there will be nothing there to catch you if you fall.

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We carefully walked along the path and stayed closed to the rocks so if we do fall we can grab on to the chain.  As we kept walking we started to see some pips on the ground on the left side next to the cliff.  We had no idea what the pips on the ground were for.  They seemed to be all connected to something.  In my pictures, you will start to see more pips on the ground.

As you can see from the pictures above, the pips on the ground are a pretty good size and just along the path tied to the ground.  Also, from the pictures, you can see how near our path is and how close my friends are to the cliff.  It’s a little scary when we have to pass people that are going the opposite direction.

Rock Slide

Just keep walking, just keep walking, just keep walking.  Hehe  As we were walking we came to a rock slide that was in our path.  I think this was the rock slide that the sign told us about.  It was a little dangerous but doable.  We carefully climbed over the rocks and tried not to slip.  I went first and didn’t have too much of a problem.  Just took my time and stayed low.  My friend Libby went next and she took her time too with Ying right behind her.

No one had too much of a problem climbing over the rock slide and we successfully made it over to the next walking path.  I walked ahead of the group and got some more good pictures of our trail.  There are a lot of bridges along the trail and just seeing the beautiful mountains in the background was amazing.

We came to another rocky path but not too bad and we got to see some real stairs.  Maybe this is a sign that we are almost to the waterfall.  I hope so because it been almost two hours now and we should be getting close.  I remember Ying telling us that it would take us two hours to get to the waterfall.  Well, its been almost two hours, we should be almost there.

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We came to big rocks that were split in half on the path.  Had to get some pictures of this and some selfie.  It was amazing to look at.  It was really big and it was a clean split in between the rocks.  Probably was done by construction works to get a good walking path through. But still very beautiful to look at.

Almost There

We found some more stairs to climb but not too many and then we look to our left over the cliff and what do we see?  It’s the waterfall!!!  I’m so happy!!  We are almost there and just seeing the waterfall was amazing.

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Small Waterfall

We took some pictures and kept going.  We found a very small waterfall that was coming down from the mountain and made a small stream from the water that continued down the mountain.  It was in our pathway and we had to be careful while crossing it.  Since the water was covered by rocks and the rocks are very slippery.  I crossed the water first and I survived.  Libby and Ying crossed next.

As you can see in the pictures it was a good size stream to cross.  But everything went ok and we counted on with our journey to the bigger waterfall.

As we kept going, we ran into some more heavy duty rock walls with a metal bent up pip for a railing and a nice cliff to our left.  Here are some of those pictures.

As you can see, it was a very interesting walk to see the beautiful landscape and rock formation.  And hope that we don’t get hit by any rock slides.

We got to another bridge and we look to our left and we see a beautiful good size waterfall.  It was beautiful!!  With the water coming down the mountain and landing on some rocks on the bottom and you had to cross a bridge over the stream that it made and the stream continued down the mounted into a bigger waterfall.  It was just amazing to see and it was even better because I got to enjoy this with my friends.

Medium Waterfall

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After our short time with the medium size waterfall, we kept walking tell we saw a suspension bridge.  It was really nice and long type of bridge and looked a lot safer than most of the bridges that we have seen so far.  We started crossing the bridge and we were able to see the giant waterfall from the bridge.  We started taking some pictures and selfie on the bridge.  My friend Libby was getting a little scared because she didn’t like the bridge moving.  With a suspension bridge they tend to move a bit when you are walking and if you start to jump on the bridge, say in the middle, it will move even more.  Well, I started jumping a little bit in the middle and gave Libby a small scare.  I can be evil sometimes.  Hehe,  but she was fine and everything was fine.  Libby wanted to kill me though but it was ok.  She got used to the moving suspension bridge and started taking pictures herself.

After we crossed the bridge we saw a sign that said, ‘The Mabloasih trail and south section 2 of central Mountains are an Advance hiking trail.  This trail is not under routine maintenance and is prone to have falling rocks, collapse, slides, and other dangers. Hikers should not pass this section when encountered bad weather and should beware of their own safety at all times’.  Ying told us we are not allowed to cross this area because you need a special license because this trail is very dangers.  So we had to turn around and went back to our medium size waterfall.

Rock Climbing

Once we got back to our medium size waterfall, we decided to try to climb over some rocks to get closer to the waterfall.   There was a rope that can help us get over the first boulder that was in our way.  We can climb over the boulder and try to make our way to the waterfall.  Ying went first because she is better at climbing boulders then we are.  Libby has never climbed a boulder.  If I watch someone I can copy them and climb up just fine.  My one weakness would be climbing back down.  I always struggle on climbing down.  I find climbing up to be easy for me and easy to figure out but for some reason, my brain becomes blank when I try to climb down and don’t know where to put my hands or feet.  Even after watching someone climb down, I will still struggle.  So this should be interesting.  Once Ying got over the boulder I went next.  Libby was too scared to climb so we told her we would check out the area first to make sure we can get to the waterfall.  Ying was taking a difficult way to get to the waterfall, and I decide to take an easy way.  Ying started to worry about Libby so she went back to get her.  As Ying was helping out Libby to climb over the boulder, I continued to try to find an easier way for myself and Libby to get to the waterfall.  The path the Ying was taking had a lot more big boulders an and found another path around the boulder that had smaller rocks and easier to climb.  Once I got over to the waterfall I saw the path that Ying was going to take and there was a big gap in between the ground the boulder.  There weren’t any more rocks and it would have been to dangers to jumping down.  So Ying would have to have turned around and taken the path that I just took.

After figuring out how to get to the waterfall I went back to see what was taking Ying and Libby so long.  Libby was very scared on climbing the boulder and wanted to stay where she was at.  Ying and I started to encourage her to climb the boulder.  We told her to go slow and just watch how Ying climbs and copy her.  Libby finally got the courage to climb the boulder and she grabbed onto the ropes and started climbing.  Ying guided her every step of the way.  I was so proud of Libby for getting the courage to try something new and uncomfortable for her.  Once they got over the boulder I told Ying what I found and told her about an easy path we can take.  So Ying and Libby followed me and we got to the waterfall safe and sound.

Time to Relax

The water was so cold but refreshing at the same time.   It took us two hours to get here and it was worth it.  We took some pictures of the waterfall and ourselves.  Then we saw some formula faces coming around the corner of the cliff.  It was the group of guys that we saw on the trail that wanted our pictures.  They made it safe and sound to the waterfall.  They climb over the rocks and enjoyed the waterfall with us.  They wanted some more pictures with us at the waterfall.  So we took some more pictures and just enjoyed the waterfall together.

I Took A Small Fall

I diced to head back to the bridge area because I was starting to get cold from the water.  I told Libby and Ying I was heading back and I was just going to relax on the rocks that weren’t wet.  As I was trying to climb down some rocks I realized I didn’t know how to climb down.  I was looking around trying to find an easy way to climb down but I couldn’t remember.  The group of guys from earlier ended up having to help me down.  I slowly climbed down with the guys help and was able to make to the section where I could climb the rest of the way my self.  I thanked the group of guys that helped and climbed the rest of the way down.  Then I got to the difficult part.  The evil rope that is connected to the big boulder.  I took my time on climbing down the rope because I didn’t want to slip and fall.  There was a couple just seating by the steam and relaxing at the bottom and I figured if I fell they could help me.  As I was climbing down, I ended up slipping on some rocks and fell on the side of the boulder.  Luckily I had a good grip on the rope and held on to the rope for dear life.  I didn’t scream or make any noise.  I just stayed calm and just had to steady my self and find a better grip for my feet.  Once I finally got down I checked myself over and saw a few scratch marks on my left leg, left elbow, and left the side of my stomach.  Obviously, I hit the left side of my body when I slipped on the boulder.  But nothing to bad.  It was just red and scratched up.  My left leg formed a bruise later on but not so bad for my first time slipping on some rocks.

I found some dry rocks next to the bridge soI just made myself comfortable and soaked up some sun.  It was very nice and relaxing to sit there and just being surrounded by nature.  Eventually, Ying and Libby came back.  Libby also had problems coming down the boulder with the rope.  Ying went first to show Libby how to get down by using the rope.  But Libby decides she would face outward from the boulder instead of just facing the boulder and climb down.  Well, that ended badly.  But not too bad.  She also slipped on the same spot I slipped on and slide down on her butt.  She found the whole thing funny and she was ok.  I told her she was lucky to slide down on her butt instead of on the front side of your body.  Then we all just relaxed in the sun and ate our snacks that we brought with us and drank our waters.

Libby Took Her Second Small Slip On The Rocks

After we were done relaxing and eating our food we got back up and started heading back.  It was a nice enjoyable walk back down the mountain.  Seeing everything again and didn’t have to take any more pictures because we already took all the pictures that we wanted.  I was still leading the way and Libby was in the middle and Ying was in the back.  I went ahead a little bit and just doing my own thing when I suddenly hear a scram from Ying.  I was soundly worried and ran back to see what happened.  When I got there Libby was on the ground but she looked ok.  Libby kept saying she was fine but Ying was in the child like position.  She was crutch down with her arms around her legs rocking back and forth.  She was in shock.  Libby was very close to the edge of the cliff when she fell.  Libby had to reassure Ying that she was ok and everything was fine.  Ying managed to snap out of it and she went back to normal.  Still a little shocked to what happened but she Ying seemed ok.  We talked about what happened and how Libby slipped on some rocks and just fell on her butt for the second time today.  We got a good laugh out of it and just kept moving.  This time I stayed a bit closer to the group and didn’t go too far ahead.  We climbed over the rock slide and some more bridges.  Then we finally got back to the evil rock stairs with the terrible cords that will probably not save your life.  Ying and I had to talk Libby down the stairs because she wanted to hold on to the cords on the way down.  We told her that was unsafe and those cords will not save her if she falls.  She needed to stay along the rock wall like we did on the way up.  Halfway down she only held on to the cords but then she ran out of cords and we had to encourage her to use the rock wall.  She managed to climb over to the walk wall and made it down safely.  We kept walking the rest of the way down and we finally got back to the tomato farm.  We saw a farmer that was taking a break in the shade and he talked to us.  Asked what we were doing and why we wanted to climb the mounted.  He seemed like a nice guy.  After he was done talking to us, we kept walking down the path.

Found Our Way Back

We finally made it back to Ying’s car.  Yeah!!!!!  It only took us 1.5 hours to get back down the mountain.  It was such an amazing trip and we had so much fun.  I will never forget about this trip and I can’t wait to have much more with my friends.  I always love hiking with my friends and it’s always fun.  I’m glad we made it back safe and sound and made some new memories.

Thank you for reading my post about my hiking adventure and the beautiful waterfall that we got to see.  I hope you enjoyed the read and if you like what I post on my blog please follow me.  Also, don’t forget, if you want to see more pictures from my amazing hiking trip you can always click on my facebook page to see all my pictures.

 

 

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