Wednesday, August 25, 2010

YangMingshan

I had another mini-tour "up the mountain" on Monday. The mini-tours are intended to give an idea of places worth visiting, with the idea that you return with your family later to explore more in depth. Earlier I said I had great pictures. Actually I have mediocre pictures of great places. (I hadn't viewed the photos yet when I made my earlier boast.) And because it was a mini-tour I don't have a lot of information. Hopefully I WILL return with the family and report back more information and better photos in the future.

For now:

We stopped at the Lengshuikeng Visitor Center, which has trails heading out from it in several directions. The picture I took includes a trail up the mountain. You cannot see the trail due to the tall grasses, but if you look in the center of the picture, to the left of the roof, you might be able to see the tops of several umbrellas. There was a line of people coming down the trail. It was a perfectly beautiful day; the locals all use umbrellas to keep the sun off their skin.



We went higher up to an area of grassland. It was so quiet, peaceful, breezy and sunny. I could have stayed there for hours.

Cattle roam the area. I didn't see any, but they had left behind some evidence of their presence. There were several signs warning you not to tease the cattle, and there was this one:


Eric laughs at my fear of animals, but signs like this would seem to justify my fear.

A random photo taken at the grassy area.



Next is my favorite photo of the day, not only because I like the picture but also because there was an interesting fact presented here. This trail goes all the way to Keelung, a northern seaport in Taiwan. Many years ago Keelung fishermen would load the days catch on their back and walk this trail into Taipei to sell their fish. I am told it was a 3 hours walk. (I suspect it would take me longer, if I could do it at all.) I don't know if they made the trip down and back every day, but surely theirs was a hard life.



Taipei is far off in the distance, at the bottom of the mountains.



Taipei is surrounded by mountains, which protect it against typhoons. The locals welcome typhoons because that is where they get their water. We have not had a typhoon yet. Susan told me that August is the beginning of Typhoon season and that, since there have not been any yet, they will get very bad ones in September. I don't know if that is superstition or historical fact. I suppose I will find out!

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