… cliff hanger. That is funny, because in Taroko there are a lot of cliffs to hang from.
However, we had been in the mountains on Saturday, my urge as an Austrian to experience hiking was still not fully pleased. As promised, Part II will be a firework of adventures, photos and marvelling in the famous gorge of Taroko National Park.
On Sunday, the weather forecast was a bit better than the day before, so 81,25% of our group decided to give the national park another try. And we all had been glad, to choose hiking again. Sure some clothes were still wet, but our nosiness about the true beauty of this gorge let us forget nearly all worries. So once again, we headed to the National Park entrance to discuss our Hiking-To-Do-List.
First, we drove through all of the mountainous mountain road through the gorgeous gorge to the last scenic spot to see before the road blockage, which had been set up due to the devastation caused by the tropical storms. The massive massif ascending from the swath that the river had cut into the landmark. While inclining into to higher heights of up to 2000 meters, the peaks of the mountains vanished in the foggy clouds. Every 500 meter we crossed a waterfall created by yesterday’s rain, splashing on the road. It was really astounding.
Xiao Zhuilu Trail was our first path to walk. It was originally built as a secret path for the Japanese local police to observe the activities of the local Taiwanese tribes. Decades later it forms a pathway to explore the beauty of the National Park. We entered the trail via a forest path leading over a “dangerous” suspension bridge. The path itself was not hard to bear at all, but the beauty of nature had been smacked in our faces.
Our next stop had been a pedant bridge. Other than the one we encountered before, this suspension bridge was really impressive. As we stepped on it, we felt the fluctuation. When you are on a slightly swinging bridge 35 meters above a torrential river you start to respect life. So we praised the gift nature and did like 100 selfies with the same pose.
Overwhelmed by the gorgeous beauty of the gorge, we further stopped at the Cihmu Bridge. The bridge itself is made out of marble, the number one resource here in Taroko. Looking down the bridge we saw the massive marble stones carved and formed by the Liwu River; looking up we experienced the beautiful mountain range (and started to philosophise about our small role in the history of existence).
The next spot we visited had been the Swallow Grotto. The cave like cavities in this part of the gorge inhabit a lot of swallows in the warmer months – therefore the name. Our group visited the best spots for photos, but hadn’t been able to see the little birds. So we drove off, heading to Hualien again to internalise the memories of the awesome places we saw in the Taroko National Park …
… while eating Hot Pot! It was delicious as always – because Hot Pot could not be bad. For all of you who are not familiar with the concept of hot pot, the eating process basically works as following. You have a pot, which is hot. In this pot filled with soup you cook your food such as in a fondue, and it is awesome.
After eating we set again at one of our hostels to chill out and in my case, get pretty wasted. Day 3, as promised, could be described as a firework awesome set pieces. When I try to remember the day, my mind gets abstract such as Jens Jacobfeuerborn’s “Farbe sucht sich Ihren Weg” (2009), due to the overload of stuff I saw. (Or because of the beer I had definitely too much of)
Hey, dear readers, one more part to go in this series. To give you a teaser, it is about our way home, where we had a relaxing bath; A battle against nature, which we won by 5 centimeters; A monkey; And the formation of a new society; So stay tuned for PART 3!
Am dritten Tag unserer Taroko Reise erkundeten wir den National Park erneut, diesmal mit mehr Glück bezüglich Wetter. Wir sahen wundervolle Schluchten, Hängebrücken, Wasserfälle und die gesamte Schönheit der Natur. Unser Wandertag war echt erlebenswert!