Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Dadongshan Moutain

When we got up in the morning, the weather looked ominous, dense fog and drizzle. Our destination for today was Dadongshan Mountain (at 1976m, only the 60th highest peak on the island); 4km on the road to trail head, 5km loop up and down the moutain, elavation gain 600m. We decided to press ahead with our full foul weather gear packed.

After a hearty Chinese breakfast, we purchased our lunch at the 7-Eleven. Ten yards later we spotted a dog looking like as if he was coming with us. Could it be?!

As soon as we got above the village, we got a glimpse of the "sea of clouds" that is pervasive in Alishan. It was easy enough to follow the paths and roads to the trail head; and from there, the trail is very well signed. Thirty minutes later we arrived at the turnoff to the "moon cove," a highlight, to find the trail closed, probably due to a landslide. At this point, the rain also seemed to have picked up. With our dog faithfully at our side, we started to ascend steadily in the cloud.

As expected our summit was in the same cloud, but there was a huge covered pavilion and platform. We decided to wait a while and put on all our gear to keep warm. After about half an hour, the rain started again after almost subsiding. I was cold and despondent. We gave up waiting and started to descend, with our dog in tow.

Twenty minutes later, through a clearing, as if a mirage, we had a glimpse of "sea of clouds" complete with islands! Feeling delirious, we started up run back up to summit. A minute later, reality hit -- it is a lot of work going uphill, besides, the higher elavations still looked to be in the clouds. We returned to the clearing to stare at the view some more. At this point we noticed that our dog was gone. He must have thought that our senses had left us when we went back uphill and abandoned us. We descended the rest of the way in mostly clouds, mists and rain.

When we got back to the village, I spotted our dog chained up and passed out. I asked the man splitting bamboo nearby. Yes, it is his dog. The dog's name is Fencihu, and he routinely guides visitors on walks. How did he know we were going for a walk? Or was he simply following our 7-Eleven purchases. I will never figure out those dogs.

Our hearty "included" Chinese breakfast at the Fenqihu Hotel.
Vegetarian Breakfast - Fenqihu Hotel - Fenqihu, Taiwan

Our dog for the day.
Our Dog for the Day - Dadongshan Trail - Fenqihu, Taiwan

First view of the "sea of clouds" from just above Fenqihu. Railway station at right.
Fenqihu, Taiwan

A despondent Sun-Ling as we start the rainy descent from Dadongshan summit.
Dadongshan Summit - Fenqhu, Taiwan

Sea of clouds with islands.
View from Dadongshan Trail - Fenqihu, Taiwan

And one of the many poinsettias growing wild around Fenqihu.
Poinsettia -  Fenqihu, Taiwan

The map with Fenqihu at left and Dadongshan at right.
Map -  Dadongshan Trail - Fenqihu, Taiwan

1 comment:

Cathy said...

Roxy will be jealous of that dog-she loves Johnny!