Friday, January 20, 2012

Wonderful Taroko

Taroko being a top destination for Taiwan, I could not help but have certain expectations. It delivered. We put off coming a day because of an unfavorable weather forecast. However, the first day was completely clear, our only clear day in Taiwan. The second was only a little bit cloudy.

Due to landslides a few of the trails were closed. Considering the park charges no admission, I really could not fault them for not fixing their trails faster. Given the special geological formation of the hills and unstable earth they are perched on, the park has an uphill battle. In fact, John and I each felt an earthquake while in Taroko (John: 3.6 same county, me: 3.7 same township). Since it is only 3.6, John cannot not really cross earthquake off his bucket list.

The first day we wanted to do a long hike. Since the Baiyang Waterfall Trail was completely closed, we picked the Wenshan-Lushui trail which required a permit. We started our day at the park police getting a permit which is a first for us. The trail turned out to be very technical. For the first three hours we were scrambling up and down rocky paths and rocks. We averaged one kilometer an hour, another first for us. After about one kilometer of relative flat, the last kilometer was straight down with a many steps. We wanted to hike, we had it. Our trail connected with the Lushui-Heliu trail which was very scenic along the rock face by the river.

The second day we took buses to see some of the highlights of the park. We found the new services by Taiwan Tourist Shuttle Bus really allowed us to be based inside the park and visit the different sites effectively. The park has some sites!

Sun-Ling on the Wenshan-Lushui Trail.
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Taroko Gorge from Wenshan-Lushui Trail. That's our hotel at very bottom of the shot.
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Resting on the 3rd suspension bridge of the day.
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John on the Lushui Trail.
- Taroko Gorge, Taiwan

View of gorge from Eternal Spring Pavilion.
- Taroko Gorge, Taiwan

The clear blue waters of Shakadang Creek.
Shakadang - Taroko Gorge, Taiwan

The road through Swallow Grotto.
Swallow Grotto - Taroko Gorge, Taiwan

Swallow Grotto.
Swallow Grotto - Taroko Gorge, Taiwan

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