Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Coastal Road and Yuli

The guidebook suggested doing the trip down highway 11 from Hualien to Taitung but the only places to stay were campgrounds so I would only be seeing the coast from the bus. It was a rainy day but the pacific was pretty to look at from the bus. I think it may have been the weather more than anything but the view of waves breaking off shore reminded me of a day I spent driving around the Dingle Peninsula in Ireland. I only took a couple of pictures but here is one from when the bus stopped at the monument for the tropic of cancer.

From Taitung I went to Yuli by train. I arrived in Taitung and thought the bus dropped me off at the train station. Even though I could see the tracks and thought this was the station I could not find a schedule or a place to buy a ticket so went into the tourist information office. The tourist information office told me this was the old train station and I need to get to the new train station. I ask how far it was away and they told me I would need to take a taxi for about 200 Taiwan Dollars. They seemed to notice I did not really want to spend 200 dollars so suggested the bus and they would take me to where I needed to catch the bus. Standing in front of the tourist office 2 of the people were talking about the train time to Yuli when they saw the bus leaving to go to the train station. The girl from the office ran screaming and waving her arms to get the bus to stop and wait for me. The bus trip was only 22 Dollars and I was really surprise how nice the tourist information office was.

The train ride to Yuli was also a pretty ride with very green rice fields on both sides with mountains behind the fields. I found a hotel in Yuli and ask about getting to the Walami trail. They said there was no public transport and suggested a taxi or a motorcycle. They helped me the following morning with renting a motorcycle for the day. I ended up making the guy that spoke English late for work waiting for me to help me rent the motorcycle so he rushed off after I was set. I went back to the hotel to pick up my guidebook and the people at the hotel were really concerned about me. I did not understand what they were saying so they called the guy that spoke English and he told me I would not be able to get any food or water in the park so make sure I take some. I am always just so surprised how nice people can be.

I found the Nanan entrance to Yushan National Park and stopped by the visitor’s center to see if I had to pay an entrance fee. I was told no money and given a map of this part of the park. Taiwan is the most expensive country that I have been to on this trip but so far about everything that I have seen has been free.

I rode on up the road to a waterfall and stopped and enjoyed the view while eating something I had brought with me from the town for breakfast. Here is a shot of the waterfall.

I rode the motorbike to the end of the road and the start of the Walami trail. I walked the trail from the start to Chiasin which is as far as you are suppose to walk without a permit. It is about 5K to Chiasin on the map which was spelled Jiasin on the sign when I got there. The different spellings confused me a bit.

Along the trial there were great view out over the valley below.

The trail also had a couple of waterfalls and a couple very high suspension bridges. This walk is not for someone that has a fear of heights. The trail is cut into the side of the cliff at the top of this picture.

Like my walk a few days ago at Liyu Lake I really enjoyed watching the butterflies while walking the trail I tried a number of times to take pictures but getting a good picture of a butterfly is not as simple as it sounds. I got a couple of OK ones of this butterfly.

I was almost to Chiasan when I heard a noise in the woods that I thought was a bird. I stopped and looked to see if I could see the bird when I saw some movement in the trees. It turns out the noise I heard was a monkey and there were a number of monkeys in the trees close to the trail. On my way back down the hill I saw monkeys 3 times. They are Macaque monkeys which are the same type I saw in Thailand but it is so much more of a thrill to see them in the forest and not in a place where they have lost their natural fear of humans.

After the trial I just rode around some looking at the countryside.

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