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Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Walking the Houfeng (Houfong) Bikeway 后豊サイクリングコース

Things have warmed up again after last week's cold snap. This, plus the continuing clear weather, and the fact that Amber has resumed her Monday water familiarization classes, led me to get out of the apartment this afternoon and go for a walk before my evening classes. Instead of heading to the familiar trails of Chung-cheng (Jhong-jheng) Park 中正公園, I opted to go for a stroll along the Houfeng Bikeway. Last October, Amber, Pamela and I rented a bicycle (if you could call it that!), and rode the 9-kilometer (5.6-mile) round-trip route in about 90 minutes http://kaminoge.livejournal.com/50023.html. Today, on foot, it took me about 2 hours to go from Fengyuan (Fongyuan) 豊原 to Houli 后里, and back to Fengyuan again. I was surprised at the number of cyclists out on a Monday afternoon, but it felt good to be out in the sunshine.


The start of the route is clearly signposted in English.


The "Iron Bridge Over Da-Jia Greek". I tried to make sense of the English wording on the sign, but you could say it was all Greek to me (rim shot).

Walking through Tunnel No. 9 wasn't as bad as I had expected. The lighting was decent, and I had the foresight to bring a flashlight along. It took about 20 minutes to walk from the tunnel entrance (just past the bridge) to the other end in Houli. Inside the tunnel are several pictures related to the train line that used to operate on this route. A couple of the displays had been taken from Japanese-language publications, and still had the Japanese captions beneath the photographs:

The wording under the photo on the left reads セメント注入の準備(第九號隧道)or "Semento chūnyū no jumbi (Daikyūgō suidō)", which means "Preparation for cement injection (No. 9 Tunnel)", while the Japanese under the picture on the right says 抗門コンクリート施工中の第九號隧道北口 or "Kōmon konkuriito sekōchū no daikyūgō suidō kitaguchi", which can be translated into English as something like "Anti-gate concrete operations being carried out at the north entrance to the No. 9 Tunnel".

Emerging on the Houli side, I walked to the end of the trail. After a fruitless attempt at photographing trains going by on the newer west coast rail line, I retraced my steps back to Fengyuan, passing through the tunnel again, and crossing over the "Da-Jia Greek" via the iron bridge.


A paper mill 製糸工場 in the distant haze.

After returning to my scooter, I headed for home. On the way, I paused to take a couple of pictures of this Taoist temple 道観 called Taming Kung (Daming Gong) 大明宮. The only thing of note about this temple is that my mother-in-law 義理の母 often helps out here on auspicious days.


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