Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Over hill, over dale
I haven't blogged in a while because, well, I haven't felt like it lately. Part of the reason is due to the effects of a bad cold that I've yet to shake off. But even more so is the personal strain I've been under of late, which combined with my less-than-stellar health condition to make for an especially miserable weekend this past Saturday and Sunday. Which is probably why it was imperative to get out of the apartment this afternoon and do something before my mind snaps. That something was to head for the hills of Dàkēng 大坑 after work. That in itself isn't unusual, for I often go hiking in that area on Tuesday afternoons. What was different about today was the route I took. Instead of the usual ascend-one-trail-descend-another routine, I went out all out this afternoon. Parking my scooter at the trailhead for the No. 2, I walked along the road for about 15 minutes to where the No. 1 Trail starts. Upon climbing the No. 1, I proceeded to walk the entire length of the ridgetop, descending via the No. 4 Trail, from where it was a long walk back to my parked scooter. It took about four hours to do (well, three hours and fifty-five minutes, to be exact), but for those 235 minutes all cares, troubles and worries were forgotten, and everything seemed right with the universe. Part of the reason for doing all this was to get my flabby body into some sort of fighting shape for my trip next month to Hiroshima 広島, where I plan to do some hiking and long-distance cycling. But mostly it was to get away from everybody and everything, and for nearly 4 hours, the mission was accomplished.
Despite the warm, sometimes sunny, weather, views were non-existent as a result of the haze.
Lots of lizards were out and about this afternoon.
Two hikers examine the "Taiwan 5 Leaves Giant Pine" 巨木臺灣五葉松. The man in the white shirt was smoking a cigarette, the second hiker I saw this afternoon enjoying a fine tobacco product. The thinner the air, the smoother the smoke.
Tibetan Buddhist prayer flags, a common sight in Taiwan.
All afternoon I had been wondering if I was going to see any monkeys. As I was reaching the end of the No. 4 Trail, I finally encountered a lone Taiwanese macaque 台灣獼猴. Believe it or not, I thought it was a cat at first. A poodle passing by didn't even notice the presence of the macaque next to the staircase, which just goes to show that as dogs go, poodles are one of the more useless breeds.
Today's route. Next time I may do everything in reverse.