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Sunday, January 14, 2007

Takeng 大坑

Last week, the wife suggested we go for a drive to see the plum blossoms 梅花. Well, come this morning, She Who Must Be Obeyed decided she didn't want to see them after all. So, not wanting to let a nice day go to waste, I headed out to Takeng (Dakeng 大坑). The last time I was there, I climbed up the No. 3 Trail, then came down the No. 4. This time, I decided to do the reverse course.

I left home around noon wearing a sweater and jacket (and got back around 5 wearing the same things), but once on the trail, things quickly warmed up and it wasn't long before I was in short-sleeves. Even though it's only mid-January, the temperature on the mountain was 84 F. Even the bees were already out in force.

Of the four trails leading to the top of the mountain, the No. 4 is the longest, and the most exposed to the elements.

A flag for a group called the "Taichung City Mountain Climbing Environmental Preservation Association". Or something like that:

The view from the top of the ridge, looking down.

A sign informing me that I had come 1600 meters to this point from the start of the No. 4 Trail, or roughly 1 mile.

The view from the highest point on the ridge

Going down the No. 3 Trail, which has more tree cover.

I hope my daughter doesn't get any ideas!:

The road not taken. The white sign pointing down is for a shortcut to the Chung-cheng (Jhong-jheng) Campsite, the start of the No. 4 Trail, and the place where my scooter was parked. I elected to stay on the No. 3, however. The sign in red warns of the dangers that lurk if you stray from the path:

Near the bottom of the trail was this box of emergency medical supplies. It appears to have been donated by the Rotary Club of Machida, Tokyo 東京町田ロータリークラブ (I used to work in Machida 町田に仕事をした). Japan and Taiwan may not have official diplomatic relations, but their rotary club chapters seem to be cooperating:

Finally! On the road walking back to the campground and my scooter.

On the way back to Fengyuan 豊原, I rode by the new Tzu Chi hospital. Tzu Chi is a large Buddhist organization that performs many acts of charity. They also have dogs taken away to be killed:

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