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Saturday, July 28, 2007

Early Risings 早く起きる

I woke up at the ungodly hour of 4:15 this morning in order to go hiking in Tak'eng (Dakeng) 大坑, and arrived there just after 5. Why? Well, for three reasons:

1) to beat the heat;
2) to see what animals might be up and about;
and 3) to get some hiking done before the trails became too crowded.

On the last point, the early start was a failure. There were only a handful of walkers when I started off for the No. 8 Trail, but by the time I was walking down the No. 6 and then the No. 9 Trails between 6:30-7:00, it was like being on a downtown city sidewalk during the morning rush hour. Imagine hundreds of people out and about, all trying their hardest to shatter what little remained of the morning calm (and succeeding).

Oh, and at 6:18am the karaoke カラオケ singing started.

I don't know why so many Taiwanese feel they have to drown out the sounds of birds singing and insects buzzing. I guess if I ever move into my dream house in the mountains, I can forget about sleeping in.

Despite getting out as the sun was coming up, I still managed to work up a good sweat by 6. The high central mountains prevented any spectacular sunrises from being witnessed, and the weak light meant most of the photos I took in the early hours were too dark and unclear. I did get one decent shot of the early morning sun.


There was plenty of life out and about (at least before the hordes turned up) including earthworms ミミズ, large snails カタツムリ and one long, green snake 蛇. I managed to get these shots of a couple of lizards トカゲ and a spider クモ.

T'aichung (Taijhong) 台中 came into sharper focus as the sun rose higher in the sky.


Will I do this again? There is a cemetery 墓地 in the area that I would like to walk through before the sun comes up. But when it comes to enjoying the solitude that mountains are supposed to provide, it's better to wait until the late morning/early afternoon, when the midday heat has separated the wheat from the chaff.

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