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Sunday, August 12, 2007

Tak'eng (Dakeng) 大坑

Good timing this morning. Despite threatening skies, I went ahead and met Michael around 7:45 to do some hiking. Due to a typhoon that had skirted the east coast of Taiwan, we caught only a glimpse of the sun today. There were the occasional drops, but the rain for the most part refrained from falling until I was on my way back home.

Our destination were some hiking trails in the hills behind the Kuanyin (Guanyin) Temple 観音寺 that overlooks Chungt'ai (Jhongtai) University 中台大学. The rain and accompanying winds ensured both the air and the views were very clear.

We didn't see too many insects during our walk, but those we did encounter were very cooperative when it came to having their pictures taken.

At the end of the path, we had an unobstructed view of the mountain that contains the Nos. 1-5 hiking trails.

It was all downhill from there, as we walked down a narrow road back to the parking lot where we had parked our scooters. On the way back, we passed through a farmer's market.

After hiking, we stopped off to look at what's left of the Chunkung (Jungong) Elementary School 軍功小学校. The school was badly damaged in the Sept. 21, 1999 Great Chichi (Jiji) Earthquake 集集大地震, and has been preserved as a memorial. Publicly-constructed buildings such as schools fared worse than privately-built structures in the quake, which doesn't inspire confidence in the government's contract-awarding system. It was a good thing the earthquake struck in the early morning hours, or the death toll among students might have been very high.

I'd write more, but it's getting late and I want to watch "Letters from Iwo Jima" 硫黄島からの手紙.

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