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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Hsint'ien (Sintian) 新田

Another free Tuesday morning, another walk in the mountains. Today it was back to the Hsintien area, where I started off by basically retracing the route I took with Michael Turton this past Saturday. The weather this morning kept up the recent streak of pleasantly warm temperatures and blue, cloudless skies.

The difference between today and Saturday was that at the point where Michael and I finished our descent and walked back to the parking lot, I crossed the road, where a set of wooden stairs led up into the hills, and began a new ascent. These steps led to a pavilion at the top, whereupon a dirt trail branched off from the paved footpath. Taking this branch led to a ridgetop trail that offered up great views of the valley down below. The scenery on the other side, looking towards Taiwan's Central Mountain range, was also good, but somewhat obscured by the morning haze and sunshine. Beyond a pink marker left by a local hiking group, the path rapidly deteriorated, becoming progressively overgrown and harder to navigate, until it finally petered out in a fruit orchard.

I wrapped up the hike by backtracking to the aforementioned pavilion, following the route down to the road, past some nice traditional architecture, and back to the parking lot where I started 2 1/2 hours and 9800 steps ago.

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