Sunday, August 12, 2007

Taiping Hike

Had a great day on Saturday meeting old friends and new ones. First, Sponge Bear and I beat the rain for a morning hike somewhere east of Taiping on a hiking trail that had neither name nor number, but was still great (Sponge Bear's account). Later, in the evening, I finally got together with indie music expert and technophile Mark Forman, of Getting a Leg Up and Taiwan Composite, who has been on the island for nearly two decades. Talkative, informed, funny, and open, Mark was great fun to share Indian food with. A great day it was....

Sponge Bear and I started out here in Taiping, just south of the traffic circle.

Of course there was a stream nearby, which might have been attractive if some other government had been managing the stream....

And a path that snaked through a myriad of small temples along the ridge, and went up to a large one at the top.

Plenty of lush green vegetation to enjoy.

And few interesting critters as well.

We arrived at the temple at the top of the ridge -- a phrase that describes hiking on almost any Taiwan path.

Once you are out of the city, it's truly The Beautiful Isle.

There were good views of the city and of the surrounding mountains. Here is the Taichung American School, owned by the daughter of Lee Teng-hui.

We mounted the viewing tower to get a better view.

The viewing tower.

A pan of the view from the tower.

A golf club, against the mountain ramparts.

A beautiful statue.

A hiker takes a break.

Back on the trail.

Every few steps there was a small shrine like this one, with a place to rest and take in the forest.

A beetle contests our passage.

A wasp decked out in aboriginal colors makes a nest.

The king of the forest.

More hikers coming up as we descend.

At the end of the trail, women perform construction work on a river bank.

We passed through the market at the base of the trail, then headed to the Ta-Ken Earthquake Park to view a damaged and abandoned school left as a memorial of the quake.

Quiet, seems almost normal for a Saturday morning.

Debris litters the interior of the school.

In any other country, the number of schools destroyed by the quake would have raised issues about contracting, bidding, and construction quality in public construction.


cfimages said...

Nice shots, as always. That school seems a lot more damaged than the one in Changhua that I found.

I'll have to join you for a hike sometime - maybe when the weather cools down as I'm not very good at getting up early to beat the summer heat.

Mark said...

Ah, that's where you were. I was asking people at the TBF if you'd ventured out of "the chungle".

ToddAlperovitz said...

Cathy took a few pictures with her film camera during the aftermath of the 9/21 Earthquake. One school she used to attend was completely leveled.