Monday, April 02, 2007

Hiking in Fengyuan

Flowers from my wife's garden.

On Saturday I drove over to Fengyuan to meet Jim from the blog Sponge Bear (his account of the hike) and enjoy some of the trails around Fengyuan. We met at Chung Cheng Park, another on of the many places in Taiwan whose name commemorates the dictator Chiang Kai-shek. It was a gorgeous day, but the omnipresent haze destroyed many of my pictures.

The time to sweep the tombs is upon us, and in many places traffic volunteers manned corners, due to the increased traffic flow from Tomb Sweepers.

People were out sweeping their ancestors' tombs in full force, meaning that cars were parked everywhere along fields and hillsides.

A fire truck in Fengyuan. With so many people lighting fires in fields full of dry brush, the fireman have a busy few weeks.

Selling ghost money for burning at grave sites.

Many a tomb is hidden in groves of trees or along hillsides.

Tombs are cleared and the brush burned.

The result is hillsides that look like they suffered sustained bombing.

Families clear tombs.

Fields line the road to Fengyuan.

As if unable to believe the level of control exerted over the once wild river, a man studies the water.

One of Taiwan's more puzzling features: buildings so thin they look like one good wind would bring them down.

You sit first. No, you. Come, Dad. No one can sit until you sit!

In Fengyuan a small local park was filled with music and speakers on a stage.

Chung Cheng Park.

The marker commemorating the earthquake outside the park.

Singing inside the park. It's always the right time and place for karaoke in Taiwan.

A little pavilion across from Chung Cheng Park.

The path up took us through the small factory and creek country so common in hillside communities.

Well met along the path.

Hiking through quiet little communities.

The path.

A temple peeks out through the jungle.

The trail.

Tea and announcements.

From any of the paths in the mountains there are great views over Fengyuan and Taichung.

A beetle.

The path.

Someone had hung a clock along the trail.

Flowers on the hike.

A little shrine with a prominently displayed clock.

A shot of the Sinon Bulls dorm and nearby buildings. In a moment we would hop on our scooters to take a look.

Another Jimposing view.

We saw graffiti like this in many places.

A stairway to nowhere by a factory.

Descending into Fengyuan.

A pleasant, tree-lined walk.

This little fellow stopped on a leaf to say good-bye as we debouched from the mountain.

That graffiti was everywhere.

We walked back to the park along a typical winding Taiwan road.

The road back to the park. The round structures are those of a Buddhist convent.

After we went hiking we hopped on our motorcycles to visit this abandoned house, which seemed to be mostly wood, and looked like someone had put a lot of money into it. Yet according to Jim, it had been abandoned since 2002. Why?

After looking at the house Jim took me on a tour of the local ridges. Here Jim pauses in front of the Sinon Bulls Baseball team dormitory on a hill outside Fengyuan.

This tiny park, near the dormitory, offered fantastic views.

The views to the west, over Fengyuan toward the ocean, were magnificent. Too bad it was so hazy.

Highway 4 slants toward the west and the port of Chingshui.

An apartment complex.

The railroad line.

Jim espied this little fellow taking a drink while we photographed the scenic views over the city.

A close up of some of the views over Fengyuan.

Another shot of Fengyuan town from the ridges.

A lane goes over the ridgeline.

The Fengyuan Martyrs Shrine?

When we crossed over the ridgeline, the mountains and Dongshih could be seen to the east.

Many were out walking in the excellent weather that day.

An orchard.

Enjoying motorcycling along the ridges around Fengyuan.

Your trusty writer.

The ridges were occupied by orchards, betel nut trees, and large farmhouses.

One of the many orchards lining the pleasant winding roads.

A leisure farm along the road.

Filling the motorcycle back in Fengyuan.

After hiking and riding, we went out for lunch. Stopped by at 85C for coffee. I noticed that if you want a straw for your cold drink, forget it. But they do have suckers for non-hot drinks.

Back home, my wife pointed out that her pink and pink &white flowers had hybridized. Neatly, half and half.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the great shots and amusing commentary re Fengyuan... I used to live there for over ten years and went for my walk up that path about 3 times a week. I regret leaving without taking many photos there, so it was wonderful to see yours... I'm going to save them and print some out.
Thanks again
Rob L