Sorry for my absence, but our picturesque hostel deep in the central mountain range of Taiwan had everything we could have wanted – except reliable wifi. Now that we have settled into Tien Hsiang Youth Activity center I am back in action.
So let’s rewind back to January 5th, our first full day at high elevation.
With a few of us in the grasp of altitude sickness and many others fearing the cold a three hour hike up a mountain of Taiwan’s central range didn’t sound so appealing.
But as our new small vans – nicknamed the sheep – made their way slowly up the mountain ridge and the spectacular views came faster than our cameras could click, the eagerness for Hehuanshan East Peak grew.
photos from our drive from ChingJing Farm to Hehuanshan – the road was just a tad bit scary
We unloaded in a surprisingly busy parking lot where the air was notably thinner and only primitive bathrooms were available. The wind was blowing and many of us had dawned our hats, gloves and windbreakers – we were ready for the hike.
When I think of a hike I picture the rocky, rough trails of the White Mountains back home. So when they said we were going for a hike I wasn’t imagining hundreds of stairs – literally wooden steps – leading up a steep grassy slope.
The wind was fierce but we were all sweating – I kept my gloves on for maybe 10 minutes – as we marched up step after step. I was panting and my quads were burning but the anticipated beauty at the peak kept me going.
And it more than met our expectations.