Very belated Post 2 of the weekend of October 16th. This one happened on that Sunday.
Event: Hiking in Huang Zui Shan Ecologically Protected Area + Geng Zi Pin in Yangmingshan National Park with the Taipei Mountaineering Club. This area is pretty exclusive. The park only allows 500 people in per month and you have to preregister fairly well in advance to secure a pass.
A brief rundown of the day’s activities:
7:27am – Holy Buddha’s Belly! I overslept by forty minutes!
7:30am – Run down 6 flights of stairs
8:10am – Arrive at Jiantan MRT station and buy two rice triangles for lunch, a water bottle, and a can of coffee for now
8:15am – Approach some random Chinese people nervously to ask where the group bound for Yangmingshan Park is, just to be stared at confusedly
8:20am – Realize I went out the wrong exit of the MRT station
8:30am – Meet the group and catch the direct bus to Yangmingshan
9:30am – Arrive Yangmingshan and wait for over a half hour for the rest of our group
10:30am – Start the hike
10:45am – Picture time! Everyone say ‘cheese’ in your native language!
10:50am – Start the stampede through the Ecological Protected Zone. What were we thinking?
11:50am – After traipsing through mud, rocks, and miles of tall grass…
…we arrived to this pretty clearing and took a picture:
12:20pm – Arrive to the top of the mountain and eat lunch.
12:40pm – And we’re off again to search for waterfalls
2:30pm – LOST…like the TV show
2:50pm – Yayyyy waterfall!
3:15pm – Time to go. Next stop: hot springs.
3:30pm – We got lost, but at least there were some pretty houses and farms. Viva civilization!
5:15pm – We found the hot springs after doing this:
Too bad they weren’t the real hot springs…
5:45pm – It’s getting dark and we need a way out.
All in all, after finding the road back to the nearest town, we ended up missing the last bus to Taipei. Found another bus to a yet-to-be-determined location in northern Taiwan. From there, enjoyed a much-needed dinner. Then took a one hour bus to Danshui MRT station and then a one hour MRT ride back home.
10:30pm – Bed has never felt this good.
No doubt, the hike was a trying experience. One I will surely never forget in my lifetime–exhaustion, exasperation, griminess, and hunger are all words that ran through my mind over and over and over once I finally made my way home.
But it was SO worth it.
I made friends…
Saw some nature.
Got some exercise.
If there was one thing I learned from the trip it was to always take small steps (lest you trip over a large rock), though big steps are sometimes necessary so you don’t slip and fall through the mud and get all dirty and gross and caked in muck and get weird stares on the metro and have to run straight to the shower before you track gunk all over the new apartment.