While recently getting through Jonathan Manthorpe’s ‘Forbidden Nation: A History of Taiwan’, I came across in the introductory passages a description of the island’s geography:
‘Millennia of torrential rain have done much to shape modern Taiwan. Toward the east the torrents of water have created sharply etched river valleys that rush into the sea. To the west, however, similar rivers have annually deposited masses of eroded tailings from the mountains into the much shallower seas between the island and mainland China. The deposits from these rivers have created a large and fertile plain down the western side of the island.’
Mountains like those in this 2011 picture on the North Peak of Hehuanshan comprise 70% of Taiwan’s land area. That summer, we had hired the 70-year-old Mr Lu to drive us from Cingjing to Hualien. Mr Lu obliged my interest in getting to the top of Hehuanshan en route, a straightforward 4-hour return trip from the mountain road that led on towards Taroko Gorge. I thought he might wait in the car with @weemarrymerry.
Instead, and remarkably, he led the way, and seemed to almost bound up the zigzag ascent. I was hard put to it trying to keep up with him. As I panted heavily at the summit, at 3422m asl, he cheerfully pointed out the names of the surrounding mountains. I fell asleep swiftly once I got back into the car. Mr Lu continued driving as if the mountain he just scaled was nothing more than a mere molehill.
Have a good Semester 2 everybody! Fighting!
#tbt #travel #taiwan #hiking #mountains #hehuanshan #taroko #nationalpark #nature #book #inspiration #life