Saturday, October 9, 2010

Chingjing Farm, Hehuanshan, and Taroko

We left our little campsite behind at Sun Moon Lake and drove an hour towards Hehuanshan (3000m mountain).  We stopped about half way up or so and ate some breakfast at Starbucks and visited Chingjing Farm. This farm is a touristy place for people who have never seen sheep, cows, and horses.  It is kind of funny, but the scenery is really nice. And the kids loved feeding the sheep. So it was win win for our family.

Probably this year's Christmas photo...

This guy was so thirsty! Yes this is the place to wash your hands
at the was so funny!
Matthea REALLY loved these guys!
I think I can...I think I can...I think I can became my chant as our little van engine slowly carried us higher and higher up to the peak of Hehuanshan.  Seriously, we almost didn't think it was going to make it...but it never even started to get hot. It's a good little van. It took kindly to the many cars coming down the mountain that did NOT stop to let us pass them, but instead made us stop and have to try to gain momentum once again. Our van has a kind heart like that...unlike the passenger inside (me!)

View from the top of Hehuanshan

Kids didn't even get out of the was too
cold for their liking...
So, the planned hike on the peak was canceled due to unwillingness of the children to exit the van.  I admit, it was quite cold and I just jumped out long enough to take a few shots and then ran back and was ready to get off the mountain.
The ride down was longer than I had expected. We were headed to Tianshiang where Taroko Gorge is, but it seemed like we were NEVER going to get there. The winding road just seemed to keep twisting and turn-piking until we finally got to the construction sites from the major landslides from last year's typhoon. At that point we knew we were close....there were people! We had spotted wild monkeys crossing the road earlier, so it was nice to see some humans. Although the monkeys were a nice surprise to the trip. 
We had originally planned to camp at the gorge, but we just were not certain of the weather. We had heard of this little guest house that was started by some German Protestant Sisters years ago, so we checked it out.

We stayed at the Tianshiang Christian Church
Guesthouse. It was clean, dry, and CHEAP! This
kind lady used to work at the handicap home for
children in she and Matthea got along
really well. She was just sweet and fun to talk with.

View of the pagoda from the church doorway.
Meg posing on the bridge....future model?

On the hanging bridge...Matthea was so excited about this.
Marcus got brave and crossed it twice. I was ok until about
half way across and then got nervous with Matthea. 

At the nine tunnels...but you have to wear helmets now
and you can only go 200m in. Four years ago, we could see
it all and didn't have to wear helmets. That typhoon did
some major damage for sure.

Shakadang Valley...the water was really beautiful,
but we couldn't get in and swim like we were hoping.
More new those rules. NOT!
We drove home after the Shakadang Valley.  We took the coastal road up to YiLan and then went through the 12km tunnel.  About half way through the tunnel, Matthea was upset. She wanted out of the tunnel!  Below are some pics from the coastal was really beautiful!

Yes, the cliffs are that steep and amazing!

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Jenny said...

Clearly I'm a little behind on my reading...the trip looks so fun! Really cool pictures!

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