Sunday, July 7, 2013

Lyuchui Trail

Another hiking day! And another day of wearing those funky helmets! (Actually the helmets aren't too bad, just they get hot after a while). But this time, the caves we went in were only accessible for hikers, so no car lights to help guide your path! I didn't bring a flashlight with me on this trip so I huddled around some group members in order to least where I was stepping. Many times it was hard for my eyes to adjust, so I would be just walking completely blind. Weird feeling for sure!

About halfway through we came upon a long swinging bridge that crossed over a beautiful gorge. there was a sign that said it could only hold 10 people and their weight, so initially a lot of people were even scared to cross it! But it was so fun! Of course many of us tested out the bridge, and made the bridge swing and bounce a little bit. But it was absolutely beautiful! There were two waterfalls behind the bridge one closer, and the other up higher on the mountainside. On the way back over the bridge, I was Jenny's personal stress ball, as she held on for dear life onto my arm.

 At the end of the trail, around 2 km, we came upon the Cave of Water Curtain (水簾洞). There was a small cave opening where a small pool of water seemed to come spewing out of the cave's mouth. I was so excited to go in! Many of us were unprepared for the water so we had to take our shoes off (and I guess shirts for Richard) to get into the cave. I didn't want to bring my camera (afraid of it getting wet) so, sorry I didn't take pictures, which now I'm regretting because it was so unique inside! The water was freezing (well compared to the outside temperature), but we braved the cold water and our limited sight, and headed inside. It was initially really dark, but after a few minutes by eyes adjusted and I could finally see the awesomeness inside! The Water Curtain cave did not disappoint. Sure enough, water was exploding all around us, coming from the walls an ceiling! It was so fun to stand beneath the water columns, coming from who knows where, and just feel the water's weight on your shoulders. I was all drenched when I came back out of the cave! Haha, but we had fun taking photos and playing with the 'waterfalls' inside (btw Randy, if you are reading this, post those pics!!:) )

Throughout the trail, we saw a lot of people walking their small dogs. Here in Taiwan, owners don't really use leashes all that often, but surprisingly the dogs are all really well behaved! I don't know what the dogs are drinking here, but we need to send it to the States (especially for my dogs.. those rascals, but I miss them:) ) Jess and I are naturally really fast walkers so we pulled from the pack, and chatted about our involvement with Navs back home, and just other stories. It was fun chattin' but we both realized that either of us didn't have any flashlight, so our trips through the various tunnel caves were very spooky. Both of us couldn't see anything (without the flashlight aid from our other friends) so we were literally walking in darkest. Kinda fun though..

After our outdoorsy fun, we needed to head up the mountain to reach where we were staying for the night. It was a really long bus journey as we drove up the steep ascent, with the windy, twisty roads (some felt a little nauseous...). But we made a quick pit stop to Bilu Sacred Tree. Eventually we drove higher and higher until we got to Hehuanshan Station, then to our final destination: Meifeng Farm (which was located at around 2700 meters above sea level).
We are having to get up early tomorrow, so I'm going to sign off a little early!

into the caves we go!

we found some bats!

on the bridge, I didn't notice that there were actually 2 waterfalls until after I looked through my pictures haha

Steven has graciously offered to carry all of our helmets the rest of the way back

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