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Taiwan Hualien Hiking Rain Zuocang

12 March 2017

Cloudview

For the last 3 days I have been looking at the mountain towering over the city of Hualien. So today despite it being covered in cloud, I decided to walk to it, climb up it, then walk back to my hotel. Quite the walk.
It is 8km to the start of the trail from my hotel, and 8km back, just a light stroll really. Of course in addition to that you need to actually climb the mountain. Also there was blue sky and sun, it was hot, I had to wear sunscreen, I hate sunscreen, I was sweating as soon as I applied it.

Anyway, they trail up the mountain is well maintained and was quite popular on this Sunday morning. It used to be called the Sakura trail when Japan kept the entire population of Taiwan as prisoners, but it has since been renamed Zuocang trail, or one of 8 variations of Zuocang.
I was very surprised to find 3 large baseball stadiums and many more baseball fields on the edge of town, before heading through an aboriginal theme village and then past very western looking bed and breakfast places.
The trail itself used to be for small mining 4 wheel bike things towing trailers full of rocks.
As usual, there was a great view of the 2 air force bases, I now know theres 2, and whilst my view was obscured, many jets took off, and yet when I could clearly see the runways, no jets came. I think they know when I am watching.

Taiwan-Hualien-Hiking-Rain-Zuocang - Blue sky. I dont think it has rained in town all day, just on the mountain. I had to go under the train tracks to get to my mountain, taking me to the

Blue sky. I dont think it has rained in town all day, just on the mountain. I had to go under the train tracks to get to my mountain, taking me to the wrong side of the tracks.


Taiwan-Hualien-Hiking-Rain-Zuocang - There was a local bird flu market, lacking in birds as they have all been killed off to reduce bird flu to epidemic levels rather than pandemic.

There was a local bird flu market, lacking in birds as they have all been killed off to reduce bird flu to epidemic levels rather than pandemic.


Taiwan-Hualien-Hiking-Rain-Zuocang - So blue. A highway overpass is always a welcome adventure for me to take a photo of one of the 2 starbucks outlets in Hualien. This one is located in

So blue. A highway overpass is always a welcome adventure for me to take a photo of one of the 2 starbucks outlets in Hualien. This one is located in a very strange place, far from any real action.


Taiwan-Hualien-Hiking-Rain-Zuocang - I climbed into one of the 3 baseball stadiums, the main one has a roof. This one is under reconstruction as you can probably see, although with my blu

I climbed into one of the 3 baseball stadiums, the main one has a roof. This one is under reconstruction as you can probably see, although with my blurry photos its possible no one can see anything at all.


Taiwan-Hualien-Hiking-Rain-Zuocang - I made a quick detour to the local mega temple which had about 50 buses parked at it.

I made a quick detour to the local mega temple which had about 50 buses parked at it.


Taiwan-Hualien-Hiking-Rain-Zuocang - Then I found myself at stonehenge. Along here as far as the eye can see is baseball grounds / pitches / mounds / parks. I dont know what you call a pl

Then I found myself at stonehenge. Along here as far as the eye can see is baseball grounds / pitches / mounds / parks. I dont know what you call a place where you play an organised game of baseball.


Taiwan-Hualien-Hiking-Rain-Zuocang - I however, was going to ascend the mountain into the cloud.

I however, was going to ascend the mountain into the cloud.


Taiwan-Hualien-Hiking-Rain-Zuocang - At the start of the trail is what I presume was parking for the mining equipment. Long since abandoned.

At the start of the trail is what I presume was parking for the mining equipment. Long since abandoned.


Taiwan-Hualien-Hiking-Rain-Zuocang - I thought the birds in the trees sounded quite large. Turns out there were monkeys, lots and lots of monkeys.

I thought the birds in the trees sounded quite large. Turns out there were monkeys, lots and lots of monkeys.


Taiwan-Hualien-Hiking-Rain-Zuocang - Some view from the lowest viewing place.

Some view from the lowest viewing place.


Taiwan-Hualien-Hiking-Rain-Zuocang - A bit more view from a higher viewing place. I dont know why I didnt take a better photo of the 2 runways. They are joined together by a very long tax

A bit more view from a higher viewing place. I dont know why I didnt take a better photo of the 2 runways. They are joined together by a very long taxiway that cuts through the middle of the city.
If you open the full size photo here you can see the start of the closer runway in between the wooden slats, and the long taxiway to the other runway from the left side of the photo.
Thats a long explanation about the layout of an airport.


Taiwan-Hualien-Hiking-Rain-Zuocang - Going into cloud now, no more view!

Going into cloud now, no more view!


Taiwan-Hualien-Hiking-Rain-Zuocang - The view from the top, definitely in cloud now.

The view from the top, definitely in cloud now.


Taiwan-Hualien-Hiking-Rain-Zuocang - There are some cherry blossom trees at the top to remind everyone about the former Japanese name of the trail.

There are some cherry blossom trees at the top to remind everyone about the former Japanese name of the trail.


Taiwan-Hualien-Hiking-Rain-Zuocang - RETURN OF THE COAT. That reminds me I need to take it out of its plastic bag and dry it.

RETURN OF THE COAT. That reminds me I need to take it out of its plastic bag and dry it.


Taiwan-Hualien-Hiking-Rain-Zuocang - I am very happy with my new boots. Feet have remained dry at all times. Good boots are the most important thing. I did read a translated web page abou

I am very happy with my new boots. Feet have remained dry at all times. Good boots are the most important thing.
I did read a translated web page about people who tried to cut a path over the back of this mountain getting badly attacked by leeches, and the sharp leaves of a plant giving them leg infections. Probably a good idea to stick to the path.


Taiwan-Hualien-Hiking-Rain-Zuocang - Back down and here is a bonsai farm.

Back down and here is a bonsai farm.


Taiwan-Hualien-Hiking-Rain-Zuocang - And just one of the many bed and breakfast places. Quite a few had signs written in German.

And just one of the many bed and breakfast places. Quite a few had signs written in German.


Taiwan-Hualien-Hiking-Rain-Zuocang - I was starving by now, 30k steps without a break, so I stopped for a bread and butter caramel muffin bake thing. Yes more cake. I always put on weight

I was starving by now, 30k steps without a break, so I stopped for a bread and butter caramel muffin bake thing. Yes more cake. I always put on weight on holidays despite walking 30km a day minimum, much of it up mountains!


Taiwan-Hualien-Hiking-Rain-Zuocang - There are a lot of people upset that the Taiwan tourism board slogan this year is Taiwan - touch your heart. With good reason I guess, it kind of mean

There are a lot of people upset that the Taiwan tourism board slogan this year is Taiwan - touch your heart. With good reason I guess, it kind of means Taiwan - very sad.
However this is nothing compared to my old home state of South Australia, where after a year of committee deliberations, they came up with, SA - Going all the way!


Taiwan-Hualien-Hiking-Rain-Zuocang - I had to stop and buy some more tape for my toes, preventative paper tape I appply daily. So I went into a mega chemist, this one is multi level and h

I had to stop and buy some more tape for my toes, preventative paper tape I appply daily. So I went into a mega chemist, this one is multi level and has a huge section dedicated to junk food.
Presumably this helps them make people need more medicines.


Taiwan-Hualien-Hiking-Rain-Zuocang - Google Analytics tells me people prefer photos of junk food to mountains, so heres another.

Google Analytics tells me people prefer photos of junk food to mountains, so heres another.


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