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Taiwan Pingxi Hiking Climbing

29 March 2017

Three moutain rest day

Yesterday was a big day in the mountains, tomorrow is my last full day here with probably more mountains, so as a rest day, I went and climbed 3 smaller mountains.
The area is called Pingxi, it is easy to get to by subway and bus, and like all Taiwanese towns in the mountains, its 'famous' for its old street. Signs will say 'Famous old street'.
You can actually catch the mountain train line to Pingxi, but it comes from the other side of the island, so you have to catch a train around the top of Taiwan, then transfer and head half way back to Taipei. It doesnt run frequently enough for me to want to do that, but if you were wanting to visit a few towns along the mountain line you can take that train and walk between them. It actually starts from the cat village I went to on my first day here.

My bus was full, I had to stand for the hour journey (in both directions), and it was a rollercoaster ride. If anyone can remember the movie speed, where they all had to move to one side of the bus to prevent it from tipping over going around a corner, thats what I was doing. The tyres were screeching.
I was relieved to get off.

Now the less dangerous part of the day, scaling 3 different peaks using ropes attached by a few old dudes who thought it might be a good idea to install ropes. Alarmingly, I saw lots of old ropes and metal poles that had fallen from the cliffs at various points in time. It was great!
Once again, I highly recommend a trip to Pingxi and climbing the three peaks. If you take it slow, anyone should be able to do it.

And as a sidenote, today is again the day for shops to burn bits of paper in the street and set up a table with fruit on it. This has to stop! The smoke is ridiculous. Ban it! Its not the dark ages anymore, stop burning crap all the time to appease the cloud monsters!

Taiwan-Pingxi-Hiking-Climbing - First, a breakfast update. I was very happy with non western breakfast. Tomorrow is something different again.

First, a breakfast update. I was very happy with non western breakfast. Tomorrow is something different again.


Taiwan-Pingxi-Hiking-Climbing - This is the bus stop at Pingxi, very conveniently it is right next to the trail. There is also a family mart convenience store for drinks.

This is the bus stop at Pingxi, very conveniently it is right next to the trail. There is also a family mart convenience store for drinks.


Taiwan-Pingxi-Hiking-Climbing - I took a quick photo of the streets before setting off, knowing I would have time to explore the city when I came back down.

I took a quick photo of the streets before setting off, knowing I would have time to explore the city when I came back down.


Taiwan-Pingxi-Hiking-Climbing - The very start of the trail is actually marked by a waterfall.

The very start of the trail is actually marked by a waterfall.


Taiwan-Pingxi-Hiking-Climbing - To get to the start of the 3 mountain trail area you walk up a very green valley, which is filled with plastic water pipes like all of Taiwan.

To get to the start of the 3 mountain trail area you walk up a very green valley, which is filled with plastic water pipes like all of Taiwan.


Taiwan-Pingxi-Hiking-Climbing - The valley becomes slippery moss covered steps, possibly the most dangerous part of the journey.

The valley becomes slippery moss covered steps, possibly the most dangerous part of the journey.


Taiwan-Pingxi-Hiking-Climbing - There are lots of mini shrines all around the place here. I could occasionally hear gongs ringing from the nearby temples, sending out the call to sta

There are lots of mini shrines all around the place here. I could occasionally hear gongs ringing from the nearby temples, sending out the call to start burning more rubbish.


Taiwan-Pingxi-Hiking-Climbing - This spot signals the base area of the 3 trails, there were other people around, so if I did plummet off a cliff someone might inform the authorities.

This spot signals the base area of the 3 trails, there were other people around, so if I did plummet off a cliff someone might inform the authorities.


Taiwan-Pingxi-Hiking-Climbing - 2 of the 3 sets of rock stairs appear in this photo, now the fun begins.

2 of the 3 sets of rock stairs appear in this photo, now the fun begins.


Taiwan-Pingxi-Hiking-Climbing - Here is the third set of stairs. Now I had to choose which one first.

Here is the third set of stairs. Now I had to choose which one first.


Taiwan-Pingxi-Hiking-Climbing - Is that really the way to the top? This looks a bit more dangerous than I was expecting.

Is that really the way to the top? This looks a bit more dangerous than I was expecting.


Taiwan-Pingxi-Hiking-Climbing - I paused my ascent to zoom in and photograph the passing train.

I paused my ascent to zoom in and photograph the passing train.


Taiwan-Pingxi-Hiking-Climbing - Luckily the above photo (2 up) was not the way to the top, walking around the bottom of the rock revealed a much safer path.

Luckily the above photo (2 up) was not the way to the top, walking around the bottom of the rock revealed a much safer path.


Taiwan-Pingxi-Hiking-Climbing - The view from the top of the stairs up another of the peaks made me excited.

The view from the top of the stairs up another of the peaks made me excited.


Taiwan-Pingxi-Hiking-Climbing - And there is peak number 3. So much fun to be had.

And there is peak number 3. So much fun to be had.


Taiwan-Pingxi-Hiking-Climbing - Looking back towards Pingxi, which is really just a small village. It seems to exist just for weekend tourists who want to eat a sausage on a stick.

Looking back towards Pingxi, which is really just a small village. It seems to exist just for weekend tourists who want to eat a sausage on a stick.


Taiwan-Pingxi-Hiking-Climbing - I went back to the bottom along a different path, now it was time for the longest set of stairs, which started mossy.

I went back to the bottom along a different path, now it was time for the longest set of stairs, which started mossy.


Taiwan-Pingxi-Hiking-Climbing - From the top, I zoomed in on peak number one which I was just up. There are 2 other guys up there now.

From the top, I zoomed in on peak number one which I was just up. There are 2 other guys up there now.


Taiwan-Pingxi-Hiking-Climbing - And here is the remaining third peak. Time to head down and up again.

And here is the remaining third peak. Time to head down and up again.


Taiwan-Pingxi-Hiking-Climbing - A good spot for one of these.

A good spot for one of these.


Taiwan-Pingxi-Hiking-Climbing - I climbed into a small grotto to show some more religious things that are all over the place here.

I climbed into a small grotto to show some more religious things that are all over the place here.


Taiwan-Pingxi-Hiking-Climbing - They even have little statues at the top, this is the top of peak 3. All peaks now conquered!

They even have little statues at the top, this is the top of peak 3. All peaks now conquered!


Taiwan-Pingxi-Hiking-Climbing - The ridge to the left was the long set of steps up peak 2, I came down that other set of steps in the side which was slightly perilous.

The ridge to the left was the long set of steps up peak 2, I came down that other set of steps in the side which was slightly perilous.


Taiwan-Pingxi-Hiking-Climbing - Lots of mountains. I wonder if you can climb them all? There is very little info on the 3 peaks park available online, just a couple of random blog po

Lots of mountains. I wonder if you can climb them all? There is very little info on the 3 peaks park available online, just a couple of random blog posts. Maybe all of Taiwan is just ladders and steps up mountains. That would be great.


Taiwan-Pingxi-Hiking-Climbing - It was not very far, but it was very hard work. I was feeling sweaty. The other people were taking it really slowly, 5 steps then rest, 5 steps then r

It was not very far, but it was very hard work. I was feeling sweaty. The other people were taking it really slowly, 5 steps then rest, 5 steps then rest. I never rest!
Clean shaven today, the white stuff is sunscreen running off my face. I hate sunscreen. Someone invent a once a year injection to replace sunscreen.


Taiwan-Pingxi-Hiking-Climbing - Now I just had to get back down. You can only do it by going down backwards. Maintain 3 points of contact at all times.

Now I just had to get back down. You can only do it by going down backwards. Maintain 3 points of contact at all times.


Taiwan-Pingxi-Hiking-Climbing - This cat followed me for quite some distance back towards the town. He lives in the temple. A guy with a dog came in the other direction, dog and cat

This cat followed me for quite some distance back towards the town. He lives in the temple.
A guy with a dog came in the other direction, dog and cat passed without even acknowledging each other.


Taiwan-Pingxi-Hiking-Climbing - Here is the historic Pingxi railway station. It looks like an ordinary station, but its historic, signs tell me so.

Here is the historic Pingxi railway station. It looks like an ordinary station, but its historic, signs tell me so.


Taiwan-Pingxi-Hiking-Climbing - The main tourist activity here is lantern making. I think you stick a candle in them and they float into the sky? Then they crash into the forest and

The main tourist activity here is lantern making. I think you stick a candle in them and they float into the sky? Then they crash into the forest and set it on fire.


Taiwan-Pingxi-Hiking-Climbing - Final photo, a view of the old street shopping area. Quiet on a week day, I suspect its very busy on weekends. The train line passes straight over the

Final photo, a view of the old street shopping area. Quiet on a week day, I suspect its very busy on weekends. The train line passes straight over the top, I missed the photo of the train going over because my camera memory card chose the worst possible time to advise me it was full! That never happened before.


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