Taroko Gorge National Park
We took this train to Hualien, rented a car and drove to Taroko Gorge National Park.
(This photo was actually taken before we boarded the train for the trip home. On the day we arrived it was cool and a little rainy.)
The river in the main gorge is pretty grey.
It was foggy on our first day there. We saw lots of tour busses, but not too many cars. The park was only crowded where the busses were.
The first thing we did was stop at this restaurant in the park for lunch.
We parked at a pull-out, where there was one other car, and walked down a short trail to get this picture.
About 10 minutes later when we got back to the car it was pretty well boxed in by more cars and this bus. The bus driver moved the bus when Patrick indicated that he wanted to get out.
This was a very popular trail. We were there along with some 20 bus-loads of tourists. Everyone was given a hard hat. Mine was of course way too big. You can see a part of the trial behind Patrick.
We got a kick out of the many signs in the park. Click on each one above to see the larger version, if they are too small to read.
And here's one more with it's editorial commentary. "What a spectacle except for the dam."
Another view from this hike.
We returned to the car and drove on through the park. As we got higher it got more and more foggy.
Finally we really couldn't see anything at all.
But we stopped and took another short hike.
I wanted to cross a swinging bridge, but this one didn't look safe. There was no one else here and the support at the far end looked quite precarious, so we didn't cross it.
The trail did go under this small tunnel.
Our next day was sunny and warmer.
We had decided to take the Shakadong trail along the Shakadong river, a tributary of the main river. Each one of these lions is different.
To get to the trail we climbed down a stairway at the far end of this bridge. You can see part of the trail on the left.
This shows the trail following the Shakadong river, which was turquoise in color.
The Shakadong, again,
and again. We carried a lunch and ate at one of the rest spots.
One of the unusual plants we saw along the trail.
After returning to the car we drove out to the coast. This is the east coast of Taiwan.
On our third day we took another hike along this trail above the road and gorge.
We passed through this tunnel going out and returning.
I think this is on the way back. The tunnel is unlit and makes a bend in the middle. There was a section in the middle where it was completely dark for about 10 yards until you could see light from the other direction. That was fun.
We had stopped at a Carrefour that morning on our way to the park and bought French bread, ham and grapes for our picnic. The sandwiches jambon were delicious. We ate our picnic on this polished granite table and stools.
We tried to do another hike that afternoon, but it was closed for repairs. So instead we drove up to this temple, which was also closed for renovation.
We stopped back at the visitor center, then drove back to Hualien, returned the rental car and took the train back to Taipei and then Hsinchu.
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