Nice pics there and those waterfalls on the Walami trail are worth the hike, but still in this summer weather it must surely be too hot to stay in those campsites at what must be sea level?
As a kind of example of the opposite side of the scale to road-based camping, I’ll describe a route I did about a month ago from Jiaoxi (in Yilan County) to Shuangxi (in Taipei County). The hike began on a back road directly behind town and that led on to the Paoma Historic trail which enters a steep-sided valley before meeting a road that joins the Bei-I hwy near the highpoint. The path was well-maintained and had some sign boards with botanical information in Chinese and English. Like a lot of the trails in the National Forest Parks, it was quite short and with a gravel covered path that is good for getting blisters. The views back to the coast were fine on this sunny clear day. Due to the excellent forecast, I hadn’t taken my tent but took a thermarest, sarong and mosquito net as my bivouac set up.I’ll do that only when the forecast is sunny and i want to save weight because it’s too hot to carry a big pack or I’m on a trail where i know there is a hut or I’m on a rough trail which at least has some clearings. Depending how well I know the route, I’ll also be carrrying a fair amount of water for the dry stretches or in anticipation of a dry ridge camp.
At the high point of the Bei-I hwy there were some vendors, and some soup and sausage went down very well. One of the benefits of hiking is eating stuff that i wouldn’t normally choose when in town. Although if anyone wants to set up a calzone van on some mountain road, I’ll be there! After that pit stop, I carried on for a few hundred yards and turned right on to a side road that goes about 10 km up to a peak where there is a radar station looking down on TouCheng. Rounding a corner, I saw a barking deer grazing by the roadside. A quick mutual stare and it bounded off into some saw grass and down to a creek. No bark screech like they do when they are further away! About a mile before the station there is a small bunch of tags going down, across a gulley and up to the route called the Bei-I GuDao.The path contours around the radar base mountain before following the ridge proper. On the right far far below is the last village at the end of a road - Wantan. From there it is possible to walk the Wantan stream valley trail that goes down and joins the Beishih at Jiang Jia Chuang. On the left was a sweeping view down the side valley that comes out on the Bei-I Hwy about 7kms up from Pinglin. Up ahead the ridge path joins up with the path system on the BeiShih River side of the ridge- the most famous trail over there is the Ghost Village path.
I set up camp at a clearing on the ridge. I strung up my rope between two trees and hung the net from that. I hung up my sweaty clothes on various branches to dry off in the breeze that after dark blew through the pass. I wore my spare shirt and lay down under the net with the sarong covering me after dinner. I couldn’t sleep for a while because a barking deer was making a racket, so I got up and did a night patrol looking at moths with my flashlight.
It was actually quite cool at an elevation of 800 meters, so I felt quite refreshed the next day when I got up and got an early start going down and joining the ghost path down to its end at a solitary farm where I bought some baochong tea and had a hearty breakfast. The last time I’d been here a few years previously, I saw the elderly owner curled up on the drive and believing him to be dead was about to give him a kick when I noticed his chest rising, so I passed on. We had a laugh about that over breakfast and a refreshing draft of cold tea, then I went on down the road quite a few kilometers to the campsite at Jiang Jia Chuang.
Crossing the river, I now went up the main branch of the BeiShih River where there is a path going along its side for several kilometers. It was a bit hotter here, so I was glad my load was light. After reaching the road head, I turned off on another farm road and after a complicated series of trail junctions through rough country came out at the back end of the valley from ShuangXi where I took a minibus to the train statin. I was looking and smelling pretty rough, so I cleaned up and bought a T-shirt at the 7-11, so I could be admitted on to the train.
That’s the kind of camping I do.