Some of the highlights:
After a drive along the always fresh, clean and scenic mountain road from Fulong to Daxi, we started off on a promising dirt trail. At the end of that trail we hit a duck farm (Derek1978, where were you?) high above the river valley. The local informed us where to beginthe trail down to the river, but warned that we wouldn’t reach the end before nightfall. Well, I’ve never known a local to be right about trails so we ignored him.
The trail down to the river was overgrown, if it really existed. Finally we reached one of the tributaries to the main river.
But then we had a steep decent down to the main river. No trail at all, just sliding and scooting down on butts, holding on to bamboo and saplings. Fun stuff.
The main river was much smaller and shallower than I expected, as you can see here. But it was fresh, sparklingly clear, and not even so much as a thread of garbage the whole way down.
Here’s Chris trying out his new water filter. Seemed to work well. I don’t have the shits at least.
The river was shallow and slippery and none of us had proper shoes that day having expected there to be a trail running beside the river. There was none visible so we ended up walking down the river the whole way. In a few hours we saw one small swimming hole. S4 scrambled down and had a dip in it. Nice spot under a waterfall, but only chest deep.
The spot below was a great slad of smooth rock over which the river flowed in spots. We had a nice break here. Rat and I explored a bit further down and found a few small swimming holes. The river flows into a canyon at this point and it looked promising to explore more but it was getting late and according to the map we had a long way to go still.
I found a trail just above this area with a signpost to Daxi. We took it and it ran alongside the river. A 100 metres or so past the rock area above we saw what we had been looking for all day: a high waterfall with a fantastic deep and wide swimming hole under it. Damn, though, we had no time even to look at it very long, let alone swim.
It got dark unfortunately before we made it back to the road. A little unnerving walkign through overgrown trails in the dark. Brian later said to me that he thought we foreigners were so brave. He was very worried, he said, about snakes. Well, we all were, I told him. At least I was since I was in the lead.
Taiwanese will be Taiwanese:
I was lookign at the map this morning and it seems taking the trail was much slower than river tracing. We did over 2/3 of the main river in 2 hours or so (I’m just taking about being in the river and not the first trailed part or the scramble down). The last 1/3 took 2.5 hours on the trail. That’s too slow.
As we all saw, the road ran along the other side of the river for the last, what?, 30 minutes or more of our hike. This means in the future we could follow that road to the end and start river tracing up to the waterfall and swimming hole. I know I said I didn’t feel it was worth going back, but then realized that even on the trail it was only 2 hours. Two hours to get to a secluded swimming hole like that is worth it. But in the future I would river trace up. With proper shoes it would be a breeze and fairly quick. That trail is too overgrown, and as summer hits us, the livelihood of finding snakes in the grass increases.
Anyway, it was fun overall. I will go back to this place occassionally but just to river trace up to the waterfall for a day of swimming. It’s not rewarding enough to do the whole route like we did yesterday.