Right, then, let’s make the May 19 hike a pleasant stroll along the first section of the Honghegu-to-Manyueyuan (紅河谷-滿月圓) trail, beside the Jiajiuliao Creek (加九寮溪), with lunch at the waterfall pool. Where we go and what we do after that can be decided according to what people are up for, how the weather is, and so on - there are plenty of good options, including the possibility of walking into Wulai township along the trail beside the Nanshi River (南勢溪).
I think this is ideal for bringing the Hiking Club out of its winter dormancy and welcoming several newcomers to the fold. It’s easily doable by anyone with a pair of fairly well functioning legs, but it also offers a decent workout to the seriously fit. It’s out in the wilds, in completely natural, unspoilt and beautiful surroundings, but surprisingly close to the city and very easy to get to. And it offers great flexibility, depending on how the weather turns out: If it’s rainy, we can stick mainly to the trail, and explore further up than we’ve gone before; but if it’s gloriously sunny and hot, we can spend more time on the creek, perhaps do a bit of river-tracing, swim in at least a couple of pools, and even do some water-sliding.
Though I usually like to meet as early as possible for these hikes, we’d better make it a somewhat later start so it’s not too taxing for those coming from out of town or who may be feeling jet-lagged after just flying into Taiwan. Therefore, let’s provisionally set the rendezvous time as 9:00am at Sindian (新店) MRT Station. Depending on our mode of transport, we should be able to get on the trail by 10 o’clock, which will be perfect.
As far as transport is concerned, we’ll have to wait and see exactly who is coming and what sort of wheels we have available before we finalize that. I have a car that can carry three large or one large and three small people, or I may take my scooter if those seats are not needed. If it turns out that we don’t have sufficient transport of our own, it won’t be a problem at all, since there’s an excellent bus service that will get us from the MRT station to within about 1 km of the trailhead.
Everyone will need to bring their own lunch and sufficient water, and if you have non-slip shoes, bring them along in case we do do a bit of very gentle but hugely enjoyable river-tracing. If you don’t already have any non-slip shoes, you can buy a pair for as little as NT$250~300 at any outdoor or fishing gear store - I always ask for 防滑鞋 , and the storekeeper knows exactly what I want. Even if the weather turns out to be unsuitable for any kind of rock-hopping or river-tracing, and we don’t need to use the non-slip shoes at all, we’ll certainly be doing some river-tracing trips this summer when they’ll be absolutely essential, so it’s well worth getting a pair if you’re interested in that.
Welcome everyone to join this hike - we’ll surely have a bloody good time!