Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Cycle Mountain, Cycle Sea - Part V

Friday was mostly work, though there was some play. As we got higher and higher, it got cooler, and then cold. Really cold.

Near 2000 meters, the betel palms started to give way to more and more tea fields and natural forest.

Finally in the early afternoon, we got to ALiShan. ALiShan is famous for it's huge old trees that the Japanese didn't quite get to cutting down. Some of these cypress trees are thousands of years old. Nice.

Mist engulfed Alishan in the late afternoon both times I have visited. It's a beautiful and mystical place.

They've built these great elevated walkways through a couple of the groves with the oldest and biggest trees.

From here we made for YuShan, because accommodation is crazy expensive in Alishan. It was 20 km up to the top of the road where another ShanZhuang awaited. We got there, just before dark. The aboriginal owners were really good to us, likely because they thought we were very stupid to be up on the mountain with no reservations, no food, and no parkas. We had already resigned ourselves to the fact that we would be dining on pao mien, but the owners managed to fit us in for dinner with a huge group of very nice Taiwanese tourists. They were really really nice. They prayed before eating dinner, which is one of the most strange and unexpected things I have ever seen in Taiwan (second only to strippers at temple dedications). Turns out they were all Jehovah's Witnesses. Very strange indeed. Fortunatley, no copies of the watchtower changed hands, and fine hot dinner was enjoyed by all.

1 comment:

marcandorkylie said...

Alishan looks amazing! I am officially jealous. Kylie and I get to go to Victoria this weekend, but for a conference, so there will be very little in the way of mystical tree meditation.
How is your seat working out?
marc