What's normally a small stream flowing lazily through an otherwise dry river bed has swelled with the rains of the latest typhoon to a wide, swift flowing river. Just a few meters from where I'm standing there's a kind of wier, consisting of a series of large concrete blocks, stretching across the river. Normally you'd be able to get across to the other side by jumping from block to block but today that's not possible. The entire wier has been turned into a waterfall, the concrete blocks engulfed in muddy brown water. Just below it, there's a massive standing wave, the water curling in on itself as it flows across the stones and concrete. A loud booming fills the air of this otherwise peaceful river valley. That even a relatively small typhoon can transform a river this much is a stark reminder of the truly awesome power of nature.
During the last several months I have gone on a number of outings, sometimes with my family, sometimes on my own, that for some reason or other have not been worth making separate posts about. In some cases it’s because I’ve already written about the place and I didn’t feel the need to add another post. In other cases it’s because there wasn’t enough interesting aspects to write a full post about. Whatever the reason, I’ve ended up with a bunch of photos that I would like to upload somewhere, but they don’t really fit on the blog. To remedy … Read the rest
Before becoming a parent I thought having a small child would mean being stuck at home most of the time. Recently I’ve found more and more that while there are some limitations, it is possible to go out and do fun things. Granted you have to make some adjustments to what you are doing and where you are going but still, you can go on little mini adventures. For instance me and my wife used to really enjoy taking the motorbike up into the mountains then go hiking to some semi-remote waterfall. We can’t go by motorbike anymore, but if … Read the rest
A couple of weeks ago I was out with the motorcycle in the mountains and rediscovered a trail that we tried to hike many years ago but never finished because part of it had collapsed, then forgot about. From what I could see it seemed to be in good shape, so last weekend we decided to give it another go…this time with the baby.
It’s actually not much of a trail, only a few hundred meters long, but it leads to a waterfall which in my opinion makes it a worthwhile hike. The place isn’t particularly popular and it’s a … Read the rest
I stand just meters from the fall looking up at it. It is tall and narrow, the stream of water tumbling down a near vertical cliff, hitting little protrusions in the cliff face on the way down, sending a fine mist into the air. The mist catches the rays of the sun, forming a permanent rainbow that hovers in the air just above the the shallow little pool at the fall's base. The little gully where I stand lies in the shadow of the cliffs above and the air is filled with the rushing of the water. Outside, the landscape is bathed in sunlight, all green and bright and swelteringly hot, but here it's cool and calm with the soothing sounds of the water drowning out all other noise. As I stand there admiring the view, the excitement of successfully scrambling my way up the lower falls to this place slowly dissipates and I feel a calm settle over me. It's as if my mind has been emptied of all worries and negative feelings and I simply feel happy.
The gorge is like a deep fissure in the ground, carved by the water over thousands of years. The walls are uneven, shaped by the flow of the water, with patches of moss growing here and there. In front of me is the waterfall, a stream of white water that comes crashing down into the creak below, throwing spray high into the air and filling the cave with mist that makes it nearly impossible to take a photo. I let my gaze follow the walls upwards to the small hole high above where the stream flows into the cavern. As the water tumbles over the edge it breaks into little droplets, forming clouds that billow in the air like smoke in time with the rush of air and whoosh of the water as it comes down.
The two fishermen on the beach warn us that the current is strong but I ignore them and follow my friend as he steps into the water. A few steps out the river bed drops away abruptly and I sink down to my chest, my watertight backpack floating up behind me like a cork. The water is cold and I can feel the current tugging at my body, wanting to pull me away and send me down stream. A feeling of trepidation flashes through my mind for a brief moment but disappears when I see my friend fearlessly continue forward, so I push on with determination. As we round the slight bend in the river I look up to the right where a smaller side stream comes cascading down the cliffs to join ours. Further along the little creak, the water flows over the edge of the high, jungle clad cliffs and comes crashing down into a small pool, sending spray high into the air. This place is imbued with a combined sense of danger and beauty and here and now, at this very moment, that is all I need.
A couple of weeks ago I was studying the map and found a route just outside Hsinchu that looked like it would be fun to ride on the motorbike. Renegade wife and I attempted to do it that weekend but got caught in some heavy rain and had to turn back. This weekend we decided to try again. For those interested, the rout consists of a series of small roads that connect two of the main mountain roads near Hsinchu, you can can see the map below for details.
The ride out of the city is rather boring but once … Read the rest
It’s the type of waterfall you might read about in an adventure novel or see in an Indiana Jones movie; the stream goes tumbling over the edge some twenty or thirty meters above the valley, twisting and turning in the air then hitting a large rock at the bottom, sending plumes of spray high into the air. The sound is like that of torrential rain or a faucet opened at maximum, the rush as the water falls through the air and the deep booming when it hits the bottom. The day is still yet here at the fall the rush … Read the rest
Always on the lookout for places to go and things to do my wife recently used her googling skills to find a hiking trail and waterfall in the nearby mountain area that we hadn’t been to yet (good work Honey). It seemed like a fun trail, so today we decided to go there. We took the motorbike up to the mountains and parked at the trail head; from there it was only a few hundred meters to the waterfall. Since it was a pretty hot day, the pool of clear, turquoise water at one the steps of the fall looked … Read the rest