Yini had to go back home and work but us five boys continued our exploration of Taiwans east coast. Our train arrived in Hualien on Sunday evening, we found a hotel a stone’s throw from the train station, then went out for dinner and bought a few strange snacks to share in the hotel room.
On Monday morning we rented a couple of scooters, then rode out of town to famous tourist destination Taroko Gorge. Axel and I have been there before, but the spectacular lime stone cliffs, rivers and waterfalls make it well worth another visit.
Collecting a map at the visitors center, we headed to the Swallow Grotto trail, which was more spectacular than any trail I’ve walked in the area, sheer drops right at the edge of the (fenced) trail and little cave on the cliff face on the other side of the ravine.
Three of the boys looking out at the edge
Walking along the cliff edge
The boys on the Swallow Grotto trail
Awed by the landscape
Swallow Grotto ravine
On the way back to the scooters
We got back on our scooters and rode deeper into the gorge to Tianxiang at the far end of the tourist area. We stopped there for some late lunch then went to have a look at the nearby temple.
With only few hours to spare until sunset we hastened to the trailhead of the Baiyang trail, and walked through the arrow straight, tunnel to the path on the other side. Winding our way along unguarded tracks and through unlit tunnels, stopping along the way to take various photos of the view, and even a monkey, we made it to the water curtain cave at the end.
The tunnel at the start of the Baiyang trail
Anton snapping a photo at a tunnel exit
Some pretty impressive waterfalls
Robert exiting one of the many tunnels
With the not altogether warm weather, and lack of extra clothes we opted out of walking through the watery cave, and with daylight fading we walked back towards our scooters, arriving at the road just as it got dark.
We rode home in the darkness one surprisingly well kept roads, found some steak for dinner then finished the night with drinks and snacks in the hotel room like before.
Now we are on the train back to Hsinchu where we will meet up with Yini, Anna and Sofie who finally made it to Taiwan. But for now it is just us five brothers in arms of this east Taiwan tour.