Tuesday, February 12, 2008

2008-02-07 Hapen Hiking Trail 哈盆越嶺

The Hiking Club went hiking in Hapen Hiking Trail on the first day of Chinese New Year holiday, the first day of the year of Golden Rat. We did expect the weather wouldn't be nice, probably cold and rainy all day long, however it turned out to nice and clear day with light rain. We had prepared rain gear for the hike, but we rarely used umbrellas or raincoats during our hike.

We, severn of us, met at Xindian MRT station and drove to Fushan Village in Wulai in approximately one hour. It was funny that I was the only one who knew the location of Hapen's entry. To be the one knows the most importatn thing was cool. :) And it also reveals that the Hiking Club is adventurous, we like to explore unknow territory.

Happy hikers were checking their equipment with the backdrop of beautiful mountains.

Peter, aka Mountain Goat, was in bright a smile. The weather wasn't as bad as we expected.

Before we set out to hike, it had been raining for weeks, there were few newly formed streams along Hapen Hiking Trail because of the rainfall. But we were well-prepared, it didn't bother us at all. It was kind of fun to cross few streams.

Kitty skillful crossed the stream even though she hadn't been in hiking actitities for weeks. Really admirable.

Another picture of happy hikers. :)

It wasn't raining but the trail was mist-shrouded. It was lovely actaully. I like the mysterious feeling. And the air was fresh and clear.

However, there were few spots of landslide along the trail that we weren't aware in advance. After a 30-minute walk, we encoutered first landslide. It looked bad but we managed to pass through it.

Kitty was the first one who went through the spot of landslide and without any difficulty. However, I was screaming in mind and struggled for passing through it. I am the most inexpereinced hiker in the group.

After another 30-minute walk, we encoutered second spot of landslide. Its scale was much bigger than the first one. When we were trying to figure out if there was any path available, Katannya volunteered to explore a possible trail. She swiftly climbed up a steep slope with her overpacked and heavy bag like a little monkey. Wow.....I knew she is an expereinced hiker, but she is so competent. I took a picture of her when she was climbing.

We managed to climb to a higher place over the landslide, it was a difficult route but it was manageable for all of us. But I thought it wouldn't be a trail that I can hike alone. And I recalled that I saw a warning sign of landslide in front of Kalajimo Hiking Trail. The sign probably indicated landslide happened in the spot rather than somewhere along Kalajimo trail.

After the spot of landslide, the trail became wider with nice vegetation and forest. It was enjoyable.

The trail's condition was good afterwards. And we arrived at an unknown stream. Alone Hapen Hiking Trail, there are Bolu Stream and Lumen Stream, however, this one was neither of them.

It was my first time to see Peter carrying such a big bag. He usually is a light-bag hiker. I think we were really worried about the influence of the weather. We were really lucky that the weather was nice enough for us.

It was about time to have a lunch so Peter decided that we took a lunch break along the stream.

Peter and Chris were talking about something that I couldn't overheard. It looks they were talking something really interesting.

Robert showed me his raincoat. He was teasing himself and said he was The Little Green Riding-Hood. I thought his hat matches his raincost, actually should be Robert the Green. (Please refer to LOTR for its meaning.)

The weather has been lousy and rainy for weeks. I thought I should buy raincoat like Robert's after I get home so that I can go hiking in mildly rainy days.

Because most of us haden't gone hiking for weeks and the weather was getting worse, we decided to retur trailhead after our lunch break.

We had to face the challenge from landslide again. This time, Peter decided to figure out whether we could go through it without climbing up to its top. He found that actually there was path at the upper part of the landslide. It looked very dangerous and it was actually becuase we could fall into a few hundred-meter-deep valley. However, it was much easier to go through the path than to climb up to the landslide's top. So we went through the path one by one.

We spent approximately 4 hours on the hike and we didn't cover the whole trail. However, it was really nice to get out to the natural environment with good company.

Few days before the hike I went to Metro Oasis to pick up some hiking gear. I had a chat with a clerk who is an experienced hiker. He told me it was right time to go Hapen or Fuba Hiking trail because there would be hundreds of leeches trying to adhere to hikers' skins. I thought I was lucky that I didn't see any leech.

However, Chris was the luckiest one because he got leeches. While we were cleaning up mud around our ankle, he felt something was twisting on his neck. It was a blood-sucking leech. He got rid of it soon. He got three leeches during the hike and rest of us got none. He was the luckiest one.

After the hike, we went to a hot-spring resort, Feitian, near Jiajiuliao Hiking Trail to relax. The outdoor hot spring pool was turned to be a swimming pool because few kids played in the pool. Chris and Robert taught me swimming in the pool whose depth was only 70 cms. It was fun and scary (due to my nature of the fear of water). I could swim under water (in a 70cm-deep pool) with two coaches' instruction. It sounds funny, but one year ago, I would only scream and insist on staying at somewhere with water. I was really making progress. The feeling of swimming underwater was fantastic. This is wonderful, thanks to the two coaches' instruction.

I had great expereince of hiking and swimming within a day, it is the best first day of a new year in my life so far. :D

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