Friday, April 4, 2008

2008-03-15 Maokong, Erjiaogeshan, Xinhualin, Zhanshan Temple Hiking (貓空/鵝角格山/杏花林/樟山寺之行) PART II

It has been weeks since we went hiking in Muzha. I was busy to post the hike. For a reason, I had to see a lot of movies in a short period of time and to select some proper movies used a class. I am about to finish the selection so that I can try to complete the hiking story.

In our hiking in Muzha, after we got to the front gate of Zhinan Temple, we turned to trail that leads to Zhinan Elementary School (指南國小).

The Trail Going To Zhinan Elemtary School.

The Entry/Exit Of The Trail

A Shabby Mud Brick House Alongside The Road

We finished hiking on Zhinam Temple Hiking Trail which was a short route that took us probably 15 minutes, and we headed to Maokong. We got to the trailhead of Zhinan Tea Pickers Hiking Trail (指南茶路親山步道), a 1-km trail that goes to gondola's Maokong station. The trailhead is right next to the front gate of Zhinan Elementary School.

The Trailhead of Zhinan Tea Pickers Hiking Trail (指南茶路親山步道)

I have hiked on Zhinan Tea Pickers Hiking Trail several times and I have a post about the trail few weeks ago that is about looking for Xinhualin in Muzha. But hikers always can find new intersting things even though they visit same trails over and over.

In this hike we took a branch road in the tea fields and explored the path. We found an old mud brick house located at the end of the branch road. There were some old tools, statue and old style bird cage placed outside the house. It formed a bizzard but attractive scene to me.

One Corner Of The Old House

The Front Door Of The Old House

The house gave me a feeling that I was in a different space and time. Everthing there brought me back to my childhood. It seemed that I was physically in the present, but I was mentally in the past. And the force of present and the past collided in this space and time. It was a strange but touching feeling. (I don't know if those sentences make sense, but I can't find some proper phrases to present my ideas in English.Please forgive my poor English.)

We had a lunch break on the trail and we talked about several different ideas. Some were about ankle rehab because my ankle got injured in our hike in Shanxia, and other things were about organic food and eco-food. It was great to learn more about those things which will help me to stay healthy.

We soon got to Moakong after our lunch break. When we arrived at Maokong MRT station, I was astonished at what I saw. The surroudings of Maokong became chaotic. Hundreds of tourists and tourist cars made the street like a Taiwanese traditional market. The noise from speakers touting establishments's dishes was intolerable. We got the a trail that goes to Erjiaoge Shan as soon as we could. And we drew the conclusion that Maokong is a perfect place for hiking and relaxing only during weekdays, but never in weekends or holidays. We should avoid visiting Maokong when there will be a lot of tourists around.

The Trail That Goes To Erjiaoge Shan (鵝角格山)

As we got higher, the tourist gradully became fewer and fewer. Only hikers were on the trail.

The trail is steep and goes to the ridge. And its trailhead is right in front of Maokong MRT station.

The trail is about 600m and we spent about 20 minutes reaching the ridge. Along the ridge, hikers can see a direction sign.

The board on the ground was supposed to be on the pole, it was broken and no one fixes it. But the direction it indicates is right.

Next to the direction sign, there is a Mazhu statue. Many followers put coins and candies in her hands. A umbrella in placed above her to shield her from wind and rains.

We had a short break and then we continue our hike to Erjiaoge Shan(鵝角格山). Erjiaoge Shan is also called Erkongji Shan (鵝公髻山). I don't know it origin, but by telling from its literally meaing, it means a kind of ancient Chinese hair style which looks like the protrudent part on a gander's head.

The trail that goes to the peak of Erjiaoge Shan

A Nice Walk In The Woods

In the opening along the trail, hikers can see Erge Shan (二格山).

And also the line of gondola stations.

It's really cool to see those gondolas lining up and passing through the valley. The day was too hazy and I don't have good filer lens so I couldn't take clear pictures of the line.

Going down Erjiaoge Shan is kind of difficult. It's steep and there is no stairway. Most of time we had to hold the ropes and descended slowly down.

After we got down to the foot from Erjiaoge Shan's ridge. The trail became a nice abd flat pathe again.

We left Erjiaoge Shan and then continued our hike on Zhanghu Hiking Trail (樟湖步道).

To be continued.

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