Sunday, April 20, 2008

2008-04-05 Fushan Section of Nation Fuba Hiking Trail 福巴越嶺, 福山段, 烏來

In the early April, Chris went home for few months, Robert went to Batongguan for a 7-day cross-island hike, and Peter was stuck to his work. Most Hiking Club members were busy. I decided to organize one on my own. And Katannya liked to join me She had been busy since our New Year Hike in Hapen Hiking Trail and she finally finished most things that kept her busy. She wanted to get to the trails and to enjoy nature. I also hadn't had long hike for several weeks because of the terribly bad weather in Taipei. I decided to have a 4-hour hike for exercise and regain my physical strength. I planed to do part of Fuba Hiking Trail (福巴越嶺) which is a national hiking trail connecting Fushan Village, Wulai (福山村,烏來鄉)and Balin (巴陵)in Fuxin, Taoyuan (復興鄉,桃園縣).

This national hiking trail, in fact, has two names. It's called Bafu Hiking Trail (巴福越嶺) if hikers start their hike in Balin, and it's called Fuba Hiking Trail (福巴越嶺) if hikers start their hike in Fusha.

I studied its route and map and searched for information online for days, and then Katannya and I went hiking in Wulai. We met around 9 a.m. at MRT Xindian station. We didn't take bus to Bafu Hiking Trail because there is no public transport available to the trailhead. I rode my scooter and took Katannya to the trailhead.

The day was splendid. It was sunny but not terribly hot, a perfect day for hiking.

It took us about one hour to get to the trailhead. Before entering Fushan Village, there is a police station called Wufu station (烏福檢查哨) where visitors should come to apply permission to Fushan region. The permission fee is NT$10, but the police has to check applicts' identity, therefore every group of applicants should provide one of its memober's for registration.

Wufu Station (烏福檢查哨)

Compared with Hapen Hiking Train, Fuba Hiking Trail has nice and clean gate.

The Trailhead of National Fuba Hiking Trail

There is a bridge connecting the gate and the trailhead, hikers can see the trail right after they passing through the bridge.

A Bridge Connects the Gate and the Trailhead

Even though there are various kinds of plants growning alone the trail, the trail is well-maintained, not overgrown.

The forest was lush and the shade on the trail was really nice. We weren't exposed to sunlight.

Bird-nest fern is commonly seen plant along trails, the bird-nest fern along Fuba Hiking Trail is the most gorgeous I have ever seen. Katanny is an experienced hiker and she studid plants. I like to go hiking with her, she often tell me things that amazed me. She taught me bird-nest fern's scientific name which is a Latin name. It's too bad that I am unable to memorize the name she taught me; otherwise I can show off it when I hang out with my friends. :p

Really Beautiful Bird-nest Fern Bird-nest fern actually is good material for Taiwanese cuisine. Stir-fry Shansu (炒山蘇) is a popular dish in most Taiwanese restaurants. Every time I see bird-nest fern, A voice saying "food! food!" in my mind like echoes.

Katannya Noticed the Unknown Bugs in Beautiful Red

In the first 1 km of the trail, there are a lot of bridges made of logs. They look lovely, but after actually stepping on those bridges, Katannya and I thought it would be pretty slippery in rainy day or after rain.

The forest changed after the 1 km point.

Because the guys didn't join us, Katannya and I had more conversations concerned with women's situations in Taiwan. We exchaned a lot of ideas. She is a great and working-hard Mandarin learner. I hope I can have more chances to talk to her and help her to learn Mandarin.

Splendid Statue Made by Nature

Katannya and I had to return to Taipei before 6 p.m., so we couldn't complete the whole Fushan Section. We started our hike around 10:30 a.m. and we had to return to trailhead before 3:00 p.m, so we turned back to trailhead around 1:20 p.m.

About 3 p.m. we got to the trailhead. We found that there was a board set at the trailhead which has terrible English translation from forest bureau's announcement. She couldn't figure out what the content was and I could barely translate it, but I also couldn't understand its map. It was a drawback of this trail; there is no decent map and good introduction anywhere along the trail.

When we had a break at the gate, I found something weird happened to my socks looked like being chewed by something. When I was tring to figure out what destroyed my socks, Katannya found something like a leech. Indeed, it was a leech, which sucked ed enough blood so it fell off naturally. And then we realized I was bitten by leeches. I scaned over my legs quickly and found another leech.

The leech that sucked a lot of my blood fell off and its size enlarged to three or four times than the starving one's.

The blood didn't stop for a while, but I felt nothing because the leeches released some chemical material into the wounds. The worse part was I was allegic to it and got a rash. And the wound is still itchy now.

The Leech's Mouth, Cool! Katannya helped me to deal with those leeches and leeches' bites. And then we went back to Taipei.

On our way home, every thing was fine at very beginning. But I felt sharp sting on my left leg when I was riding the scooter. I couldn't help it but pulled my scooter over and checked it out. And then I saw a leech chewing my leg. Sxxt! I caught it right before it released its chemical material into me leg. Well, I learned the lesson hard way that wearing gaiters is necessary to prevent leech's bites.

But overall, this hike was great except those bites from leeches.


Chris in Asia said...

Bird's nest fern: Asplenium nidus

No idea what kind of leech that is, though!

Robert Scott Kelly said...

Nice report, Kate. I hope to tackle this trail later in the year.