Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Monday, April 28, 2008
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Last year, on October 28th, Robert, Chris, Kitty and I visited the eastern peak of Fengtoujian (鋒頭尖). We started our hike along the Dongshige Trail (東勢格越嶺步道) along Gualiaokengxi (瓜寮坑溪, Gualiaokeng Wadi was its name on the map; however, Chris and Robert said the translation wasn't correct. They wouldn't use wadi to describe the stream).
It's a beautiful day and hikers could walk along with the lovely and clean stream. We had a nice walk along the trail, it's a great enjoyment to see the sunlight shining into the woods so that the leaves gleamed golden light and the stream glimmered sliver light. It's gorgeous. We passed by a disused office and a tunnel which are the traces of the coal mining industry of Taiwan in the old days. It a peaceful and relaxing walk in the woods, and I didn't realize I would learn what Great Challenge means.
TheLovely Dongshige Trail (東勢格越嶺步道)
The View of Shisunjian (石筍尖)
After we passed by the disused office and tunnel, we turned to the trail leading to Jiantoufeng. At this point, we started our way climbing up all the way to the eastern peak of Fengtoujian. The trail in front of us was blocked by slippery big rocks. Thanks to the help from all the members of the Hiking Club, I could climb up those slippery big rocks. The trail behind those rocks was steep, but we could still WALK on the trail, and when we look back, we were all amazed by the spectacular view of Cimufeng. When I saw it, I felt it looked like a mother holding her baby, and according to Mucha Man, the name of Cimufeng was actually from some events about CKS.
We made our way to the eastern peak of Fengtoujian which only could accommodate 3-4 people, and there were no barriers or ropes around us, only short bushes. We carefully sat in the right place and had our lunch. The view at the eastern peak of was amazing.
The View of Zhongyangjian(中央尖)
After lunch, we continued our hike, I started my TRAINING DAY—A Long Walk Along Steep-Slippery-Razor-Like-Narrow ridge. The trail extending in front of me was a scary steep narrow ridge. I can't remember how I passed through the ridge exactly. I only could remember how my feelings and reactions changed.
At first, when I looked at the view in front of me, "WOW! Hxxxx Sxxxx!" came into my mind. I tried to laugh to cheer myself up, and tried to focus on the task of passing though the ridge. I told myself to keep calm, I believed I was competent to overcome any difficult challenges.
Kitty Bravely Passing Through One Part of The Ridge
After I passed through the first section of the ridge, another section was presented to me, and the fears started taking over me. I could feel one part of myself wanted to give it up. I had the thought that I didn't want to go any further for few seconds. I got stuck for few times, I thought I would cry after I went through this ridge. And then, I started murmuring, like a little cat getting stuck on a tree and meowing and crying for help.
I murmured in Mandarin. I was in a very weak self-control so I turned to my mother-tongue for communication. And I childishly protested and said I had nothing to hold in a very thin and quivering voice. Other Hiking Club members immediately came to help me to go through the point of nearly breaking down. It's funny to think back my reaction to fears, but not it wasn't fun when I was stuck on the ridge.
After I passed through the ridge, I found I was shivering. "WOW!" came into my mind. At that moment, the feelings were really complicated. That included the feeling of appreciation for the help and support from other Hiking Club members, the feeling of happiness of successfully going through the ridge and the most interesting feeling of amazement to see my true nature of a human being through the great fears, and I also felt I pushed the line of my limitation further. The feelings were REALLY GOOD.
The Eastern Peak of Fengtoujian (Where We Had Lunch)
The protuding of the peak in the middle of the picture was where we had lunch. It's was really dangerous but amazing.
We finally went through the most challenging part of the hike and took a steep way down to the valley. I developed a funny skill which I named it SIT-AND-SLIDE. I spent most of my time sitting and sliding down to the valley. It was cool but muddy.
Near the end of the way down to the valley, we had to walk on a really narrow path along a cliff whose splendid view was a terrific treat to refresh us.
I had some thoughts afterwards and posted it on a forum. Here are those ideas I wrote at the moment of recollecting memories of the hiking event.
This the morning before the hike, Chris asked me why I go hiking. I told him I like the peaceful and relaxing feeling in the woods, and the feeling of concentration. It's a kind of mediation that I could filter out of daily noises in mind. I also like the feeling of empowerment because I can accomplish tasks that I once believe I am unable to complicating, it's a sense of self-enhancement. But after Sunday's hike, I realized I was too arrogant. I relied on other Hiking Club members' helps and instructions a lot. They taught me how to overcome challenges, shared their experiences with me and helped me went through difficulties. I think both I enjoy the sense of trust and reliance as well as the sense of self-enhancement. Excellent Hike!! :)
p.s. I can't fall into sleep and I don't want to waste my time on turn and toss on bed, I decide to working on my blog articles. But I can't keep my mind really clear, I may make a lot of mistakes in terms of word usage or grammar in this article.
Saturday, April 26, 2008
Sunday, April 20, 2008
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
A Bridge Connects the Gate and the TrailheadEven 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.
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.
Friday, April 18, 2008
However, her boyfriend had no interest in going out in rainy days and he was not into this kind of outdoor acitivity. She didn't want to go there alone, so she asked me asked me if I would like to pick calla lilies (海芋) in Zhuzihu (竹子湖) with her. I thought this idea over. I don't mind going out in rainy days as long as I have right gear and I sometimes go hiking in rainy days. It would be fun because I rarely get up to Yangming Mountain even though my university is right at the foot of Yangming Mountain, so I decided to go to Zhunihu with her. We checked our schedules. We got to Zhuzihu two days after our chats.
Before our departure, we discussed some possible choices of transport. We found out that we had to go to Jiantian MRT station, and taken Bus 206 or Red 5 to Yangmingshan and then take Bus 9 to Zhuzihu. One MRT route and two bus routes would probably take us almost 2 hours to get to Zhuzihu. It's too rediculous and a waste of time, so we decided to go there by scooter.
My flatmate and I shared one scooter, and we probably spent one hour to get to Zhuzihu. It was couldy when we were in Taipei City, but it became misty and mildly rained as we went up to Yangmingshan.
When we arrived at Zhuzhihu, we found there were a lot of visitors around. We were suprised to see so many people because it wasn't a holiday. But it wasn't crowded, we could have good space to enjoy the fields of calla lilies.
It was misty and rainy, all fields were supposed to full of mysterious serenity. It was rainy so the pathes in fields were slippery. I could hear screams from other college girls near by at times because they couldn't balance themself when they walked in the fields. It was funny to see it though. I was lucky that I wore my hiking boots so I could easily pass through differnt lanes in the fields like a busy honey bee.
Mist-Shrouded Calla Lily Fields
I didn't expect how much fun I would have in this Calla Lily Festival. But it was really refreshing when I standed in the fields and looked at the scenery around me. I could felt the cold air in my lungs which cheer me up. It was really cold but I didn't feel umconfortable. When I pulled out a calla lily, I indeed heard a snap sound. It was like a sound of opening a bottle of champagne, which gave me a feeling of excitement mixed with a joy. Really Fun!
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
After we left Erjiaoge Shan (鵝角格山) trail, we took Zhanghu Hiking Trail (樟湖步道) and headed to Xinhualin (杏花林).
A Distant Look of Erjiaoge Shan on Zhanghu Hiking Trail
Along Zhanghu Trail, there are a lot of tea fields. The one of the picture below is my favorite field.
A section of Zhanghu Trail near Xinhualin has both stone-paved road and natural dirt path. Most of it is flat and really nice for those who want to take a ease walk with young kids. If you only want to hike along Zhanghu Trail without climbing up Erjiaoge Shan, you can take the other entry, 5-mintue walk away from Maokong Station.
When we were walking on the trial, I saw a cyclist riding on the trail. There was a steep slope in front us, he sped up and tried to rode up to the top. But it was too difficult for him, he eventually gave it up, and walked up to the top with his bike instead.
We soon arrived at Xinhualin. We got to the apricot blossom field from it section A. And it was insanely crowded, a lot of visitors were there. Most of them talked to each other with loud voice. Xinhualin came a kind of Taiwanese traditional market.
Some of them came there by tourist buses. Robert and Chris felt it was really funny. We were baffled with it popularity, but we reckoned it probably became a stop of a day trip of Maokong.
When we were walking in the apricot blossom field, I struggled to find space to pass through the crowds and managed to take pictures of flowers. I hate crowded place and I would rather stay away from those visitors, but I love those gorgeous blossoms and love to take photos of them. I found I was like Remy from Ratatouille, panicingly trying to find a way out but was attracted to different food material, spice and cooking skills when he fell into the Gasteau's restaurant.
After I was satisfied with photo shooting, I ran down stairs and left those visitors as soon as I could even though my legs were tired after a almost 4 hour walk.
"Run! Forrest Run!" was the picture I had when I ran down the stairs. I ran desperately like Forrest.
Xinhualin Became A Market
I tried very hard to avoid taking other passersby into my photos.
Gorgeous Apricot Blossoms
After the walk in Xinhualin, we went to Zhizitian Teahouse(自在田茶坊) to have ice tea and short break.
We went to Zhangshan Temple(樟山寺) and took Zhangshan Temple Hiking Trail (樟山寺步道) to NCCU after the break. At Zhangshan Temple, Robert and Chris tried few Taiwanese tyle sausages. I never like this kind of food even though I am Taiwanese, but they said it's good.
A Beautiful View Before Sunset
We arrived at NCCU, and we went to 滇味小鎮, a resturant offers Yunnan style food in front of NCCU. The dished we had were great and their price were super low. It has no fancy decor but the food there is great. I would like to visit it every time I come back from hiking in Muzha.
Great hiking company, nice trails, and delicious food. I had really good time.
I LOVE TAIWAN
LABS AND BLOGS OF PSYCHOLOGY
- Emotion Rules
- Change Detection: Attention, Memory and Decision
- Cognitive Training
- Kensinger/Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Lab (Boston College)
- Lisa F. Barrett/Interdisciplinary Affective Science Lab (Boston College)
- Diego Pizzagalli/Affective Neuroscience Laboratory (Harvard)
- Brian Scholl/Perception and Cognition Lab (Yale)
- Lynn Hasher/Hasher Aging & Cognition Lab (Toronto)
- Kevin Oshsner/Social Cognitive Neuroscience (Columbia)
- Roberto Cabeza and Kevin LaBar/Center for Cognitive Neuroscience (Duke)
- Laura Carstensen/Life-span Development Laboratory (Stanford)
- Elizabeth Phelps/THe Phelps Lab (NYU)
- James Gross/The Stanford Psychophysiology Laboratory
- Mara Mather/Emotion and Cogntion Lab (USC)
- Psychology Software Tools, Inc.