Taiwan travel pt. 2

We made it to the magnificent Taroko Gorge the next morning and decided that we needed to hike our little buns off. One of the hikes that Aaron and I were familiar with is called Baisha falls and unfortunately was hit by a landslide a year or so ago, causing the park to close it to the public. After assessing and calculating our options and risk variables of being caught or being hit with another rockslide, we made the decision to hike it anyway.
This trail has been abandoned by everyone except national park workers for the past year and has the eerie yet peaceful feel of a ghost town. There was absolutely no one to be seen except some deserted tractors and tools.

The trail follows the river up to a beautiful waterfall and bridge and is littered with long dark tunnels along the way. As we were hiking, we felt extremely vulnerable, especially when someone would point out the evidence of mini-recent rockslides, or the fist sized rock that grazed David’s shoulder. By the 4th kilometer, we were safe, happy, and hungry for more dangerous adventure. The last time Aaron and I hiked this trail with the Dennis’s, we were caught by the park workers and sent back before we could explore the last tunnel of the trail. This time, we had free reign of all of it!
At the end of the last tunnel, we saw a sign for the “Cave Waterfall Curtain”, and saw a large stream disappear into a cave ahead. Like kids in a candy store, we bounded ahead , a little afraid but oh so curious about this curtain of water. Halfway through the cave, a curtain of water fell on our heads, soaking us. It continued to the end of the cave, which opened up to the sun, and the trail continued around the bend before it was consumed by the wild brush. This part of the trailed looked as if it hadn’t been traveled in years, and we felt ultra privileged (and lucky not to have been caught or been runover by a rockslide).
By the time we turned around to go back, it was nearing dusk and the oversized bats in the tunnels were waking up to begin their nightly feast of insects. Aaron chased them around with the flash of his camera and I’m sure they loved that.
We slept that night in a homely (and cheap!) little Catholic hostel in the center of the Gorge. It was a good day!

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