The second day of motorcycling through Taroko Gorge was mostly consisted of hiking two trails.
The first trail led us underneath a bridge and followed a river trail.
We could feel the residual rainwater; the air was moist. The trail was easy, and we eventually found ourselves at the end of the trail one kilometer in. The rest of the trail had been closed due to FUBAR typhoon damages a coupleyears earlier. You could see the damages ahead, making the scene look like a deserted island like the one in Crisis.
Off-topic alert: I loved Crysis and Crysis: Warhead. But Crysis 2 was such a disappointment, I forced myself to finish the game and didn’t bother with Crysis 3.
Our second trail was unplanned. We rode to the Eternal Spring Shrine and walked on in. All the tourists were content staying at ground level, but a flight of stairs at the back led somewhere. But where? Jin and I ventured forward, wondering where it would take us.
And up we went. For about half an hour, we climbed and climbed, getting an unexpected workout.
See that building at the top left of the photo? Yeah, we climbed higher than that building, scaling the side of a damn mountain. I was showering in my own sweat – not sure if the hike was actually hard, or if I am that out of shape.
The view from the top was delightful, but we had to hurry back down to get back to Hualien, else Jin would miss her train ride back to Taipei. Back we went, and I spent the rest of the day exploring Hualien on my own.
Most of my experience in Taiwan has been in Taipei. For those traveling to the country, I would highly recommend this trip. Three days and two nights should suffice and will allow you to explore all of Hualien and Taroko Gorge. Prices were cheap:
* Train ticket from Taipei: $20 USD round trip
* Motorcycle rental: $10 USD per day
* Gasoline: $7 for full tank (lasted me three days)
* Room & board: $51 USD for two nights at Shui Ming Yang B&B
* Food: $2-7 per meal
I spent less than $150 for this three day two night vacation, very much affordable.