Taiwan Roadtrip #2
Highway 9, Taiwan, 2009-08-27 12:00 by Laerke
This morning we left the camping site at Loshan and drove north on Highway 9, the scenery was beautiful and green. This is prime land for farming and we saw all kinds of vegetable being grown on the fields as well as many, many green rice fields. We stopped at a small vegetable shop and bought potatoes, carrots, asparagus, tomatoes, a mango and a pineapple. The ladies in the shop looked slightly surprised to see us, but as all other Taiwanese we have met so far they were smiling and friendly - they tried to speak mandarin to us, but they didn’t get very far with that… :-)

Our first stop of the day was the small village of Lintianshan; it used to be a logging village founded by the Japanese with about 2000 inhabitants. All the houses are made of wood and lies side by side, it all looked a bit in need of a lick of paint, but it was also quite charming and fun to go exploring in the little streets. Most of the houses seemed to still be inhabited.
Right next to the village was a river with the most incredible colored water; an icy light blue. We tried to find a spot to go down to the river, and after a bit of a wander through some high grass we got down there and had a nice refreshing swim.

After that we headed a bit off Highway 9 to take a little detour up Highway 14. These “highways” would at home not be categorized as highways! Highway 14 was so narrow it was more like a backcountry road, it winds its way through a rugged, marble-walled gorge and in and out of a couple of tunnels. It felt like a real adventure driving it! At the bottom of the canyon there is a river with deep bluish-green water, it runs through little rapids creating miniature waterfalls and into natural swimming holes with little fish swimming around in the crystal clear water. We descended from the road and jumped in, there was nobody else there and it was like a little piece of paradise! The water was fresh and cool, very refreshing in the 36 degrees summer heat.

We have now set up camp again, cooked all the vegetables we bought this morning for dinner, for dessert we ate the mango and the pineapple – it was the juiciest mango ever, and so soft and smooth we could have spread it on a piece of bread as if it was butter! The pineapple was sweet and juicy as well – heaven!