It’s that time of the week again!
Another great week in Taiwan. Tuesdays are days where Sarah and I both work later in the afternoon, so we have time to walk around and get things done. This past Tuesday we had to make a run to the immigration bureau to pick up our passports and officially become residents of Taiwan! Now we can apply for our resident card and open a bank account. Near the bureau is the 中正紀念堂 Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall. It’s a very famous monument and landmark in Taiwan dedicated to the former president of Taiwan. It’s a beautiful park and monument displaying exquisite Asian architecture.
On Saturday we strolled down to the Taipei 101 area to grab some food and meet up with a few co-workers at a brewery downtown. It’s always a fun time when we’re near the 101…just love that building. We hung out for awhile and had a couple tasty IPA’s.
Now Sunday. I was tracking the weather all week making sure it was going to be a sunny day to travel to 金瓜石 Jinguashi to hike Teapot Mountain. We’ve been reading up on the many hikes in Taiwan and this was deemed a must see. The weather forecast looked perfect, so we hopped on the train to 瑞芳 Ruifang and grabbed a bus to 金瓜石 Jinguashi. Upon arrival, we were welcomed with clouds and rain 😦 Such a let down at first because the scenery looked amazing. We decided to make the best of it and do it anyways! So, welcome to “Hiking Teapot Mountain in the Rain.” “In the Sun,” will be coming later this year hopefully!
Anyways, we started the trail at the Jingaushi Gold Ecological Park. It started out with a bunch of stairs which kind of made us mad. We were trying to get away from the trails that were man made…we wanted to do a legit hike! Stairs upon stairs upon stairs. Finally we made it to one of the first summits. The stairs ended and made way for remarkable views of the surrounding mountains and ocean. We kept wondering what it would look like if the sun was shining down…just wasn’t happening today. The views were still unbelievable!
Now, I’m not a huge fan of heights or being in situations where my life could be over if I moved my foot an inch the wrong way, but we definitely experienced this today. We had to make a decision after summiting Teapot Mountain. Did we want to summit an even bigger mountain to complete the circle or go back down the way we came? This was a tough decision because it was starting to pour and we couldn’t even see the top of the next mountain because of the fog.
Again, we decided to just do it. We’re here, let’s do it. Sarah and I are not hardcore hikers, but we do enjoy a challenge. This was challenging. The people that had climbed Teapot Mountain had dispersed and we were all alone on this trail with it starting to downpour. We kept plugging along and came to this. This is one of those situations where I do not feel comfortable at all.
“Just don’t look down, you’ll be alright,” I said to myself as I looked down at Sarah making sure she was alright. In reality, it wasn’t an incredibly tough climb, but it was raining hard and it was so slippery. One little move the wrong way and we were going to be tumbling for awhile. “Just make it to the top and you’ll be alright,” I kept saying to myself and Sarah. We made it to the top and had to encounter this. Yay. A rock scramble along the edge of the summit in the pouring rain! We weren’t sure if it was more scary because we literally couldn’t see anything and knowing we were at the top of this huge mountain or if it was the rock scramble…not sure. We just wanted to get to the other side on solid ground.
We made it across and continued the trail down the other side of the mountain and onto solid ground. It was a fantastic/intimidating/hair-raising hike to say the least, but we are so glad we did it! We can’t wait to give it another go when the weather cooperates.
Kyle and Sarah