Taiwan 8 April 2013

I woke up at 4am today and decked on double layers before setting off to 7-11 to get a hot drink. Thankfully I already bought the rail ticket to Zhushan the day before, so after getting my hot canned drink, I just needed to join the queue to board the train. At about 4.45am, there was already a long queue. You could hear that most of the people weren’t really awake yet and not in their best moods too; as I waited for my turn to board the train, I heard couples squabbling over who’s eating breakfast etc. As for me, I just wanted to hibernate somewhere that is warm. After waiting for about half an hour, I got on the second last train and prayed that the weather would be good.

Upon reaching Zhushan, there was already a crowd formed and most of the prime locations were taken. I saw the same familiar “guide” standing at the edge and raising his voice to share similar stories of Alishan and Jade Mountain. Felt like a sense of déjà vu.

As we counted down to sunrise, it seemed like the clouds were too thick and would obstruct the sun from our view. Some of the disappointed tourists left but I couldn’t bear to leave and moved forward to take the empty places instead. At that moment, somebody shouted “the sun! The sun!” And as I turned to look, the clouds had parted and there was the sun.

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After the sunrise, on my way back to the guesthouse, I also managed to catch some last surviving cherry blossoms.

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I couldn’t believe my luck and felt like a long wish fulfilled. Seeing this sunrise, I guess I will finally be able to wave Alishan goodbye. Maybe the Jade Mountain next? Hmmm…

Anyway, I checked out of the guesthouse in the same morning and took a bus down to my next destination, A-jiang’s house.

A-jiang was from one of the tribes and provided a unique lodging, stone houses which he built himself. Besides having tourists, he also looks after 13 cats, together with his wife and his three children.

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When I reached his lodging, I was fascinated and surrounded with the cosy feeling of being at a home well cared for and filled with love. A-jiang had built this little paradise with his own bare hands and it was hard not to be impressed by his determination and creativity.

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I also met two other female travelers here and we became friends soon. We even ventured out to Fenqihu together before returning to A-jiang’s place for dinner. Dinner was fabulous. If you visit, be sure to ask A-jiang to barbecue some meat. They were heavenly.

After dinner, we even headed out to see the fireflies. This was one of the best days of my trip really.

Sweet dreams tonight. 🙂

©天涯海角 2013. all rights reserved.

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