Taitung 台東 — Day 11 ...

Heading north along the 台11線 to Dulan (都蘭)
It was another early morning start to beat the heat of the day. I was off to hike the Dulan Mountain Trail. (都蘭山)

The hike itself is 3.8KM and took six hours to complete. It's a very steep climb and was extremely rough on the knees on the return.

The lush jungle greenery was wonderful but there were many encounters with poisonous wasps and other little, creepy crawlers. I spent most of my walk with a small towel over my head as wasps kept encircling me. I trekked on though, determined to reach the 1190m peak.

The hike offers very little in the way of views as one is deep in the forest for the majority of the trek

The first of two huge snakes along the trail
The stress that came along with encountering snakes was massive. This was the first of two and it happened to be sitting directly on the walking path. We stared at each for some time before I backtracked looking for a stick to scare it. I eventually got it to move off the path (it took its sweet time) and then I quickly moved past the area.

It wasn't too much further along that I ran into snake number two. Snake number two was lurking in some small plants beside the walking path. This snake was coiled with its head and neck in an upward position. Its eyes stared into me, daring me to cross its path. I let out a small yelp before hurrying back in fear hoping that the first snake hadn't returned to its place on the walking trail. What a nightmare!

After some time, I crept my way back but snake number two was in the exact same position and eyeing me down. We stared at each other for an eternity and in the end, the snake won the battle. I wasn't going to take a chance being alone and apparently having zero service on my phone. I made my way back in disappointment of not being able to complete the hike.

I descended about fifteen minutes before running into two hikers with walking poles. We spoke for awhile and I told them about the snakes. I asked them if I could join them and they agreed so back up the mountain trail I went. The walk was a great lesson in Chinese as neither of my new walking partners spoke any English.

Sign of completion
The trail was tough, the jungle was dense and I was thankful to have two others to complete the expedition with. At the top was this sign only and after all that hard work and stress, I was hoping for a wonderful viewpoint. I was ecstatic to reach the top but also left with a feeling of disappointment at the lack of scenery. All in all, an excellent workout. Next time, leave the DSLR at home!

Taitung 台東 — Day 10 ...

First stop: Beinan Cultural Park (卑南文化公園) — closed for renovations (Reopens: July 31st, 2015)

Second stop: Liyu (Carp) Mountain Park (鯉魚山公園) — overlooking the city of Taitung

A different view from another wonderful city park — Liyu (Carp) Mountain Park

Third stop: The Taitung Art Museum (台東美術館) — free of charge