Saturday September 26th, 2015

The walking route from Xihu MRT station to Dahu Park MRT station took 3.5 hours

Along the Daluntou walking trail in Neihu

Taking a much needed rest after walking up a ton of steep steps

A sign asking one to pick up after your pet with a sleeping/flying dog?

September 19th and 20th, 2015 ...

The first glimpse of Yuemeikeng Waterfall (月眉坑瀑布) (still image taken from GoPro video)

About a thirty minute river trace to reach this absolutely stunning waterfall

Took a BIG group of Taipei Hikers out on Sunday for a 9KM walk around the city hills of Taipei

The rope climb at Four Beasts Mountain (四獸山) ...

Finally found the vertical rope climb up to the Elephant Mountain trail (iPhone images)

The scramble to the top was steep and intimidating at times

The final push is about a 40m vertical climb

September randomness ...

A delicious afternoon treat of ciders and a Mexican beef burger at Bravo Burgers in Taipei

Burgers so messy that the restaurant provides its patrons with plastic gloves for eating

This guy won hat of the day and seemed to be posing for the picture

Not often do we have cool sponge painted clouds such as these

Hualien 花蓮 — Day 11 ...

 Off the beaten path in Shoufeng Township
It poured for seven solid hours on day ten making a lot of trails closed. I went to look for a waterfall near the house and was only moments into the hike when the rain started.

After my hike, I went to the train station to book an afternoon train back to Taipei.

A bridge no longer in use in Shoufeng Township

Looking at Emerald Valley (翡翠谷) from across the river

Driving along the 台9線 for the last time this summer

Hualien 花蓮 — Day 10 ...

The bridge near Taroko and the start of the Suhua Highway
Day ten started early to beat the rain that seemed likely to come. The goal was to see the Qingshui Cliffs (清水斷崖) along the Suhua Highway.

I made it to both lookout points just before the rain started coming down in sheets. It made for a fun ride home.

The color of the water is amazing

Rain clouds rolling in quickly

Just before the rain stared coming down in sheets

Hualien 花蓮 — Day 7-8-9 ...

Me and Little Levi
On day seven, Typhoon Goni was slowly making its way up the eastern coast of Taiwan. Hualien County got dumped on for two days.

There wasn't much to do but stay indoors watching movies and reading. 

Although relaxing, it was not exactly how I wanted to be spending my vacation.

Day 9 the sun returned and the exploring continued — at the very cool Moon Cave (月洞)

Another stop at Shitiping (石梯平) to watch the high waves still rolling in from the storm

Hualien 花蓮 — Day 6 ...

A very impressive kids' water park at Zhikaxuan Forest Park (知卡宣森林公園)

One day before the typhoon was scheduled to arrive — at Zhikaxuan Forest Park (close to home)

Not a great day to tour the city ocean parks as officers were stationed anywhere near the water

Sweet-talked my way (in Chinese) to get a closer shot of the beach — Qixing Beach (七星潭)

Hualien 花蓮 — Day 5 ...

Walking along the Dashibi Mountain Trail (大石鼻山步道) along the 台11線

Overlooking Jiqi Beach (磯崎海水浴場) from Dashibi Mountain Trail

Heading up the Dashibi Mountain Trail in the hot, hot afternoon sun

Wandering around Fanshuliao (蕃薯寮) along the 台11線

Hualien 花蓮 — Day 5 ...

Road trip route
Day five was wonderful! First stop was the gorgeous Fuyuan National Forest Recreation Area. (富源國家森林公園)

This park has trails in the mountains or along the river. The mountain trail surrounds you with lush greenery and offers some amazing views. You will also pass by a bat cave that doesn't seem to have any bats.

The whole route took about 3 hours to complete. It was a terrific start to the day and this park is perhaps my newest favorite forest recreation area on the island!

Hualien 花蓮 — Day 4 ...

Looking at the Lao River (荖溪) from Chinan National Forest Recreation Area (池南國家森林樂遊區)

 Looking at Liyu Lake (鯉魚潭) in the distance from Chinan National Forest Recreation Area

Overlooking the Liyu Lake Campground

People watching at the busy Baibaoxi (白鮑溪生能復育)

Hualien 花蓮 — Day 4 ...

The gorgeous Liyu Lake (鯉魚潭) in Shoufeng Township (壽豐鄉)

Heading to the mountains in the distance for a hike

Many hiking trails can be found in the mountains near Liyu Lake

The Red-Faced Duck festival at Liyu Lake (not terribly exciting)