Yuan Zui Mountain
February 27th, 2017
Alex and I had been talking about going on a hike for weeks, so when we finally had a long weekend where I wasn’t going anywhere (my bad) we planned to go hike Yuan Zui Mountain. YZ is 2,307 meters above sea level and known for its amazing views.
Alex and I woke up super early and met with our friend Arie at 7:00am. With bags filled full of snacks we hopped on our scooters and drove the hour and a half to the start of the Yuan Zui Trail. It was a chilly, drizzly day. I was very grateful for all the layers I had put on before I left the apartment.
On the way to YZ we stopped at a bird-watching sight for a break. We all desperately needed to stretch our legs. There were so many people with huge, expensive cameras all quietly standing around ready to take a picture of a bird. Me, being the oh so quiet person that I am, remembered that my camera was at the bottom of my bag. As I rustled through my bag I got some side glances and Alex just started laughing at me. What can I say, I am sooo subtle. I was lucky and got a shot of the Swinhoe Pheasant. It is truly a beautiful bird.
After our little break we continued on until we got to the trail head. This was it. It was all stairs, ropes, rocks, and climbing. Since the weather was a bit rainy we couldn’t really see anything. I was disappointed by the lack of view, but thoroughly enjoyed the eery feeling of a foggy forest. It was like something out of a movie. Dare I compare it to Twilight!? Unfortunately, Edward didn’t pop out to sweep me up to the top of the mountain. That would have been nice because my legs were feeling it. At the top the feeling was amazing. We made it! I got my top of the mountain picture, fog and all.
We all ate some snacks at the top and then started to make our way down the mountain. My knees were feeling it, but the hike was still a lot of fun. By the end we could feel the exhaustion coming over us. Each step on the slippery stone stairs felt like a risk. Either you were going to fall on your bum or not. It was such a great feeling when we saw the end of the trail. We did it!
We bundled back up and drove back to Fengyuan. Back in town we went to our favorite pizza shop and ate a delicious lunch. I felt bad that I wasn’t adding much to the conversation, but I was soooo tired. After lunch we said our goodbyes. I went back to the apartment, took a shower, and then processed to take the best nap of my life. I think it was well deserved.
Hiking Yuan Zui with awesome people reminded me of a lesson that I continue to learn over and over again in Taiwan. Everything may seem frustrating and the language barrier may get annoying, but then you have amazing moments of sitting on the top of a mountain and laughing over “dates on a log” AKA “cockroach on a log”. (Alex and I have coined it so no one go stealing our million dollar phrase.) I can’t let the uncontrollable get me down, but I can cherish the time I have with friends in this beautiful country.
Photo cred: Alex and Arie, who took photos of me while I clung to the ropes for dear life.