|Looking up the Slope
Yesterday we had a farewell event for Queena, one of Queenie's friends. Our fearless leader Frank decided to march us to the top of the hill and march us down again. So early in the morning (8:00am) we set off from our house to the Taipei Zoo. There we met Frank, Queena (of course), Sylph, David and David's young daughter. We jumped into Frank's car and he drove us to the foot of a trail on what they told me was "Er Guo Shan" (although I could be completely wrong about that). Anyway, it was one of the "mountains" at the back of the zoo. It was actually a beautiful day for hiking and while everyone wore sensible shoes, Queenie and I decided to wear sandles. Didn't worry me to much but poor Queenie slipped quite a lot on the clay underneath.
|At the Bottom
We headed up the steepest part of the "mountain" which was a small trail covered with green vegetation and the sun streaming through. It was brilliant weather for climbing. We took about 45-minutes to get to the top (maybe an hour), nothing too strenous but for us beginners a far-enough walk. Frank had to walking sticks and lent one to Queenie to help her up the mountain. Anyway, we all bounded up the mountain and a fairly brisk pace. I must say though Frank was a great leader who always took up the rear to make sure everyone got up the mountain OK.
|Our Leader Frank
The good part about choosing the more difficult slope is that there were very few people on that particular trail. On other trails there were considerably more people. We were thankful though to have nature to ourselves. The natural environment was incredibly beautiful and being surrounded by trees is a rare phenomnon in Taipei so it was fun. The striking thing though is that the vegetation around Taipei is very similar to the vegetation in Durban but that is because the climates are similar.
Everybody seemed to have fun.
|Queenie and Frank
|David and his Daughter
|Sylph and Queena
As I said, it did take a about an hour to get to the top. Some of the slopes were a little steep but there were a few ropes to help us pull ourselves up. The clay was wet so made the slopes a little slippery but if careful no big deal.
|At the Top
On the way down we met a couple of people. We met one 70 year old man who had worked for Chung Hua Telecom for 34 years. We also saw a "mountain biker" pushing his bike down the mountain as he was too afraid to ride. It was flat enough to ride but he didn't seem to have the desire. We also found an excellent resting point to take a long (very long) break.
|Queenie and Queena
So after taking our very very long break, we headed back down the"mountain." It was a great walk and I think we all felt very refreshed (if not a little tired) afterwards.
|Queena. Sylph and Queenie at the bottom
So that's it, the end of the hike. Goodbye Queena and good luck in London. We all wish you the best and we hope you find a job quickly and have a great time. Don't forget to come and visit us sometime and remember you will always have friends in Taiwan. Take care of yourself and next time we go hiking, please don't slow us down...ha ha ha...only joking. Anyway, all the best and good luck.
You can see more pictures of our hike @ Hiking Pictures