Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Day 8: Alishan's Legendary Forest Trail...

~ 21st March 2014 ~
Let's take a deep breath and I'll bring you for a walk in the forest. I can be a tour guide as well and a very good one if I want to be.
That's our guide answering Pinky's questions. I don't know what she asked neither could she remember what she ask. Maybe they were talking about the traffic lights for the forest rail but I think that rail line was no longer in service after a horrible landslide many years back. Okay, for this part, I cannot be the best tour guide anymore because I hardly pay any attention to all the explanations. I couldn't really understand.
For example, this cypress tree, if I could even get the name correct for this thin tree, was armored in antelope-styled skin to protect its bark from being further ripped off. The tourists from mainland China have very odd taste for souvenirs. They would ripped the bark of the trees and left those trees standing naked and cold in the mountain. How odd if my friends were to bring me a piece of tree bark from Taiwan, I wouldn't know what to use that for. Spray paint it and then wrap it up in clear plastic and punch a hole to make it into a bookmark? If you studied a little bit of Science, that part of bark was badly needed to transport food to the bottom part of the tree. *sigh*
You like this kinda feel? We love it to the max because we were getting away from the heat. It was so blissfully cold that my body temperature went haywire. I ended up with a terrible headache but I still marched on. I'm not one who would give in to sickness easily but I ended up calling it a day by 8 p.m. The weather condition up in the mountain looked like the sun has already set since early afternoon. Such feel was perfect to sleep for the whole day long not knowing whether it's am or pm. 
Even though this was not the trail that I wanted to walk on, but we had a wonderful guide. I knew those trees were mainly cypress because our tour guide was so kind to my language disability that he felt sorry for my poor understanding, he Google-d up for the name of the tree. There... there.... cypress. Thank you... or I would have completely lost interest to even listen for a bit and my walking translator has no knowledge of trees and even flowers. I had a great time taking photos. I kinda like walking in the woods as long as there are no snakes. I just need one encounter with a snake or a wild animal, I will stop walking in the woods completely. Let's take a look at a few snapshots as I'm lost for words about those trees.
The tree with roots looking like an opened asshole???
Walking along the stone slabs...
The trunks with such enchanted structure...
The tree with asshole....
The antelope-armored tree..
Spiritually, the forest was  an unhealthy place. The people of Alishan has steep beliefs in praying for the various spirits roaming and hovering around the forest. The spirits must be left wandering in the forest still. Thus, it's seriously not a healthy place to go unless you are spiritually able to fight the war that will come forth your way.
It was not a short walk but a really long walk in the forest. It felt like forever that I've been walking around. There's no place to rest, not that I wanted to sit there and do nothing. But if I really have the time to sit and do nothing, it would be quite a nice place but as the place become more quiet, the level of eeriness rises.
That's part of the 'Two Sisters' Pond'. It's just a made-believe story where two sisters fall in love with the same man then bla bla bla bla I couldn't remember but you can search for the story online but it was just a story that was made up by the people. The true story would be the Japanese who were there governing the country saw money *ka-ching ka-ching* in the forest. It's timber. They tried to get rid of the locals staying up at the mountain and there were incidents where the villagers of the local people were burnt to the ground. The hidden agenda that's always happening in the political arena which I have no interest to highlight or even write about. If I were to be a political critic I think I will end up behind bars, so let's keep this freedom as it is. There is no freedom of speech anywhere. There's always a limit set for any freedom achieved.
Three words... I DON'T UNDERSTAND... but just take a photo, okay since everybody else was taking a photo of that section. Do you really think there's no one at all over there?
This photo depicted the real situation. There were so many people everywhere some even climbed on the dead trunks. I think if they were more agile like the monkeys, they would have climbed up the trees and break the branches up there to take home as gifts to other villages. Maybe frame those leaves up to hang on the wall.
Our main purpose to be in Alishan was to look at those postcard landscape of cherry blossoms in spring. We were there at the right time but I ended up taking a photo with these flowers which I have no idea what they were. The tour guide didn't know what to say of those flowers so until now I have no idea what flowers were they.
If you have never known where or how did wasabi come about, it's high time that you learn. Wasabi comes directly from those roots, a bitter and long forgotten cousin of the yam and tapioca. Peel off the skin and you can suck on the wasabi. The one in the photo was of the highest grade. It was the most expensive with the most nose-pricking smell you could ever have. Some wasabi were quite tasteless as it was from the lower grade. So, don't always think that the restaurant is lousy for serving you tasteless wasabi as the restaurants are not to be blamed for the wasabi which originated from the soil. 
Sausages can be found at every corner of Taiwan but you should always look for the best. It's like hunting for char koay teow and laksa when you're in Penang. Don't always think that the places with most people has the most delicious food. It's always the opposite. The wild boar sausage grilled on top of pebbles up here in Alishan near a temple was really good. I did not snap a photo of the temple as I wouldn't want to defile my camera.
Just a we thought that our guided tour was coming to an end, it seemed like it was another trail that we were walking towards. We were actually going back to where we started through a totally different trail. At that point of time, I was really lazy to take anymore photos. I just wanted to crawl somewhere else and maybe wait for sunset. Fate hope. There's no sunset to see as the whole place was so misty, can't even look at the colour of the sky.
Something odd to look at. The three generations tree. The tree grew on top of each other. It's like the grandfather was hoisting up the father and the father was carrying the grandson on its shoulder. Behind those trees was a primary school. I wouldn't want to stay up there let alone walk to school in such cold day. I would sleep in class every day and I refuse to study at all. But I know in real life I'll be so board staying there in the woods. I might not want to leave my house at all. Thank God I'm not born there. 
The wooden planks trail leading to those clusters of giant trees never seem to end. There was this other group admiring the tree behind. We did walk over after they have walked away. We took as many photos as we wished. We were the last group walking around. Any tour group with me around would be the slowest, always the first in starting but ended up as the last. Hhahahaha.....
I think this is the last of the trail. Those stone slabs erected looked like were looking at tombstones. I refused to take a photo with those tombstones as I could not understand a single word of it. And this is where I kinda enjoyed taking photos where I wasn't in the photo itself. It's too tiring to pass the camera over and I wouldn't get the result that I wanted anyway,

While waiting to get back to our hotel, we were discussing with the tour guide about where to get the best sunrise view for the next day. Our tour guide told us that we would have to walk down to the train station to hitch a ride and to walk from where we were staying, it would take 15 minutes. That was a total lie, I looked at the route from the station to our hotel, it would take us more than 30 minutes and we had to leave for sunrise watch at 5 a.m. which means waking up at ungodly hours. I was praying hard that we wouldn't have to walk but the van would be kind enough to drive up to take us. I haven't finish praying when the van driver himself called up the tour guide to say that he would drive us straight from where we were staying. Hallelujah~!!! 
Goodbye, forest....
If you've never experience God personally and always find that God never answers your prayer, step out of your comfort zone and go to a foreign land where you know you're 200% dependent on Him and Him alone, over there you will find God. He's always with us but sometimes we chose not to see.

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