~ 22nd March 2014 ~
The day I crawled out of bed at 4:15a.m. to brush my teeth and wear a few layers of clothing, tumbled down the staircase and waited for the van to come pick us up. Other passengers were made to walk all the way to the train station to be picked up. I whispered a prayer of thanks to God for giving us first class treatment. It was really far to walk, whichever hotel you are staying. The hill road was bumpy and instead of slowing down, the van driver accelerated at every bump and we bounced on our seats like a few sacks of potatoes waiting to be sent to the morning market. We were not going to the morning market. We were just chasing after the sunrise. Yeah... I'm mad enough to go to another country to chase after the sunrise when I can actually watch sunrise 5-minute drive away from my house and I have yet to do so.
There's another hotspot to view sunrise but if the fog was too thick, you would be just wasting your money, time and energy. We were at Shishan along the Yushan Scenic Highway. The place where we were standing was good enough. We did not need the sun to rise to cheer us up. We were elated to watch the sea of clouds. Imagine jumping into the sea of clouds thinking that it's water.
I'm actually tempted to jump but it would only spell death one way or another. I took quite a number of photos until I realized that it was the same thing so in the end I just stood there and captured the beauty through my own naked eyes. For a person who has never witness such wonderful daily scene, it was really beautiful. I have no words to describe how in awe I was.
After standing for I don't know how long, the van driver asked us to go to the van. He said there's another better place to catch the sunrise. We went bumping all the way like sacks of potatoes again. Bumped all the way uphill until the van stopped somewhere in the middle of the highway.
There's another group of tourists from mainland with a tour guide. We 'borrowed' the tour guide but as usual, I wasn't listening. I did some filtered listening and heard that we might not be able to view the sunrise as the clouds were too cloudy. That's where I started praying like I have never prayed before. I was very desperate to view sunrise because we sacrificed our precious sleep just for this. Immediately after that, the cloudy clouds started to move really fast and the clear blue sky appeared. But there was one massive cloud which was blocking the sunrise view altogether.
You know the sun was peeking out from behind the clouds when you could the orange colour in the horizon. The massive cloud refused to budge faster. In fact, it slowed down to the speed of a sloth. I prayed harder and I knew it would appear soon but sad to say, the van driver asked us to go to the van as he has to fetch another group of tourists after dropping us to another place. A place to view a thousand years old tree. We went there to view sunrise, not to look at a freaking thousand years old tree. We were upset. I was really upset.
You see those massive clouds blocking the direct view of the sun rising? If only the van driver could wait for a few more minutes. We had been standing there for almost an hour. A few more minutes wouldn't kill. We missed the sunrise due to the impatience of a man. Same story as why our world is in such a state now due to the impatience of Sarai to wait upon the Lord to bless her and Abraham with Isaac.
The sea of clouds was subsiding. It will build up again in the afternoon. So, in order to experience everything in Alishan, you will need to stay for a night or two.
Goodbye, sunrise. No sunset view from Alishan as well... but I got to view the best sunset in my own island. Off we bounced along the scenic highway to look at a thousand years old tree. We dozed off in the van as the excitement was totally gone already. We just wanted to crawl back to bed before we checked out.