A&E on the World Heritage Train East 2009 travel blog

Etnernal Spring Shrine

Scary wobbly bridge, Eternal Shrine Trail

The Eternal Spring of the Eternal Spring Shrine Trail fame

Changhchun Shrine Entrance

Blue gorge waters, Shakadang Trail, Taroko Gorge

Deep blue river pool, Shakadang Trail

Shakadang Trail above blue water

Higher reaches of the Shakadang Trail

I sat and drank the first nice coffee I have had in Taiwan, chewing my omelette sandwich while I watched the water pouring under the Entrance to the Eternal Spring Shrine Trail. One of those lovely timeless breaks. I had just walked the trail and had been chased out of my previous resting point high up the valley side by what I was concerned may have been one of those there killer bees all the signs kept going on about, it was certainly big enough and seemed very attracted to the 7/11 melon bun I was having for breakfast. But for now I could just mellow out and admire the fabulous view.

After my blissful breakfast I did another trail along a side gorge. A lot of the Shakadang Trail was beside the river, the deepest and most beautiful clear blue water I have ever seen in a river, fabulous. It was in the territory of the Taroko Tribe, who only stopped headhunting in the 30s. Young men are still expected to kill a wild boar or a bear for their initiation (women have to prove their weaving skills, doesn't seem quite fair somehow). It all felt a bit like trekking through the jungles of Borneo to my over-heated imagination.

And then back to Hualien, pick up the big rucksack, and back to Taipei, where I am in the YMCA again, although I will have to find somewhere else for the weekend as they are all booked up.

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