Friday, November 16, 2012

Visiting A Historical Tunnel and Water Bridge on Nantou Hwy 131

     After a couple hours staying in Checheng, I decided to visit some forgotten historical sites which were built by the Japanese along the highway 131. 
Looking back at the Mingtan Reservoir from hwy 131 
This sign indicated that this is the Checheng agricultural recreational area. Before this sign there was a road on the right side which would lead me to the historical tunnel and the waterway.  
Turning off from the main highway, I wondered to myself why I chose to visit this extremely remote area alone. I thought only my husband was a great adventure who took me to many outback and remote areas with unrecognized roads. Now I did the same thing alone. I thought I got a contiguous disease from him.
This was the abandoned tunnel which is called Daguan Tunnel with a length of 200 meter and a S-shape design for adapting to the mountain orientation. It was an old railroad tunnel which was built and connected to the Daguan Hydraulic Power Plant in 1919. The main purpose of the tunnel was for transporting the equipment and supplies for the construction of the hydraulic power plant. The power plant was finished in 1934 and the railroad tracks were removed and it became a road for the old highway system. After the Minghu Reservoir was finished in 1981, the old highway was submerged by the reservoir and the tunnel was forgotten. Now it is a place to host bats. If you like to explore this tunnel, you should have a flashlight. 
This map system just for all of Taiwan was sponsored by Chunghwa Telecom which allows you to zoom in more for details without running off the page.

Traveling to the waterway, the road was getting more like a forest, but it also gave strangers like me a spooky feeling. I didn't know what situation that I would encounter. My sense told me that I should U-wie back but my sensibility asked me to keep going. I struggled for a while. I convinced myself to keep going for the theory of nothing ventured nothing gained. I came across a truck from the opposite direction which eased my worrisome. 
I kept driving to a destination which was unknown to me. "Be aware of your surrounding " my husband's guidance suddenly appeared in my mind. Alright, I should be aware that snakes could fall into my car, so I put my windows up.  I wondered if beautiful birds would come to say "hello" to me. Hoped my wish come true. 
Most of Taiwanese female drivers don't know car mechanics or how to fix simple car's problems like myself.  My main concern about my adventure was if my 16 years old car broke down even just had a flat tire, I didn't know if I was able to fix or change the spare tire. 
This was a water bridge which transported the water from a higher hydraulic power plant to a lower lake for reusing by a lower hydraulic power plant. The water was transported by tunnel and bridge with a total length of 5 km. The road also ended here.

This was the worse section with a few fallen rocks and tree branches on the road  between the water bridge and the tunnel on the road.  
This was the Daguan  Hydraulic Power plant which was built by the Japanese with funding from the United States government. It is opened to the public from  9 am to 4 pm Tuesday through Sunday. 
Since my husband was not with me, I didn't have any destination to visit just following my mind to the places that were arranged by fate. I turned off the main hwy 131 onto Nantou county hwy 64 for the attraction of Lienhuachih Forestry Research Center which I had never noticed in the past.
According to the introduction information, the trails were not too long. I gave up exploring these trails alone. See you next time! Hopefully soon.
I kept driving on the unknown forest road with curiosity. I just wanted to know where was the end of the road. I was not afraid here alone. 
Formosan Florin Forest 
This was a great road for bicycles or motorcycles. 
The difference between the signage in the States and in Taiwan was that it would be a grade indication on the sign in the States. When I first saw this sign, I thought the grade was 25%. It took me a while to realize it was a speed indication. 
I was surprised by this site which had some yurts standing on the land. It was not common in Taiwan to my knowledge. After the internet search, the farmer raised cattle since 1985 and it opened to the public for camping in the recent years.  
My drive ended up at the Taomi Ecological Village. What a surprised!
     These places in this article can't be accessed by the public bus. It is great to reach these places by car, motorcycle or motor scooter, or bicycle.  Most cities near the train station offer 125 cc motorcycles for about 400 to 500 NT per day for rentals.

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