Monday, January 14, 2013

Plum Blossom Season in Chungyuan Indeginouse Tribe

     The unusual weather pattern makes this winter more wet, cold and less sunshine in Taiwan; however, the cold weather is good for some plants to grow well like plum trees. In recently years, people are more appreciated what the natural world has given us like wonderful, gorgeous scenery like plum blossom season during mid December to mid January. The most famous place for appreciating the blossom is in Sinyin Township, Nantou County.  Because it was so popular and caused traffic jam in that area, we decided  to visit another less famous and less visitors new place on a precious sunny day with our motorcycle on the beginning of the four day new year holiday. 

This was the first time my husband took me for a ride after he had someone attach 3 boxes to his bike. Our main concerned was if this motorcycle could bear our weight plus the boxes? Another thing was that I should give my husband a compliment for finding places to remodel his bike without my help. He is really a true adventure to explore Taiwan on his own.
We planed to take Highway 136 from Taichung to Yuchi then turning to different highways to our destination which is located in Renai Township, Nantoy County. Another way to find its location is to find the National Huisun Forest Recreation which is located at the end of highway.
We entered the hillside of Taiping which is an urban agricultural district of Taichung.  
The road had been destroyed many times by landslides which were caused by typhoon and earthquakes and it will happen again. Highway constructions seems to never end in Taiwan due to the natural disasters. 
One of the advantages of riding the motorcycle was that I could take pictures when we were riding along the highway without stopping. My husband's shoulder was my tripod. 
The morning sunshine in the remote area made it a perfect day to enjoy the last good weather in 2012. 
There were several temples along this highway.
This highway was also a popular route for bicyclists & motorcyclists. We met many bicyclists on our journey.  
We were riding in the mountains. 
There was a 4 km long uphill winding segment with big turns that was why it attracted bicyclists and motorcyclists to challenge their abilities.  
Picking betel nuts 
The Taichung city view was not very clear in the rear background. The only time to see a clear view of Taichung city is after it rains or after a typhoons. 
The disadvantage of riding on the motorcycle was that I had to bend my knees most times which was not comfortable for my knees. I found my way to reduce the tension on my knee while my husband was riding by taking my feet of the foot pegs and just letting them hang down. I was a passenger and felt discomforted on the back. How about the rider who could't stretch his legs to rest his knees while riding on the road?     
We entered Nantou County which is an inland county. 
Banana Trees
This was at the end of hwy 136 in Gouxing (Kuohsing) Township of Nantou County with the view of the Wuxi River and Mt. Chiu Chui Feng which means 99 Peak Mountains the highest peak is 779.4 meters
It was time to relax our butts and checked our motorcycle for unknown noises. After hwy 136, we turned on to the main Hwy 14. 
 Hwy 133 after Hwy 14
We entered Gouxing Township and saw the Giant Statue of Koxinga. During the early period of Koxinga taking over Taiwan from the Dutch, his military expelled the aborigines to this area and set up a military camp here to help the Han people developed this area without the aboriginies attacking.  
We were in downtown Gouxing ( Taiwanese pronunciation.) The traditional Taiwanese market was along the highway which is very common in most country sides. 
Poultry Stand: Chicken and Geese   
A Fish Stand
Kids were riding their bicycles along the highway. The traffic was very smooth on the beginning of the  four day holiday. 
We had to stop here because we made a wrong turn. It was time to use my tablet for the direction. 
The searching engine was not faster than asking the local about the directions. We decided to ask this old gentle man. We were not the first one to ask him about the directions. Most of the highway marking systems in Taiwan are not very clear and very confused. Sometime it is better to ask locals for the directions. 
My husband asked me that "which way should we go?" I told him to turn onto this bridge. Actually I was not sure if it was a correct direction and I wanted to see where it went.
 We arrived at the entrance of Alan Gluan indigenous tribe which is one of the Se-edeq tribes. Their ancestors originated from Wushe and were forced to move to this area after the Wushe Incident in 1930 for monitoring and controlling by the Japanese government.  
This was a small and peaceful village. The muffler of my husband motorcycle broke the peace and made displeasure noise to this village. We stopped and asked for the direction again. 
My butts was hurt. I stood up to release my discomfort and take this picture on my husband motorcycle while my husband was still riding slowly with no traffic on the road. It was not a good behavior for the safety. 
It seemed like we were approaching another indigenous village and our correct destination.  
We smelled the slight fragrance of plum flowers. It made this trip more enjoyable and worthy for the painful motorcycle ride. I knew we finally arrived at the right place.  
After the 921 earthquake which happened on Sept. 21 of  1999, the government built this small village for some aborigine whose houses were no longer safe to live to move here. However, the indigenous people were used to their own lifestyle. They moved back to their original home but they still kept their house here for disaster evacuation.     
The orchard farmer let us park our motorcycle in his courtyard. He was talking to my husband about his motorcycle. He made us laugh hard. He also told me about his tribe(Chungyuan Indeginouse Tribe) history. Their ancestors were also moved here from the Wushe area by the Japanese government because of constructing the Wanda Reservoir which submerged their territory in 1936. This  was the second time they were forced to move and settled down here.  
We walked through their courtyard to reach their farm. These orchids were organized to hang very neatly. 
Walking on this trail was just like walking in the poety scenery with my dear husband.
Orchid Blossom
Grass were all over the orchard farms in this area which was different than the most popular and commercialized plum blossom area in Sinyi Township which was not covered by grass. I asked the farmer why not cut the grass and make it more easy for visitors to access the farm. He told me that the indigenous people have their ways to coexist with the nature. They won't destroy the nature just for the tourists. The more visitors would cause more destruction of the trees because people will hold down the branches and take pictures with blossoms. In result, the flowers were destroyed which would caused less plum fruit for them to harvest.    
We started exploring this area after we got some information from the  friendly farmer and his family. My husband asked me if this road could go through. My guessed was it could. Well..............
I made my husband in trouble at this moment and also made myself in big trouble because of my idea. Now I had to help him to pull out his stuck motorcycle because there was no road and his motorcycle was at the bottom of the hill. He could hardly turn around his motorcycle. Sorry, my dear.
It was time to head back to Taichung. Said good bye to Hwy 133. 
It is always quicker to go back home than go to any destination. We were on Hwy 136 again.  
This was the highest point of Hwy 136. We met a group of students traveling on this highway for their four days of vacation.  

My cat was attracted to the mouse cursor. 
This was how he took over my computer which slowed down my works. Poor Me ! 

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