Total Distance: 34 km
Altitude up: 950m
Altitude down: 250m
Wake up at 6:00 am after a good night's sleep. My breakfast I take in a local shop, Chinese Hamburger, Dou Tiang ( Tofu milk ) and Lobo Gau.When I leave it is still foggy and a bit windy. Until kilometer 38 I still walk through cabbage land, then the valley gets narrower and the mountains steeper and I walk through all natural forest. Monkeys scream in the tree tops, but I can't see them in the dense green. The fog gets so thick that I can only see a few meters. I then arrive at a Chinese pagoda at Sanyuan Pass and within meters the weather changes to a bright sunny day and strong wind.Also the landscape changes to a high altitude valley with grass; it reminds me in some way of European Alps
. The wind is so strong, especially the wind gusts, that it pulls away my feet and I make unintended sidesteps. At noon time I stop at a very small shop in nowhere the have my lunch. I still have the mantou ( Chinese bread ) I bought in the morning and buy a can of tuna fish and a can of milk with peanuts - sounds delicious ? That's really one issue: It is no problem to find something to eat, as most villages have small shops but often no restaurants, so the quality and health factor is not the best - mostly canned, over-sugared and full of preservatives - I am sure with this nutrition my body will not decompose after my death. The owner, a heavy lower middle aged man speaks some English and is fond to practice it. He is definitely not shy to speak, the best way to learn the language as is commonly said - but I am sorry, it is really stress for the listener. Mostly I get totally lost latest in the middle of a sentence. But I still figure out that he is a great baseball fan ( in the villages everyone is a baseball and basketball fan ) and he knows all teams and game results of the Taiwan and America league. Now that's not a topic for me as I don't even know the rules and I try to make clear to him that I am German and baseball is not very known in my country. He then names a number of German soccer players - luckily here I am at least on more familiar ground, especially after last years's World championship in Germany. The situation is also not much helped by the contributions of two slightly drunk local farm workers
. The owner must watch all sports channels all day long - considering his volume, if he would just move a bit more himself, perhaps not use the remote control. A bit stressed out and mentally exhausted I continue my walk.
An hour later I arrive at the Wuling crossing and I have to walk an unexpected additional 3 km to the Recreational Area on a side road. At the ticket booth the bus driver of the Lishan toYilan route honks the horn and waves to me. This and other encouraging words happens all the time, so please allow me not to mention it every time, but it is really friendly, supportive and appreciated by me. The guard in the ticket booth is bored and glad to have a chat with me. The bus driver had already announced me as he had seen me the second day walking. I again get a discount ticket of 100 NTD instead of 160. Then another bad news on the kilometer front: the camping pace is another 6 km away, partially up. At the old hotel in green painted wood ( I like the look and atmosphere ), which now also features some 20 wooden huts and a coffee shop, I have a coffee outside in the early afternoon sun. At a neighboring table sit a couple and a Buddhist nun. Now its time to get my things for the evening settled. I walk in direction of camp ground, pass by a very modern 5-star hotel and stop at the Shuei Shan National Park center. The staff is really nice, helpful and efficient.
They tell me of a hostel at the end of the valley, make a phone call and a beautiful middle aged woman confirms that place is available in Tong Pu for 480NTD including breakfast and dinner - done deal, better than camping, especailly with the strong wind, which will shake my tent the whole night. One staff, a man with a very feminine touch, offers to bring me to the hostel by scooter, but I still want to look around the Center.They show me a video in English about the National Park and I visit the exhibition. At four o'clock I begin my walk of the remaining 5km to the hostel. The last kilometer a couple gives me a ride in their BMW. They speak excellent English and some German because they have lived in Duesseldorf, Germany, for several years He works for a touch panel company. The hostel is very nice, located in a forest, and has a clean tong pu with shower in the room, tonight only for me. After dinner ( pork meat, two vegies, rice and soup ) I take a stroll to the river, where I meet a group from Taoyuan and we have a nice talk and some fun as one lady likes to make jokes - we guess our age and when it is my turn to guess her's I refuse citing it would not be polite to ask /discuss a lady's age. She says it does not matter as she still thinks and feels young at her age of 54. There you have it.
Route: Nanshan - Tsai Modeng - Shihyuan pass - Shengguang - Wuling farm