202003082359Short Hike to Mt. Bijia and Mt. Erge
My friend’s interest in hiking was rekindled after the Kinabalu trip and wanted to do it on a regular basis. 4 people, 1 car. Thanks to my friends (the couple), I could just hop in their car at home and slept all the way to the trailhead in the hills of Shenkeng.
Standing well below 1,000m, these are not mountains by some definitions, but hills, but the Taiwan government makes no distinction between them and calls all of them mountains. It’s also notable that the network of trails is usually complicated in the hills around major cities, and clueless hikers could easily get disoriented by broken trails, side trails, forks and misleading markers. In short, finding the right trailhead may sometimes present the biggest challenge of a hike.
In our case, we ran into trouble even before we started. A ribbon tied to the entrance of a staircase made us believe it was the right way, and it took us several minutes to realize our mistake. Once we found the correct entrance, it was freeway hiking all the way. We moved at a steady pace and, being experienced hikers, the trail’s varied terrain didn’t slow us down a bit. The view from the hilltops is unobstructed and being able to see far gave us great pleasure.
Near the summit of Mt. Erge (Er and Ge are two words), I remembered the observation deck was the very place my ex and I got together, but those are just memories that don’t mean much right now. Nevertheless, I contemplated the same landscape and thought about the passing of time for a while.
We retraced our footsteps to get back to where we started. Almost. Because I noticed another trail that offered a more direct approach.
A friend who lives in Xindian left early and the three of us, who live north of the city, had lunch together before saying goodbye to each other, and I got home before 2 pm. It’s a healthy hike!