I started out with the idea of simply blogging series of photos, but that has quickly morphed into something a little more specific in the form of detailed guides. In that case my plan is to use this tab as more an informal space to blog the odd travel story or whatever I happen to be doing or thinking lately!
I normally end up with a bunch of photos that I never get to use from most photo trips. I'll probably end up posting some decent but not great photos here so they don't simply get lost in the depths of my photo catalog. Since coming back from the UK over Christmas, Taiwan has been surprisingly cold for once! For the most part of the 5 winters I've been here, there's barely been any real winter. It seems like ever year winter gets progressively shorter each year almost. Sadly most of the cold weather is accompanied by endless rain here, so when you do get one of those dry cold days you have to make the most of the day!
It started out as most other days, I rolled out of bed and sipped on a coffee doing my best to wake up etc. I tend to follow my own personal routines here and I was about to set off to the gym, until I spied a glimpse of A snow capped YangMingShan. Given that the only snow I've seen here in 5 years is from one giant mountain in the centre Taiwan, I couldn't pass up this opportunity. I ran back down stairs, changed out of my gym gear, threw on hiking boots and was out the door with the camera bag in tow!
I just about managed to catch the bus to Xiaoyukeng in time! (I also purchased some last minute gloves that turned out the be the best 500nt I've spent in a while) and headed up the mountain. The drop in temperature at the top of YangMingShan was pretty crazy, I was glad I picked up that pair of gloves as an afterthought otherwise my hands would have fallen off! The wind was howling and the normally easy trail up the mountain had be turned into a snow tunnel. The weight of the snow on the giant long grass meant that a lot of the path was covered overhead and you were forced to crouch walk under all the snow covered plantation. Getting to the top was fairly easy but coming down again on fully iced over steps was a bit gnarly. I did end up sliding down quite a few different sets of stairs!
all in all it was good to grab the free time and get out of the big smokey city here. Being able to clear your head with cool mountain air is priceless :)