Last Updated on
I knew that hitchhiking is cool way how to get to know new people. I just didn’t expect my new friends will be those ones who wear the uniform. It was none else but two Police officers, who gave me one hour lift from Xindian to Jiaoxi so that I can visit the waterfalls.
After 45 minutes of trying and walking among road, local mean approached me. “I know what you are trying to do, let me help you,” he told me (based on combination of Chinese vocabulary and body gestures I suppose he did). We crossed the street together, and surprisingly, he entered local police station (!). “Well, being arrested is a great help,” I said to myself. Before I managed to explain that I have no trouble apart from getting car, there was 5 pairs of police eyes staring at me. Realizing that they are being much more relaxed and serious than police back to my country, I accepted their invitation for tea. I felt a bit ridiculous seated in the police sofa and having chat with Taiwan police, but I had asked for and adventure and here it was. It don’t take long before I was short of vocabulary and wanted to keep going. But my new friends didn’t want to let me go and two of them offered me the drive all the way to my target destination – Jiaoxi, located about 55 kilometers away. The journey took us about one hour. I had very safe ride, indeed. They even drove me all the way to the entrance to the waterfalls.
My plan was to hike to Yuemeikang Waterfall, but as I couldn’t find the right way, I started by visit of more touristy Wufengchi Waterfalls. It is actually few waterfalls connected by staircase and wooden paths which make it extremely easy to go around, so there were crowds of local tourists around. Some of them were pretty surprised to see there foreigner, especially girl by herself (photo camera is my only companion). Their curiosity reached that level that some of them forgot about being shy and approached me. One of them was Candy, 16 years old girl who almost started hugging me when she realized I am from NCCU (university that she really wants to study at one day). Further, I also met group of 4 girls who actually helped me to find the beginning of the hiking trail towards Yuemeikang (one of the situations where the crazy fact that all the teenagers are connected all the time to Internet on their smartphones can be useful).
It took me about one hour to reach the Yuemeikang Waterfall. I had description by my friend Richard Saunders, which helped me to find it. I was a bit concerned for the weather, since it I knew that I will have to step into the river at some point and river near the waterfall is not exactly place where you want to be when it is raining (it wasn’t a heavy rain but still). I was a bit uncertain toward the part when crossing the river with help of the ropes, but finally I met other people (Taiwanese) who told me that I am near and I have to use more ropes or go through the river. I chose the first option but soon, the cliffs were so steep that I knew I would end up in the river anyway. Therefore, I kept wading upstream until I reached the scene with 40 meters high waterfall opened for me. I enjoyed the moment, it was like show created my mother nature and I was the only spectator.
When I returned back to entrance of Wufengchi Waterfalls to find the bus stop, the hikers I previously met near the waterfall were passing by car. And guess what…they stopped and took me with them. They told me that they live Jiaoxi and invited me for some birthday party that night. I let them to drop me off near the main station. That day, I had another plans – I was gonna stay overnight at my friend’s house in Yilan and attend traditional Chinese wedding the day after.
But about that next time:)