Wulai Mountain 烏來山 10/1

Wulai Shan 2006 wulaishan

We walk down to Xinwu Rd 新烏路 and catch a bus to Gweishan 龜山 and then a taxi to Sikanshuishan 四崁水山. The driver guesses we are going to the Culture University Experimental Forest and tells us that originally a University had been planned to be built there. He is happy to take us up the road into the Feitsui reservoir 翡翠水庫 watershed. He talks about how much he used to hike around in this area when he was younger and knows where we plan to walk. We talk about how there are fruit orchards in the area, especially citrus but it is no longer worth picking the fruit. Sometimes you will see an old person carrying vegetables from their plot down the road to market - and that is the best produce because it has no pesticides.

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Path up to Da Tong Shan 大桶山, 1:30PM
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Planted pines 杉木林, 2PM
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From the end of the road at the settlement at Sikanshuishan 四崁水山 we walk through the farms and up through orchards and tea plantations. Ripe pomellos are falling off the tress unpicked. The sky is overcast but the ground is dry. We have climbed the steep path to Datongshan when it was very slippery. Steep clay sections can be challenging. The land and plants are very wet from the Feitsui reservoir 翡翠水庫 microclimate.

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Da Tong Shan
916m, 2:30PM
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Stag beetle
Neolucanus swinhoei

Datongshan 大桶山 means "big barrel mountain" - from a distance the mountain looks like a flat-topped round mountain. There is a solar powered weather station on the peak. If the weather is clear climbing the antenna reveals a panoramic view of the Wulai 烏來 area. From the peak paths go NW to the village of Zhongzhi 忠治 - the area's original central Atayal settlement, north back the way we came to Sikanshuishan 四崁水山 and then down to the village of Gweishan 龜山 (10.2km), east towards Luofengshan 落鳳山, or south 3.8km to Wulaishan 烏來山 - the direction we continue.

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Phellinus pectinatus
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trametes versicolor

We see many mushrooms on the way down and run across the thorny big vine in many places.

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Wulaishan 烏來山, 820m, 4PM
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steep and narrow
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above Wulai, 4:15PM
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The descent from Wulaishan 烏來山 to Wulai 烏來 takes nearly two hours. The path is very steep, often with ropes, following a narrow ridge with the village of Wulai seemingly at your feet. The end of the path drops onto a maintenace road for water supply and this road leads out to Miaoxin temple 妙心寺. We eat dinner at Taiya Popo 泰雅婆婆 on the main street of Ulay (Wulai) before taking the bus back to New Garden City.

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10/4 Mushrooms are blooming around the base of planted trees along the NGC road, perhaps from spores in the planting material.

same area, January 2006

Wulai Shan 2006 Zhong Xing Keng area mapZhongxingkeng

10/7 - walk down to Xiaocukeng 小粗坑

10/7, From the fountain at the circle of New Garden City 花園新城 we follow the contour around the valley up towards the pass on Xinwu Rd 新烏路 where we take steep stairs through houses which takes through a network of rambling homesteads and eventually to Yongxing Rd. 永興路 which leads down to the Gweishan power plant 桂山發電廠 on Xindian river 新店溪. The Gweishan and Xiaocukeng power plants were built at the beginning of Japanese rule, around 1905 and are the earliest and longest standing hydroelectric plants on the island. Aborgines attacked the Gweishan power plant on February 20, 1905 -- known as the Chuchi incident 屈尺事件. Construction of the dams was key to the commercial growth of Taipei and launched commercial and tourist development of the Xindian area. From the plant a five minute walk brings us to the bus stop at Xiaocukeng 小粗坑. We see many butterflies in gardens around homes and following the stream. We take the same walk a year later.

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Flowering and fruiting Elderberry, 冇骨消, Sambucus formosana, noon
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Golden Web Spider, 人面蜘蛛, Nephila pilipes
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Guishan Power Plant
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Guishan Power Plant
Japanese era
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Common Bluebottle, 青帶鳳蝶 Graphium sarpedon