Of Angels and Angel Tears…!

Started out last Saturday on our big expedition to the mountain ridge up above Guanshan 關山 in Taitung 台東 County… 19 of us, mostly from one wonderful extended family, plus a few extra hangers-on, like me….

Ages ranged from 11-67, all delightful, gracious and a blessing to be with.  I was with the same lovely group last summer for the big climb up Nan-Hu Big Mountain, and the year before for the climb up Syue Mountain …

So Day 1, and up and up and up we walked and walked all day – on the Jia-Ming Lake National Trail heading to the mountain ridge, and to the mountain hut for the night…

Up through the sunny but sheltered pine forests and azaleas and into the cold mist and rain that comes most afternoons at this time of year…  but wow, so wonderful to see a rainbow!

Evening spent spying on deer who come up in the evenings very close…  a great day but oh, a little exhausted – and alarms set for 3:00am tomorrow morning… aaarrgh!

Day 2, Sunday and we misread the clocks, so instead of 3:00am we were all up and ready to go before 2:00am ha ha!  A freezing cold night, temperatures very cold, but the thought of sunrise gets us up and moving…

The sun rises giving us spectacular views of YuShan, Taiwan’s highest mountain…. and by 7:00am we were on the top of  San-Cha Shan 三叉山 3496m, Taiwan’s No. 27 highest mountain…

And then down to Jia-Ming Lake 嘉明湖 at 3310m, Taiwan’s second highest mountain lake, known as the ‘Tear of an Angel’ because of its shape… it’s stunning!  Spent 3 hours there enjoying coffee and instant noodles, paddling and a small nap!  And back to the hut by early afternoon just as the mists and rain came down!

And so to Day 3, and another early start, 3:00am and off by 4:30am to see the sunrise and to get to the top of our second mountain, Shiang-Yang Shan 向陽山 3603m, Taiwan’s 17th highest mountain… the mist arrived as we were on the way up, and yet check out the special rainbow made by the sun shining on the mist… amazing eh?!

And so down and down and down back to the entrance gate just as the heavy rain started (typhoon expected at the end of this week, so we were there just in time!) and eventually last night back by train to Taipei….

Group photos, courtesy of our group photographer…

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We had a small dog to accompany us for all of Day 3 who lives mostly at the entrance gate – it munched away on moss whenever it felt hungry, and when we gave it a Oreo biscuit on the summit, it promptly buried the Oreo in the soil – ready for next time ha ha?!

A wonderful 4 days – grateful to Jasmine and her group for their warm welcome to join them on this trip, grateful to our guide Lai San 賴桑 who kept the pace so nicely that I have never been stiff afterwards (if I go on my own to Yang-Ming Shan I can hardly walk for the following 3 days!), and especially grateful to Almighty God for safety, good weather, good health and good company… abundant blessings indeed.

At our Advent Church Prayer Meeting last week, our rector had prayed for God’s angels to go with us to take care of us – and so they were, and their tears were left at Jia-Ming Lake too!

Taipei Times: Yushan Lodge to reopen this week

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4 Responses to Of Angels and Angel Tears…!

  1. Sartenada says:

    Awesome landscape and so beautiful photos!

  2. Jean says:

    hi can I check with you how you go to the Angel’s Tear Lake? is it possible for cyclist?

    • Angel’s Tear Lake is up on a high ridge. The ridge is very steep, and takes all day to climb up. You’d have to carry your bike for most of the way up. Along the ridge would be OK for cyclists.

  3. Pingback: Bringing in the New Year 2017 on Taiwan’s beautiful east coast @ 台東 Taitung! | Catherine Lee

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