Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and a few Hike Plans for 2011

The wonderful Cloud Forest Waterfall, Full Moon Mountain, Sanxia (TDT book 1, walk 30)

At the highest point of the Caoling Trail (with few other walkers on the trail – a rare and wonderful phenomenon at this over-popular place!)

I’m off to England tomorrow (26th) first thing to see my family (which will be great, but it’ll be a sedentary two or three weeks, with few chances to get out except a trip or two up to London for the Sales.)  At least I can pick up a new camera there (bought cheap on Amazon), to replace my poor present one which has suffered from many months of knocks and wettings and now refuses to focus properly in anything less than full sunlight. I’ll be back mid January (maybe a little earlier, if I can change my flight ), and look forward to getting out again regularly, if the weather allows.

Strange shrine in natural rocky outcrop above Xinbeitou (TDT book 1, walk 2)

View from the summit of White Chicken Mountain (TDT book 2, walk 17)

On the trail to Cloud Forest Waterfall, Sanxia (TDT book 1, walk 30)

I’ve been hiking nearly every day this last week or two (since most of my piano students left for Christmas about 10 days ago, these photos are from those trips and the last two weekend hikes), and the two books are well on their way towards revision. Hoping then to change my focus towards multi-day trips to the offshore islands in the early summer.

Between Mount Jhan and Guanyin Mountain (new hike for next edition)

The scenery along the branch path between Caoling Historic Trail and Taoyuan (Paradise) Valley is far more impressive than anything seen along the much more popular Caoling Trail nearby

There are still six or seven choice hikes being reserved for the group on Saturdays and Sundays in the New Year, before we go back to the usual one or two a month from April or so.

Lovers’ Temple, Xinbeitou (TDT book 1, walk 2)

On a bike, about to be run over by a crazy cycle gang going in the opposite direction, on the ridiculously popular Caoling Tunnel bike path – a far more dangerous place than any of the craggy trails I’ve hiked in recent months

Forest Mountain Waterfall, near Full Moon Mountain, Sanxia (TDT book 1, walk 30)

Definitely hikes planned for January 22nd and 23rd, and maybe two for 15th and 16th as well if the jet lag and weather permit.  More details about them later….

Carp Mountain from Dahu (TDT book 1, walk 4)

Dragon Boat Rock, above Neihu (TDT book 1, walk 4)

On top of Guanyin Mountain: fantastic weather!

Gem, perhaps the most energetic and insatiably curious dog I’ve ever known

Here’s hoping for more great weather in 2011;meanwhile wishing everyone best wishes for Christmas and  a Happy New year!

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