After a week of wishy-washy spring weather, this Saturday finally cleared up enough to go to the Sandioaling Waterfalls. It was a gray day, but not to cold and no rain so we made the most of our chance. To get to Sandioaling we had to take a train from Taipei to Rayfeng. However, an hour later we realized we arrived in Keelung, we had gotten on the wrong train. So we got a cab to Rayfeng, being the fifth wheel on this trip I got to sit in front with the driver who talked non-stop the whole time and told me I was spicy (which I didn’t realize until after interpretation).
Rayfeng is popular (Hen Yo Ming! So famous!) because of it’s hundreds of stray cats. There is cat paraphernalia everywhere, statues, shops, stickers, postcards, food you could buy to feed to the strays, everything cat you could imagine. Naturally we stopped for a bit to check out the cats.
From Rayfeng we got the train to Sandioaling and started the hike about a 2 km walk from the train station. Like every Taiwan hike it started with stairs…
After about 2 km we got to the first view point, a small platform where you could see the waterfalls from a distance. This was the spot where most who were out for a leisurely walk turned around and went back. Of course we kept going.
To the falls,
another turning point where most people turned back, but I was up the wood ladder before anyone could protest, so we pressed on.
The trail kept getting narrower as the greenery around it got more lush, which meant we were in for something really special.
It was gorgeous. A single fall in the middle of nowhere, aside from our group there was only one other couple about our age who didn’t stay for very long so we had it all to ourselves. You could walk practically underneath the falls and all the way to where they dropped off the cliff to the first set of falls.
I could have stayed all day. But we had already been hiking for around two hours so we decided to finish.
When we finally reached a main road we waited around at the single bus stop. The bus wasn’t coming so we decided to try to hitch. In other words, I stood on the side of the road with my thumb out trying to look as sweet and innocent and lost and foreign as possible. A few cars stopped, mostly old couples but they didn’t have room for all of us. (With my white girl spicyness) I finally flagged down a van (two old men) who gave us a lift to Shifen.
While we waited for the train in Shifen we watched people set off their paper lanterns with their wishes and hopes. I was formerly under the impression that it was just a new years thing but now I know it is never too late to hope for a better future, and give thanks for the present you have, no matter what time of year.