Fact #1 I have climbed seven mountains across Taiwan throughout my approximately 4.5 months exchange in the country. Fact #2 Two were done on my own. Fact #3 I have not heard of Mount Hehuan before I travelled to the country. So how did I end up climbing it?
There was a CCA exhibition in my host university at the beginning of that semester and mountain climbing club was one of the CCAs that had caught my attention. I left them my personal information and Facebook username. Soon, with the Taiwan’s National Day holiday coming up, all my coursemates were busy planning where to go during the upcoming national public holidays that lasted for three days, so did I. But instead of visiting any of the nearby countries like Japan or Korea, I contacted the president of the mountain climbing club to ask whether there was any slots for their 3D2N Hehuan Mountain hiking trip despite knowing the registration has already closed because by then it was about one week prior to departure and they have already had one pre-trip meeting. I didn’t expect any good news.
But to my amazement, the president told me that there was one slot left as someone JUST decided to withdraw from the trip!!!! Aiyo, everything is fated lar I tell y’all. I asked about the price then I asked the president to give me 5 minutes to think and I would call him back. The trip costed NTD $2,500 (SGD$112) which was super worthy ok, as compared to my previous 2D1N Mount Kinabalu trip that costed me SGD$330. I texted my dad to ask for approval and as expected, he gave me the green light. My dad loves hiking too btw. I believed I would have still joined anyway even if he wasn’t okay with it. 😉
There was a second pre-trip meeting but I would skip the details here.
I woke up at 4.30am. I think i barely slept because I was pretty excited. After everyone has arrived at the meeting point, only I knew I was the only foreigner in the trip.
Spot the solar panel? We were heading there in this photo. This was taken after what seemed like 1.5 hours into the hike.
It was a foggy day. It re-motivated me when I was told that the solar panel was sort of our destination. I was half-dying. I love hiking a lot, but not when there’s a backpack on my back. Hiking game totally changes when you hike with a backpack.
The president & I!! (:
There were about 20+ of us. Imagine the amount of utensils, pots, tents, sleeping bags, water, food etc that we brought with us!!!! Everything important was on our back. One less sleeping bag would mean one of us would have to sleep at 10°C without protection at all.
Here is what our camping site looked like from far. There were other people coming up to camp as well.
And this is the public toilet that 79103718291 of us shared throughout the trip. Oh ya, none of us showered in that three days, including your majesty HAHA.
My backpack weighed about 10kg, but still looked like a normal school bag size next to the guys’. STILL, the weight of load + the cold weather half-killed me. I usually hike in tropical climates.
Therefore all the big roles went to the experienced seniors and some other guys hahaha. The guys with purple and royal blue backpacks y’all see in the photo weighed about 25-28kg no joke!!!! Crazy. ALL THE FOOD WAS WITH THEM so I always made sure they didn’t go disappear throughout the hike. just kidding. Not only they were the ones who brought all the food up to the mountain, they were also the ones cooking for us. So poor thing.
That night was so damn cold I couldn’t breathe and sleep properly. Plus I experienced altitude sickness on the mountain, so I felt very dizzy. I wanted to puke but I couldn’t. I didn’t have appetite to have my dinner at all which the seniors pointed out the situation could be very dangerous, so I forced myself to eat.
My tent buddies!! 😀
The sunrise on the second day was da sweet and sexy boom. I will let UNFILTERED pictures do the talking.
The view totally eye fucking me.
We even brought plain bagels pack with us but I have never liked bagels because they feel almost impossible to bite into. So, I didn’t want to eat (again) and all I wanted to have for my breakfast that day was the 3-in-1 milo pack that I brought myself. Then all of sudden, the seniors kept looking for “the foreigner who had altitude sickness” (AKA me) because they wanted to make sure I eat something. How sweet but then it also means I had to eat the damned bagel. (rolling my eyes)
After watching the sunrise, we continued to hike to the North Peak. The seniors decided to not hike the West Peak that morning because the weather turned unexpectedly cold and some of the girls said they would prefer getting some rest in their tent. The hike to the North Peak was manageable tho!! 🙂
The view from the mountain that we hiked on the last day was one of my personal top 3 favourite mountain views thus far but sadly, i won’t be writing about it here haha. Next post maybe? 😉