Sunday, 23 June 2013

A Hot Day At Shihmen Reservoir (石門水庫)

I took the first train (HSR) this morning up to Taoyuan to see Shihmen reservoir again. This was my second trip; I had been here before at the end of January with a friend from Tainan, but this time I had to go it alone. Then it had been very chilly, but this time with it being June, it was hot and humid.

During the week I had toyed with the idea of going back to Miaoli, but decided I didn't want to be messing about with the old trains and the bicycle so instead I went straight up to Taoyuan, took the shuttle bus to Zhongli and then took a taxi to the reservoir. Later I found out that I could have saved both time and money by taking the HSR train to Hsinchu and then making my way to the reservoir from there. Anyway...

Myself getting sunburned in front of the spillway at about 10.45am. The thing with these trips is that my time is very limited, so I only wanted to get some more shots of the spillway, power station, sluiceway openings and to try to find one particular famous vantage point on top of Shihmen mountain. However, whilst nearly all the other hikers I asked recognized the view I was talking about, none of them knew how to get there. In the end, I made a guess as to where I should be going, and...

...voila! I had finally found my way to the top of Shihmen mountain to find what is perhaps the singularly most iconic view of any reservoir in Taiwan. But unfortunately the sky had completely changed. This shot was taken just before 2pm and by then it started to rain and very soon quite heavily. I had to trump back down the slippy, muddy hiking path (a good 2km or so) in my newish Reeboks, careful not to slip on the exposed rocks and bash my head.

Since this view is oriented approximately west-east I'm still not sure whether it would be better to shoot early in the morning with the newly risen sun ahead and somewhat off to the right, or whether it would be better to wait until the late afternoon for the sun to swing around behind me... a question for the next trip.

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