Sunday, 26 January 2014

An Early Friday Morning At Baihe Reservoir (白河水庫)

I awoke at 5am on Friday to drag my arse out to Baihe reservoir with two objectives in mind; to take more shots overlooking the reservoir from atop Dongshan mountain (大東山), and to re-visit the back end of the reservoir early in the morning rather than in the afternoon as I had previously done.

I chose to go to the top of the mountain first. Dumper trucks and earth excavators were already at work removing sediment, as they have been for several years now. It is a seemingly endless task given that there are five decades worth of deposits from the Baihe river.

It is an ugly sight, and the only sight which the reservoir can offer tourists unless they visit during the torrential rains of the late summer months when all that caked silt will be hidden under water.

Although the northern and eastern sections of the reservoir remain relatively healthy, they also remain out of sight and out of bounds to tourists. The eastern "back end" of Baihe reservoir is one of the most beautiful places in the whole county. After coming down the mountain, that's where I headed as the haze was too strong (the next day, would you believe it, the haze was all washed out so that the mountains could be seen in sharp clarity even from the city, but I had to work and just didn't have time to make any reservoir visits).

Baihe reservoir sits in the foothills leading up into Taiwan's central mountain range, just visible off to the right of that image above. My way back down the mountain was hampered by a flat tyre - I very gently rolled down into the village and got it sorted asap but it still cost me a further hour.

From atop the narrow hill on the escarpment which splits the eastern section of the reservoir in two.

From a dip in another hill to the right of the escarpment with Dongshan mountain off to the left. The brightness of the mid-morning sun was too strong, so I would have liked to have taken these shots earlier at say 7am or 8am which was when I had taken those shots from the mountain instead.

Chinese New Year starts next week, so I should have time to make further visits to those reservoirs in the south that I've only been to two or three times: Luliao reservoir (鹿寮水庫), Mingjian reservoir (明鑑水庫) and Jianshanpi reservoir (尖山埤水庫). I don't want to be messing about with trains to go north during Chinese New Year however much I would like to escape the teeming hordes of Taipei City people returning to Tainan. Afterward I'd like to get back up to either Miaoli or Hsinchu counties.

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