Sunday, 19 July 2015

Return To Nanhua Reservoir Waterfall

This time there was water; naturally I swam over to it, like a moth drawn to the light.
In perspective, from the other side of the river - I estimate the fall to be somewhere over thirty meters (100 feet) in height.
Yesterday the plan had been to wake up early, pack the big boat and take the girls to see the big waterfall at the back of Nanhua reservoir. I had originally found it with my Russian friend Addy a few weeks ago, but when we were there it had been dry. However, the weather on Friday night was bad and the forecast for Saturday included rain and thunderstorms, so I called Ruby to cancel the trip. I don't have sufficient confidence in their ability to handle themselves in water without panicking to risk taking them along if the weather were to turn very nasty, which it can easily do. However, Addy messaged me and asked if I was going and if he could come, and I had been considering to just go on my own anyway, so in the end I packed the two smaller boats. Addy can swim and needed a break from looking after his wife and new born baby. We meant to leave at 5am, but I slept through my 4am alarm without hearing a thing and awoke of my own accord just after 5.30am, so we didn't leave until 7am. When I woke up the weather was still bad outside, but by the time we left at 7am it was brightening up and it turned out to be a fantastic morning after all. It was a good way to spend a Saturday morning...

In my element - Addy stayed on the other shore with the camera, while I got into the water.
On reaching the waterfall I found the cliff simply continued down in a sheer fall, but I was able to find a narrow foothold. 
Victory; not that it matters much, but it was good to be there.
Further off to the left, away from the waterfall there was a rocky ledge on which I could sit and watch the water for a few minutes. However, I didn't stay there long as a previously unknown danger quickly revealed itself: falling rocks, some of them landing in the water, and a few landing on the ledge just a yard or so from me. I quickly got back into the water and put some distance between myself and the cliff-face. I could so easily have been unlucky there.
Preparing to leave: Addy can swim well but is afraid of rivers because of Russian stories he heard as a child about the cold water beneath the thermocline causing cramp in swimmers. Yet this is Taiwan in July, with temperatures well over 30 degrees celsius; what colder water there is, is not going to be cold enough to freeze your muscles.

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