Monday, 4 January 2016

First Trip To The Supplementary Diversion Channel For Wu-Chieh Reservoir ( 武界水庫) In Nantou County

Finally updated after a week's interlude...

At the old Tainan train station waiting for the 12.20am train north to Ershui, in Changhua county.
Last weekend (Sunday 3rd January), I returned to Nantou county taking the 12.20 a.m. train up to Ershui and changing at 4.44 a.m. to arrive in Shuili at 5.30 a.m. I had all my usual kit, but about half an hour into my drive through the pitch black night out of Shuili I discovered that both my pants and my boots were no longer waterproof. When I reached Puli, I stopped at a 7-11 to assess the damage...

Formerly waterproof pants and boots now absolutely soaking wet.

The waterproofing in my jacket was still intact however.
I waited around in Puli for the shops to open to see if I could replace or augment my gear. I sat myself down in the McDonald's and waited until the Carrefour supermarket next door opened at 9 a.m. I got myself some cheap plastic waterproofs and bagged my old boots, swapping them for Taiwanese "blue-white" sandals and waterproof cover-shoes. Whilst paying for this stuff in Carrefour I got talking to a French man called Andre. I talked a little about my reservoir project and we discussed our common small problems as foreigners in Taiwan - the usual stuff of conversation between westerners in Taiwan who don't know each other. I left Puli and took the Nantou 71 out up into the mountains...

On the 71 overlooking Puli town at about 10.30am.
Looking down over the Zhuoshui river as it passes under a famous bridge just south of Wuchieh village. The road I was following was already dangerous, but made particularly more so by the bad weather.
After a long, tortuous route along the edge of the mountainside, I eventually wound my way down to the final approach road to the entrapment pen where water is diverted from this small tributary stream to the Zhuoshui river and sent on its way in a tunnel through the mountainside to Wuchieh reservoir where it is then entrapped by another dam and diverted into another tunnel to reach Sun Moon Lake. There were a large number of tourists there when I arrived - they had all been transported there by local aborigine peoples in their 4x4 vans. They somewhat spoiled the view, so I waited for them to leave.

At the entrapment pen for the diversion channel after the tourists had left.
Looking back up the road at all the tourist vans; all but one were the same model - the Mitsubishi Delica 4x4.

It is a relatively remote area of Taiwan; though it is nice and wide at the end, the approach road snakes around the edge of a precipice for most of its length and is one of the most difficult and dangerous roads I have encountered.
The tourists had came because this is an ecologically sensitive area with numerous protected species - not that they had much chance of seeing any of them from the road.

On the way back up the mountainside the waterproofing on my jacket finally gave way and I was soaked. Cold, sore, tired and shivering, I got back to Puli and stopped at a 7-11 looking like I was half-dead. I took half an hour to get myself sorted out, and then got straight back on the bike. I initially planned to take a break at Shuili, but decided instead to just head straight back through the darkness to Ershui and get the train back to Tainan.

At the 7-11 in Puli after making my way back out of the mountains at Wuchieh and being soaked by the rain and constant fog.
It was a difficult trip. When I finally got home I was exhausted. Later on during the week I bought some re-waterproofing agent to fix my gear; it seems to have worked but I am not yet sure how long the new layer of waterproofing will last under constant duress.


  1. Mike, I fear I may be breaking your second edict above; however I'd like to wish you a happy birthday mate (yes I still remember). Will be good to properly catchup at some point soon.


  2. Alright, cheers mate. Send me an email.


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