Sunday, 3 April 2016

Defeat At Wan-Da (萬大)

Overlooking the valley in which Taiwan's largest river lies after leaving Wan-Da reservoir; ahead sits the Wan-Da hydroelectric power plant.
On display are two worn-out turbines previously used in the hydroelectric plant. 
A Mandarin-only display to inform the public about the history of these devices. 
After I was forced to abandon my original pan I went elsewhere to ask a few questions; I might even have the answers already.
Another Mandarin-only display, but with pointless English subheading.
At the start of this long weekend I wanted to achieve two objectives; the first was to finally photograph the downstream face of the Wan-Da  reservoir (萬大水庫) dam, and the second was to drive the motorbike all the way up to Taipei in preparation for trips to Feitsui reservoir (翡翠水庫) later this month.

My attempts at achieving the first objective have been thwarted. After my initial scouting trip a few weeks back, I came up with a plan and waited for good weather to try it. I won't go into details but the plan proved impossible to execute because I was missing one very important piece of information (which I discovered this morning). The plan had been based on what I think is fair to say were a reasonable set of inferences, but one of them turned out, surprisingly, to be false. So I call it a "defeat" and not a "failure".

As frustrating as that defeat was, I already have a work-around in mind: defeat is a temporary state.

The second objective might still be possible, but is looking more doubtful. I had thought to split the drive into two trips to make it easier with a halfway stop at either Miaoli or Hsinchu. But I'd also like to take a couple of friends out to one of the southern reservoirs whilst I have this extra time. Perhaps I should compromise and complete only the first half of the trip to Taipei tommorow, stopping at either Miaoli or Hsinchu, and then take the girls out to Dadi Gorge or somewhere else on the Tuesday.

There are advantages to arriving in Taipei early, including having more time to explore the area around Feitsui reservoir before the typhoons arrive, but there are also advantages to delaying that and planning a few more trips in Miaoli and Hsinchu. Although I already have most of what I need, there are still a few minor questions and other bits and pieces missing (e.g. where are the adit points for the diversion tunnel feeding Yongheshan reservoir?) and also I didn't do nearly enough work at Emei Lake (I barely investigated it at all). However, my worry is that by undertaking more trips in Miaoli and Hsinchu I will leave myself with less time to undertake the more important work in Taipei at Feitsui reservoir.

I'll work something out.

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