Monday, 20 June 2016

Sunday In Hsinchu County: Dapu Reservoir (大埔水庫) & Baoshan 1st Reservoir (寶山水庫), Baoshan 2nd Reservoir (寶山二水庫)

I had a bad start this weekend. Midnight train north to Hsinchu, fell asleep, woke up in a panic and got off at the wrong station. Bollocks. A two and a half hour wait for the first morning train from Taichung's Daijia to Hsinchu station. I spent the time reading De Tocqueville, ignoring the photographers and old women.

I knew that a late start in Hsinchu would put my main objective at risk, and though I wobbled slightly, I went through with it anyway. My first stop was Baoshan First reservoir and the objective was to explore the southern side and maybe get some shots toward the dam and spillway. I found a well-worn cut through the trees leading to several (illegal) fishing spots with the old codgers having just arrived and getting their kit ready.

10mm wide-angle shot looking north to the spillway and dam; I might return to re-take this shot at midday.
Little green shoots and their reflections.
Motorboat garage adjacent to the pier for the intake tower.
The intake tower at the end of the pier with the dam in the background.
Panorama shot looking into the southern stretch of the reservoir.
I could have stayed to explore further, but I wanted to get on with my main objective for better or worse, which was to photograph Dapu reservoir which is somewhat confusingly also referred to as "Emei Lake". Built between 1956 and 1961, this was the first reservoir planned and constructed by the ROC government without prior planning or construction by the preceding Japanese administration (as at Agongdian reservoir in Kaohsiung) and without assistance from the United States (as at Shihmen reservoir in Taoyuan). It is a small reservoir designed to provide local irrigation water...

Panorama shot overlooking the western half of the reservoir from the south. The good thing about Google's free panorama service when I upload pictures to my blog is that the stitching quality is superior to the other program I use, but the bad thing about it is that it imposes a stupid filter on the image to bleach the colours at the extremes of left and right. Unless this is done on purpose to take the piss, I can't think of any reason for it.
The same panorama with poorer stitching but without the colour bleaching so beloved by Google. 
Looking up at the giant Buddha bronze from the south east corner of the reservoir.
Looking out across the water, east to west.
After some messing about at the east end of the lake, I drove around to the western shoreline and visited the management office where I was allowed in to take pictures of the various information panels mounted high along the office walls (where the public would not normally see them)...

Dimensions of the spillway gates and sluiceway channel from the upstream side.
The reservoir's vital statistics: dam length of 98 meters, crest width of 7 meters, dam height of 20 meters and so on. These values differ somewhat from those listed in the wikipedia entry.
Historical prints showing the construction of the dam back in the '50s and '60s.
More prints showing the initial stages of construction.
Map of Dapu reservoir and it's watershed; I was interested to learn that I was wrong about the source of the reservoir; the Emei river actually begins in the hills well to the south rather than the east. Yet apparently I am right about the reservoir not having much of a sedimentation problem due to the meandering length of the Emei river.
Outside the management building there is a small "camping site" but with little wooden chalets and car parking spaces. Here I was able to get a decent view out toward the temple and the big bronze buddha. 
Close up on the fat sod. He looks a bit like the alcoholic neighbour I have to occasionally rescue. While I was packing up my things there were a couple of yonger men with fishing rods and a souped-up Honda Civic watching me, but they weren't the only ones: the girlfriend of one of them was giving me the eyeball and drifted past me as if trying to advertise herself. I wasn't interested, but she still waved to me as I got on the motorbike to leave. I think I may be getting that kind of thing more often than I used to these days.
I left Emei Lake / Dapu reservoir behind, stopped for a quick rest and drink at the Fuxing old street, and then drove on back to Baoshan Second reservoir to the west of Beipu. I had actually stopped here earlier in the morning but the light had been far too bright. Now the conditions were ideal and I stopped to get a good shot of the reservoir's baffled spillway...

The spillway for Baoshan Second reservoir; notice the sluiceway to the left allowing water to leave thus maintaining the reservoir's level and obviating the need for the spillway.
A panorama shot overlooking Baoshan Second reservoir from the south.
Myself, with earphones attached listening to old Suede records.

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