Day 5 of our travels began with a (vegetarian) breakfast at the Cloud Villa hotel before we checked out and headed towards Dream Valley, a place a bit east of Puli, where Shuwen had read something about a nice waterfall. When we found the place we were a bit surprised that the sign indicating “this is it” was all worn and weathered – a passerby on a scooter told us that the area had been devastated by “921”, the major earthquake of 1999, and that it had not been restored ever since. Bummer.
We heard the rushing sound of water so we headed in that direction nevertheless, and found the waterfall flowing nicely through a breach in a cliff. The facilities that used to be there (a restroom and stairs) where badly damaged, but with a little curiosity and exploration we found a way down into the creek bed and were soon standing in the cool breeze at the foot of the waterfall. I scrambled up a little slope to get a view into the valley above the waterfall as well.
Since the scooter rider had told us that about 1km (~0.6 miles) above the waterfall would be a nice spot for seeing butterflies we hiked up the road a little bit, but as it was getting closer to noon and we were at a fairly low elevation, the sun began to really beat down on us and the humidity was giving us a hard time, so we headed back to the car. Once more, trash seamed the sides of the road – it’s a shame.
Back at the car Shuwen called the Bed & Breakfast where we would stay next to confirm the check-in time — only to find out that there’s been a mistake, and that they had no room for us at all! Funny. 🙂 But, since Shuwen had previously missed an opportunity to have her hair colored, we just took that as a sign to go back home towards Nantou City.
We stopped at a little roadside temple to have lunch from some delicious leftovers from the vegetarian restaurant, plus some steamed buns (one of my favorites, did I mention that already?;-) before Shuwen made some quick plans with her sisters who were – once more – super nice and helpful: we parked our (Shuwen’s dad’s) car at a trailhead as a “home base” for me, and her sisters picked Shuwen up, to take her to the hairdresser. Since coloring hair is a lengthy procedure, I had some hours for myself to explore a nice trail (that I had previously spotted already, while we were driving). More about that in the next post.