Friday, January 3, 2014

Wandering to LaLaShan (拉拉山)

(post started in November... finally posted in January!!!) 

I opened up the blog earlier this week to reference where I had found Christmas decorations in years past --- it reminded me of how much I miss updating my blog! 

During the month of September, we enjoyed a four day weekend celebrating Moon Festival, and although unfortunately hubby had to work, the baby, our nanny, & I rented a car and hit the road for a day or two! My main goal was to get out of town and breathe a bit of fresh air, so our path was spontaneous and organic, following the small roads out of the big city, winding through the mountains. 

The entire island was itching to get out of Taipei for the weekend, so I figured we would meet the least traffic on the smaller roads, rather than the speedy interstates. We chose the path less traveled, and found it pleasantly deserted. We just wandered the small mountain roads, stopping as we pleased at road side stalls and family restaurants. As I had hoped, the area was almost entirely deserted as we explored the back roads. Little to no traffic, and plenty of sightseeing and stretching our legs as we went.

With a typhoon on the way and the sun already set, we finally reached Lalashan National Park only to discover that the power was out on most of the mountain! Baby in tow, and daylight long gone - I figured we'd better find a place to stay. The whole adventure felt like a movie, as I drove up the mountain (inside the national park) in the darkness. When I finally found a light, we pulled over to ask for help / directions, and happened to be parked at a small bed & breakfast! Their place was running on a generator - 3 hotel rooms at this place and 1 room available! We had found a comfortable, albeit unexpected, place to settle for the night. Unbelievable, and thank goodness!

When we woke in the morning to the sun rising over the mountain, and our mountainside views, it was incredible! We ate a nice breakfast on the patio, admiring the view, and tried to check out a trail before the approaching typhoon, although the wind, rain, and a park ranger cut our adventure short ultimately. 

What a way to spend a weekend. :) 

I'm looking forward to visiting LalaShan again sometime when the weather is agreeable (no typhoon coming) so that we can get out and hike on the trails. Either way, it was a grand adventure and a great escape from the city.