Day 8. Fri, Feb 2nd. Bitoujiao to Aodi. 5 hrs.
This hike was with Noel, ny friend from Oz. We got the bus from Keelung, after a bit of a wait at the bus stop, but fortunately we had a good chat. Started from Bitoujiao, on a windy day. The waves were really smashing up on the rocks. We checked out Bitoujiao for a while, and hiked onto the hill and cliff trails, which had lovely views. We passed by a coastguard radar station, a small lighthouse, and then along the beach rocks to the Longdong side. Along the coast, around the bay, and to the rocky part of Longdung, famous for its climbing. There was some slight confusion about the trail, so we set off around the rocky beach, thinking this was the main trail. We were soon more or less bouldering, as the trail got more and more hypothetical and the landscape more vertical. At one point, it seemed like we needed to get a bit technical to actually make it. We crossed a dodgy transition from one rock to another, only to discover that the way ahead was getting even more technical, and was even roped. There were two horizontal cracks in a sheer wall, one for feet and one for hands, with the hands crack being roped. I thought that was a bit much, for a long distance hiking trip with no guide, ropes, or knowledge of the trail ahead, so we opted to go back. Oops! Getting across the dodgy bit was much dodgier on the return! We would have to do it, for the beginning bit, backwards, so we couldn’t see what we were doing. Below was a 4-metre drop to shallow, rocky water. Probably a survivable fall or jump, but very easy to break a leg, or even something else… What to do? I started to go back, as Noel looked on. “Christ!” he said, with a look of extreme worry. “Noel! Don’t say that!” I chickened out. Hmmm… Then, we found another way, over a side boulder that was challenging but much simpler and safer. Ahhh!! Relief. We went back to the parking lot and found the correct trail, gaining, at the top, some excellent views of the cliffs. After following this path, we followed various beach tracks, and at times the road, until we arrived in Aodi. I remembered a good restaurant in Aodi, (Hsingang Seafood) which we were able to find, and were soon enjoying a delicious seafood meal. Ahhh! A fine end to an interesting day.