10-Dec-2010 -- 24N – 121E Puli (埔里), Taiwan
Line Hunting Date: December 10, 2010
Touchdown at 2nd try !
Until now, both land-based confluence points in Taiwan have eluded my attempts. Ten month ago, My dear wife, Florence, only allowed one hour to capture this point when I realize we were only 3 km away as we were travelling through Puli. (She knew better). Unfortunately that was not even sufficient time to find the right path. The consolation price was the fact that we found the marker for the Geographic Center of Taiwan.
On the last and only free day of a one-week learning trip to Taiwan, I decided to go for this point one more time. It did not take much effort to co-opted my old friend Josh to be the partner for this hunt, partly he is free from full-time employment and partly he has a Volvo which makes the exercise much easier.
We took off at 9.30 in the morning. The biggest challenge was finding our way out of Taipei. After we found the entry of Freeway No. 3 going south, we drove non-stop and reached Puli by noon.
This confluence point located behind a substantial hill northeast of the Puli town. During my previous attempt in February, I tried to find a path north of Puli, and that did not work. This time around, we headed eastward. About 2 km east of Puli, we found a road cross the river heading up the hill. At which point, the GPS distance from the confluence point was 2.33 km.
Clearly, this was the right road. It zigzag up the mountain with GPS distance kept on getting smaller. After about 6-7 km of twist and turn, we reached the closest point on this road to the confluence point – 234 meters! In such densely wooded steep mountain terrain, getting this close to our objective is nothing short of a minor miracle. We couldn’t help to wonder – what is the road for? Where does it end up?
What is even more amazing is that, where we parked the Volvo is a clear trail leading toward the Confluence Point. We followed the trial, and eventually when we were 34 meter from the point we had to turn off and bushwhack a little bit. We could not have asked for better approach for a point located in the deep of the mountain. Of course, Josh was very pleased that his first hunt was successful and smooth.
This Confluence point located in an area of many bamboo groves, so it is was not too dense to navigate to the all-zeros location. On the way back, while taking off my shirt, I dropped the GPS right at the point I re-entered the trail. Just as we were in the car ready to take off , I noticed the GPS was missing. Gladly, I found it after carefully tracing my step back .
We stopped in Puli for a late lunch and beer. On the way back stopped in Taichung to pick up another old friend, the Bandit, for a small reunion dinner in Taipei.
This is the first time that I was able to go back to ratify an “incomplete” Confluence Point. It sure was a good feeling. Now, I have my eye set on 23N-121E as the next one to be ratified!
Rating of this Hunt:
Degree of Challenge:
2 – once the right road is found, this was not a difficult confluence to reach (1= very easy - drive to the point; to 5= a death march – glad it is over)
3– hilly region of Central Taiwan (Scale: 1= not interesting at all; 5= take your breath away)
3 - The surrounding hills of Puli is very green and dense and hill sides are pretty steep whereas Puli town is flat and an agriculture basin (Scale: 1=dull; 5= most stimulating)