I returned to familiar terrain on my last motorcycle trip and I served as an assistant guide for our group since I have made about a dozen trips to Maolin. Unlike previous trips we explored Duona this time. Duona is the last village in Maolin Valley and it suffered a terrible loss when its famous hot springs were buried under a cliff. In the last 3 years Duona has transformed into a pleasant bustling aboriginal village. There are now a half dozen nice restaurants and several nice tourist shops. There’s a chance that it becomes overly touristy but currently it’s just about perfect.
Despite being to Meiya Waterfall a couple of times before I got us lost. Not such a great a guide I guess. I was also so convinced that the waterfall would be dry that I left my tripod and needed to balance my camera on a few small rocks for this photo. Directions to Meiya Waterfall are on my waterfall website.
Duona High Bridge is the tallest suspension bridge in Taiwan towering 103m above the valley before. We chose to Evil Kenevil it across the bridge (not necessary for visiting Duona). It’s not particularly difficult but it is a little tense.
The trip gave me an opportunity to visit a new place in Maolin. Guifu Canyon (Ghost Axe) is located about 1km upstream from Duona and it seems to be flying under the radar. Apparently before Typhoon Morakot the canyon was full of small rock swimming pools but there are filled in with rock and silt now. Perhaps they will resurface in a few more years. Directions to Guifu are on my waterfall website.
Guifu Canyon is a narrow canyon that is similar to some of the tight canyons in the American Southwest (minus the red rock). Not far from the entrance a waterfall drops into the canyon over the cliffs. It is possible to go further upstream past the waterfall but you should bring some ropes and safety equipment with you.
The walk out of Guifu Canyon back to Duona.
Richard Saunders also led us around to several scenic oddities in Taiwan. These are part of Taiwan’s Badlands.
Yangnu Mud Volcano was one of several that we visited during the weekend. This isn’t actually a geothermal vent but rather a methane vent that can be lit on fire. It didn’t actually smell from where we were. Taiwan is one of the few countries in the world with mud volcanos.
An action photo from the weekend. This was taken by Trevor Barth while wearing a backpack and twisting around on the back of a scooter traveling at 50km/hr on bouncy mountain roads.