Qufengbi Coastal Trail revisited

The Aviva Cairo Shipwreck

I chose not to hike the Qufengbi Coastal Trail last December when Mark Roche led a trip with several of my friends.  It’s a great hike but I had already hiked it.  Of course my friends came back with pictures of a new surprise on the hike.  Last September the Aviva Cairo was being towed from Manila to Thailand to be scrapped.  Unfortunately it was lost (?) during Typhoon Fung-Wong and ultimately ran aground along the Qufengbi Trail north of Jialeshui, Taiwan.  There is one old ship wreck on the trail already but this is a huge intact ship.  Some have speculated that the first big typhoon will break up the ship.  Ironically there is a supertyphoon tomorrow that is going to be close to the ship.  And there is a second typhoon coming behind it.  There is a chance that last weekend was the last chance to see the ship intact.  Of course the smashed up ship might be even more more impressive.

Directions to the Qufengbi Coastal Trail

My first blog to the Qufengbi Coastal Trail 3 years ago

The last time we hiked the trail with cloudy skies and a typhoon a few days away.  The turbulent weather produced some dramatic photos.  This time we had blue skies and puffy white clouds.  It was a little hot in early May but overall we had a great hike.  The beached ship is really cool but the rock formations at the Jialeshui Scenic Area are absolutely amazing.  This is easy to get to from Jialeshui and is an easier alternative to hiking the entire trail.

The trail is nothing more than walking on the beach for 11 kilometers.  Most of the time the trail is a mix of stones between the size of baseballs and basketballs.  The constantly shifting rocks is mentally draining.  At times there is some nice sand to walk on and at other times there is actually a trail if you can find it.

Overall our Richard Saunders led Taipei Hikers group had 12 hikers.  We split into two groups with one hiking north and one hiking south.  By doing this each group could see the entire trail but only hike one way instead of a full round trip.  We met in the middle for 10 minutes, swapped keys and continued to the opposite trailheads.

Our group included 4 ladies that were university friends.  I was a little concerned at the beginning when they had 1.5L of water between 3 of them for a 6 hour hike.  They recognized my concern and bought more water at the trailhead before we left and did great hiking.  We took our time on the hike but they not only kept up but had a great time.

We compared the rocks to the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland.  There are some absolutely fascinating rocks all over the world and the science of these rock formations is very interesting.

Many of the rocks also had these strange golfball size holes in them.  We talked about how they might have been created but we had no idea.

The old shipwreck is now rusting hulks of various ship innards.  This part has become part of the trail.

A photo from my 2012 hike of the abandoned army fort.  We didn’t finish until dusk and didn’t take the time to stop at this interesting site.

Directions to the Qufengbi Coastal Trail

Qufengbi means windy nose and it’s pretty obvious that the windy nose is near the old shipwreck on the map.

Photo of the week #51 – Laomei Reef

Directions to Laomei Reef

Laomei Reef is a bizarre rock formation in northern Taiwan.  It is a long (maybe 1/2 km) piece of volcanic rock located within the daily tidal range.  As a result channels have been cut into the rock over the last thousands of years.  However its signature is the brilliant green algae that grows on the rock every winter.  By April almost the entire rock is covered but the algae only grows until May when the summer heat returns the rock to its natural charcoal grey color for another year.  It’s fairly easy to get for those living in Taipei but not only do you have to go in April or May but you also need to check the tidal tables since it is submerged for part of the day.  A link to Taiwan’s tidal tables can be found in my guide to Laomei Reef. 

Sadly it isn’t exactly a tranquil spot on weekends since it has become quite famous.  Luckily it is a short day trip from Taipei and English teachers (evening hours) can easily make the trip in the morning and be back in time for their evening classes.