(A Video: Exploring Taroko Gorge)
After walking Taroko Gorge ( 太魯閣國家公園) from the gate entrance to Tienshang (天祥), it was time to explore the area and all it had to offer.
We were edging closer and closer to Tienshang and a sense of fear suddenly began to engulf my body. Past memories of crossing a very high suspension bridge over rushing water flashed into my mind. During my first visit to Tienshang, some friends and I decided to check out the pagoda located on the opposite side of a very long suspension bridge. I remembered how the bridge shook and swayed from side to side and then moved up and down under my feet as one of my friends, upon discovering my terrifying fear of heights, jumped on it repeatedly. Several people were crossing and it seemed like no one heeded to the maximum number of people allowed sign. I recalled freezing with fear half-way across before finding the inner strength to walk briskly across while keeping my eye on solid ground just meters ahead of me.
As we approached the area, my sense of urgency and fear turned to sighs of relief and relaxation. The suspension bridge that had cause me so much fear and anxiety in the past was now replaced with a solid bridge. Crossing over to the pagoda this time was enjoyable and fun. I could concentrate on the views from the pagoda overlooking Tienshang instead of the frightening task of crossing the suspension bridge again. I absolutely enjoyed the views and the fact that I was on solid ground. We had the entire side of the bridge to ourselves! And this time round, it didn’t look as high as I remembered it! I could look down with ease. I could enjoy the whole experience.
We continued to make our way into town and stopped for water and some other bare essentials. Then we decided to complete one more trail before we headed back to our car. We made it to half-way towards the waterfall but time was not on our side plus our legs screamed no more so we decided to get back to Tienshang to get the last bus of the day.
But unfortunately, things don’t always work out as planned!! Check out my next blog entry about the how we got out of the gorge which proved to be an adventure in itself!
Have you ever crossed a suspension bridge? Would crossing one make you weak at the knees or would you consider it a thrill?