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合歡山 (Joy mountain) 2014

A pause at a roadside cafe for a hot cuppa tea during sub-zero temperatures as we cross the 3000m pass close to Hehuanshan (3416m) 合歡山 (Joy mountain), Taiwan. This was an 'expedition' to the farside, the east coast of Taiwan with two students. The distance from coast to coast, east-west is a mere 150km, which would normally only take a few hours to cross by car. However the high mountain range stretching the entire length of Taiwan makes this difficult and so takes much longer. Winding our way up and down steep forested mountainsides and valleys it took all day just to reach the top of the mountain pass, by which time the road was covered in snow and snow chains were required. Not being equipped with winter tyres or chains we decided to abandon our attempt to reach the east coast. We had at least achieved the highest point of Taiwan by car and visited the highest 7 Eleven in Taiwan. It was an exciting adventure, with breathtaking scenery. A unique experience for both students and myself.