Hiking Duilishan 在獨立山上吃愛玉
獨立山步道位於阿里山郊野公園，從阿里山鐵路第六個火車站樟腦寮，到第七個火車站獨立山，全長五公里。Duilishan Trail is a trek on Taiwan’s famous Alishan Forest, a beautiful 5km trek between Alishan Railway line 6th station Jhangnaoliao, and 7th station Duilishan.
登山那天我跟朋友早上就到樟腦寮火車站，看見站外有一位大嬸在賣手工做的草蜢，但不知是用甚麽做的。朋友用台語跟她聊天，可惜我聽不懂。原來大嬸從清晨就已在擺攤，現在只賣剩三隻草蜢，所以決定回家休息。婆婆臨離開時很好人，免費送我一隻!真好，那我有同伴陪我行山啦。As soon as I walked pass Jhangnaoliao station, I saw an lady selling hand made grasshoppers made from some kind of grass. My friend was chatting to her in the local dialect which I didn’t understand. He said she had been there since first thing in the morning and was now packing up to go home. She had three grasshoppers left and kindly gave one to me! Now I had some company for the walk.
因為步道是在兩個火車站中間，所以很多時都是跟著鐵路傍走。我們沿途看到的風景都是如此美麗，美得像一幅幅的風景明信片。有時我們會走過一些小橋，亦會爬上很陡的石級，朝着比起點高200米的獨立山車站前進。Since the trail was between two stations, a good part of it was along the actual railway line itself, and we were walking towards beautiful scenery such as this. Sometimes we crossed bridges and climbed step stairs to make the 200m ascend to Duilishan station.
我們的中途休憩站是在這個很熱鬧的攤檔吃愛玉。愛玉是台灣獨有的水果，裏面的種子曬乾後，用不織布包著放在水裏搓洗，水就會變成果凍狀。愛玉本身沒甚麼味道，所以通常會再加點檸檬汁，熱情果汁或蜂蜜，加添一份清涼的感覺。我第一次吃愛玉就馬上愛上它了! Our half way stop for refreshment in the morning was at this busy stall selling Aiyu. This drink is made from the seeds of a fruit that is unique to Taiwan called Aiyu, and I think is part of the fig family. The seeds are dried and then soaked in water till the water becomes like jelly. Other flavours such as lemonade, honey or passion fruit are added to elevate this refreshing drink to another level. It was the first time I tried Aiyu and it was absolutely delicious.
午飯前我們終於到達獨立山車站，這時候我們已經走了差不多1.5小時，爬了將近200米高，但還有半小時才到山上吃午飯的地方。繼續上山路途中，我看到有當地人在賣土產，例如雞蛋及新鮮蔬菜菇類，而奇怪的是，的確有蠻多行山人士在買。我覺得有點不明白，為什麼不等到下山才買呢? 很快便知道原因。原來在山上有一間寺廟，旁邊有免費共用廚房，還包括所有煮食工具，調味料及碗筷給行山人士享用，還有偌大的用餐地方。只要你自備食材，就可以在這個廚房自行準備午餐，怪不得行山人士沿途都在買食物呢! Just before lunch we arrived at Duilishan station, by this time we had already climbed 200 meters within 1.5 hours and we still had another half an hour to go. On the way up, I saw some locals selling fresh produce such as vegetable and eggs, and some hikers were buying them as they headed up the mountain. I thought this was rather odd as it would make sense to buy them on the way down. Then it all became clear. Further up the mountain was a temple with a free communal kitchen fully equipped with everything you need to cook your own lunch. No wonder people were buying food on the way up!
但我們則選擇在寺廟旁邊的餐廳用膳，比較方便又可以欣賞令人心曠神怡的風景。我的朋友草蜢還跟著與我在一起噢。We opted for the easier option and ate at a restaurant next to the temple. This is the view from the restaurant, and I still have my new friend with me.
吃過午飯後，我們開始反回到樟腦寮火車站。下山沿路的風景跟早上同樣引人入勝。After lunch we headed back down and the view was just as breathtaking.
回到樟腦寮車站，剛好是下午茶時間。我們在停車場旁的涼亭煮個新鮮滴漏咖啡，慢慢品嚐，回味這快樂的一天。When we got back down to Jhangnaoliao station, it was time for coffee. We made our own freshly brewed coffee at the car park, perfect to round of the day.