Mountain Friends

Image by J, of me walking up Mount Seven Stars.

In the sweltering May, we escaped into the YangMingShan National Park to climb the part's highest peak, Mount QiXing ("Seven Stars") at 1120m. The climb affirmed two aspects of Taiwan that make this  place our favourite holiday spot: its nature and it's super friendly people.

This is a post about some of the folks - aunties and uncles - we met on our way up, our 山友aka mountain friends! They chatted, cheered and lifted our spirits as J and I (me in particular) huffed and puffed our way up and down the trail.

山友1 - 56 year old retired National Parks Bureau civil servant making the most of life.
"我就走到一半了,下午還要去做瑜伽哦. " ( I'll walk halfway up this time. This afternoon I still have my yoga class! )

山友2 - 正能量阿姨/ Auntie Positivity cheering me on
"記得要吐氣...keep going...slow...slow!"  (remember to exhale)

山友3 - 大氣大叔/ Uncle Sigh encouraging me to sigh long and hard
"Wah, the aunties are really good! I am so tired...Ai, HHAAAAIIII give a big big sigh! Once I sigh I feel so much better, but everyone around me hearing it will feel so sad, haha. HHaAAAIII feels good!" 

山友4 - Super Grandma Positivity spreading that mountain top feels
"It's great that I can help take your photo, makes me happy! So good to feel happy! Com'on, help take some photos of Ah Ma too. It's so beautiful here, what a waste not to take more photos.... you got to be happy every day. Stay healthy too!.... Oh them? They are my mountain friends! Every one you meet on the mountain is a mountain friend ok?" 

山友5 - 愛國大姐/ Ms Patriot sharing with us travel tips around Taiwan
"It's true, Taiwan sure is a treasure island." 

山友6 silently cheering us all on 
The last of our 山友/mountain friends says nothing. He runs and down - and up again the mountain trail. Although it cannot be easy, you can barely hear his breath or his steps , only his persistence and the bell on his dog ringing. 

Image by me, of J walking down Mt Seven Stars


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