Sunday, March 20, 2016

Spring in Taipei - Lupin Flowers in Taiwan - Camphor Tree Trail [Taiwan Day 932: Finding Lupin - March 20, 2016]


I have received information that 'lupin' was spotted in the Maokong Mountains in Taipei. It's not the usual anime character 'Lupin' that people used to know. It's a flower that surprises everyone every spring. I wasn't really planning to see this flower but like a real thief it caught the attention of many people in Taipei stealing the spotlight from the beautiful cherry blossoms. My intelligence gathering prompted me to become a Detective Zenigata and catch 'lupin' before it's gone. The Camphor Tree Trail was the reported place of sighting and I hurriedly went there to serve a search warrant.


Searching for this flower in Wenshan District looks easy because you only need to board the MRT to Taipei Zoo Station and then transfer to the Maokong Gondola for an exciting 30 minute cable car ride. Well, that was before! Prices of the Taipei's public transportation system in the Maokong Mountains have soared more than 100%. Before, the ticket price from Taipei Zoo Station to Maokong Gondola Station was only NTD 50. Now, it's NTD 120!








I boarded the Bus Brown 15 and it took me directly to the south entrance of the Camphor Tree Trail. How much did I pay? It was only NTD 6. I was able to ride the bus within 30 minutes from my departure in the MRT Taipei Zoo Station so I was given a 50% discount. Yehey!











Maokong is known for its tea industry and bushes of these plants can be seen along the slopes of the trail. I was actually scratching my head on where to find 'lupin' in the area. The place was just so green. After taking some pictures, I finally saw some yellow spots beside some bushes of tea. Lupin!










The yellow flowers are a member of the Lupinus genus. They are planted by farmers in parallel with the tea bushes to act as natural fertilizers when the flowers started to wither and die. The lupins are not beautiful when you just see them in a single layers along tea plantations but plant them in large numbers in a field and it would surely turn your world into yellow.

























I continued the hike in the Camphor Tree Trail until I found a large number of lupin flowers planted in terraces. The wind blowed and the lupin flowers swayed. It danced in the field with the excitement of the visitors. No wonder why many Taiwanese come here to see these flowers. Now that I have posted this one on my blog more people will come here to capture the yellow color of Taipei spring. They would come and search the mountains of Maokong with one goal of finding lupin.

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