Friday, September 27, 2013

Dong Ding


We climb through a patch of camphor laurel at early dawn. It grows chilly as we go; the tea pickers are out gathering the day's harvest. The cold bites at our fingers and toes. Ascending from the west we climb steep passes following the ravine of deer valley. Up and up we travel, inland and away from the sea to Lugu ("Deer Valley"), the special township saddling this mountainous region. The mineral rich soil here was once an ocean crust. Now we stand in the only landlocked county of Taiwan. Nantou County maintains its connection to the ocean through its soil. Dong Ding is a mountain within a range of mountains. Here, amid the consistently thick fog and spider-managed insect systems grows "Frozen Peak Tea."  

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