In past posts, I’m sure I’ve made it clear that the animals you have to watch out for in Asia are vastly different to the animals you ought to watch out for in the rolling green hills of the British countryside. Every hike here in Taiwan is preceded by a warning sign detailing the possibility of encountering snakes and poisonous insects – it’s overall incredibly fear inducing. These signs don’t necessarily point out all the dangers of hiking in the Taiwanese wilderness though.
A few weeks ago, I was out for a hike in the hills around Neiwan, a village that is just a short and pleasant scooter ride away from the city. The hikes around here rarely see you confronted with another human being, which in my opinion is a brilliant thing. But after learning that amongst these hills lived wild pigs, known of because they make somewhat delicious sausages from them and also because said (big) pigs have a habit of attacking the people that do venture into the wild here, I think I would have felt more comfortable at least encountering a few people on a regular basis, and also preferably people that I can run a lot faster than.
At the end of the hike, we popped out onto a road high in the mountains and were fortunate enough to encounter a local family that offered to give us a ride back to the village rather than having an hour’s walk down a boring road, albeit with spectacular views. It was only at this point that we learned about the wild pigs and were instructed to bring a stick if we were to venture there again, just for our own safety. The man telling us this didn’t usually opt for a stick, but a gun.
Fortunately for us the scariest thing that we encountered that day were some geese, which I do actually have a totally rational fear of because they’re super vicious and the second most terrifying bird after the swan.