Taroko Gorge // swallow grotto

the area of Taroko Gorge known as the swallow grotto is a popular stop with tourists. they arrive by the busload and are given the requisite hard hats, then walk along the side of the road for a short distance. the buses drive down the road to meet them at the end, where they return their helmets and pile in for the next stop.

we decided to add the swallow grotto to our itinerary despite the crowds. partially because - when in Taroko, right? - but mostly because our driver just stopped there anyway.

the swallow grotto is miles downstream from the baying waterfall trail - the waters weren't nearly so beautiful here. but walking along this narrow part of the gorge [and partially through tunnels cut into the mountain] is popular for another reason: the swallows. we were able to spot a few of these birds sweeping in and out of the holes in the rock that they call home. by hanging back from the crowds, we were able to get a little breathing room space to take pictures.

parts of the "trail" have been wiped out by landslides and haven't yet been repaired, so hanging back from the crowds seemed a bit safer as well. this also helped us to have a clear view when we got to the part of the trail where a face in profile can bee seen in the natural rock formations of the gorge. it's hidden in the last photo above - can you spot him?

the swallow grotto is probably the least exciting part of the gorge [for me] but if you're diving though, I still recommend stopping for the unique scenery and the chance for a helmet-head selfie.

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