Sunday, January 17, 2010

Taiwan Revisited, Part III: Taroko Gorge, Cont.

Yesterday interrupted my unprecedented stream of posting as I was required to travel to Donghae to get a new residency card. Happily, another teacher also had to go so it was a more enjoyable time then it might have been otherwise. Our various bureaucratic deeds only took about 15 minutes, after the two-hour train ride down, so we had time to visit the Donghae e-mart. Previously, I had been unimpressed by the e-mart chain (kind of like a Korean Wallmart) but now I know that it's just that the one we have in Taebaek is lame. I bought some things, among them this amazing hat, modeled below.

Anyhoo, the adventure continues in Taiwan so here is Part III of my travel narrative:

Dear Terry,

Things have been way more pleasant here then in Taipei. The town our complex (there really is no other name for this assortment of functional but ill-shaped rooms and echoing hallways) is in is very minimal but friendly and cute. After everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) in the complex went to bed we "borrowed" some unattended bikes and rode circles around the enormous dining room. It felt like something out of a movie.

Today started a bit more abruptly then I might have preferred. First the other ladies in my room started chit-chatting at eight in the morning at full volume and then after that the maid kicked me out to clean the room at 10am. It was not very restful. Eventually we got it all together and hit the road to go hiking in the Gorge--quite literally too because we had to walk for about 40 minutes along the highway before we even got to the trailhead.


It was actually very pretty and scenic and included not one but TWO hazardous-looking suspension bridges. Unfortunately my camera battery ran out before we got to that point so I have no evidence but I DO have pictures of the super cool abandoned tunnels we found on our way to the trailhead. The highway ran along the Gorge and we passed through several tunnels on route. One tunnel branched off into the dark and so we went exploring. It was totally creepy, and I would not have done it without Simon's flashlight. We didn't see and bodies but it was definitely the kind of place where there would be bodies if any were to be had. The one tunnel came out onto a very swampy trail where I managed to soak both my feet and then lead to another tunnel which was disturbingly warm and musky-smelling and terminated in a wall and a large shallow pool. The whole experience was pretty exciting though. I definitely felt very adventurous.


I love you so much. I miss you.


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