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Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Taiwan Day 33 - A Much Needed Day

The day started with a work phone call at 6:00 am. Not the way you usually want to start your day but it was for my yearly review. Everything went well which is a good thing, but there's some expectation that I will, in fact, be back in 2 weeks. So I passed on Nat's suggestion to ask if they minded if I stay a few more weeks. That means the trip is really only going to be 44 days. No worries mom, we'll be back soon.

I headed out the door at about 8:00 am and was shocked to feel that the temps had risen about 10 degrees from the day before. And not long into the ride, I actually saw that elusive thing which is so, so nice, but oh, so rare. It was the clear blue sky:



This was great, a much needed change up from the crap I've been riding in and it made me long for the spring. It's incredible to me how much your mood correlates to the weather, especially when you take into account what my hobby of choice is. I headed down the hill on the same way I came up the day before, but I took a left instead of going down into the busy town. The road was quiet, and I kept heading towards the peak that was in front of me. Eventually I found a park area, and tried to ride up the path that goes to the peak. Unfortunately it appeared to be a hiking trail only.

I dumped back down the other side, and had views of the ocean most of the way down. A bit hazy but better than rain - you get the idea:



The rest of the ride was fairly uneventful but enjoyable. I went to the river, then crossed the bridge to the other side, and back up north to a town called Danshui, which is a touristy town that we've been to many years ago. I tooled around there for a bit and found the beach, which was appropriate for the ride today. This was before I crossed the river. That mountain on the other side is on my hit list but I need a full day for that:



And for those of you who want to meditate on this, it was almost warm enough to jump in today:

The look and sound of the beach

The way back was more or less the same, though I did the road a bit more than the bikeway because the path was chock full of boardwalks and fishermen. There are some downsides to the road sometimes though:

Scooter madness!

I went home the way I came because I wanted to climb up that big hill and come up a nice peaceful way instead of the 2 other ways which are truck routes. There were several bikers going up when I was coming down, so I knew it must be the preferred route for the area bikers. It was a nice ride among a lot of old grave sites that littered the hillside.

When I got back to the apartment there was some breakfast leftovers waiting for me. Calvin must be trying to butter me up, or fatten me up. There was some soymilk, a leek & rice noodle pocket, some dumplings, and some egg/dough bites that I like. Good stuff, great way to end a great ride:



In the house for a little bit, getting cleaned up and hanging out and so on. Before long it was lunch time and the place we went to was closed, so we went to another place down the street which was a newer age organic Taiwanese style place. I have to say, it was really good, and just like the ride today, it hit the spot in a place I really needed. I love the food here, but after a while it's kinda like a different hat on the same thing you've had before. This was a really new, hip hat which was good. I really enjoyed it. I'd say most people would be able to take this stuff. I got the beef:



After lunch we tooled around town a bit, first to get some flowers and such for the new year, then a fish store, a playground, and finally back home. Julia was like, "WTF is this thing then?"



Back at the apartment I had some work to do for the team, which took a bunch of time. In the meantime, Grace made dinner which was some pork with ginger, green veggies, squash with 1000 year egg, and some soup, plus some pork sausage which was made elsewhere. It was a solid meal and good to get something homemade after eating just about every single meal out for the past 33 days.

Calvin and I had gone to an old-style market earlier and I took a video, which was pretty cool. Not like anything you see in the US that's for sure. Well at least not in NJ. Unfortunately the video did not load overnight so I'll post it up tomorrow if it ever finishes.

Today was a good day. Need more of these. Weather.com is saying we may have 4 days in a row of sun, starting Friday. I don't know what to say. The kids could care less about the weather as long as they have their video games:



As usual, all the pics of the food and such can be seen at following link:

Full picture set of the day here: Flickr set or slideshow.

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1 Comments:

  • At 7:58 PM, Blogger terren said…

    Funeral procession and other videos were cool. I'm a little disappointed you're not continuing the pic of the day. Hey, know what, I dreamed last night that I was in Taiwan with you guys. I was driving around and kept messing up because the traffic was so strange. And then we made it the apartment you guys were staying in and Natalie proceeded to unfold this incredibly complex contraption which turned out to be an ironing board. I wish it was more interesting then that but I had to share.

     

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