Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Taroko National Park aka the time I really wanted to go swimming (and couldn't)

From Hualien City we hopped on a tour bus with the mean disco lights...
and somehow (I was asleep for this first part) ended up here!

 As you can see, Hamish is still a little sleepy in this photo.
 A Very Good Jumping Photo. You can see that 6 days of eating in Taiwan has made me a little...wider. Not so good when I am doing kumite in the under-50kg division...
 Despite having roads cut the whole way through for tourism, the scenery is pretty much untouched. Apparently the water is usually clear and blue, but due to recent rainfall in the area it was grey and muddy.
 We had to wear helmets for part of this! I think it was through Swallows' Grove/Grotto (something like that) but of course it was the wrong time of the year for them to be nesting.

 I also had mango icecream but I ate it all before I took a photo
 Hamish is ..........looking sketchy. I am sorry for the pun. Really.
En route to the shrine. It was dedicated to people who'd died building something.
 Me trying to swim in the pool at the top of said waterfall. Apart from being inappropriate and dangerous, I totally could've gone for a swim if Kit let me...

I didn't get any photos when we stopped for lunch as I was too busy playing with stamps and doing crayon rubbings of some outlines of plants and animals. And getting bitten by mosquitoes.
The beach! Made up ENTIRELY of river pebbles and a suuuper steep drop into the water, every time the waves broke you could hear the rocks tumbling....thus, inappropriate to swim in, but the most gorgeous rocks and pebbles ever- stripy rocks with crystalline quartz, tumbled quartz and jade, granite... Note for travellers: you cannot take rocks with you overseas, no matter how pretty they are. I still ended up with damp shorts, which made for a very unpleasant journey back to Hualien.
...and to finish, the two acceptable characters I drew during our "cultural workshop" calligraphy class. Note that this was originally a much, much larger piece of paper.

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