I know this has been a long time coming, Nick has been urging me to blog for about a month now, and I haven’t done it because there were actual people around that I wanted to spend time with. I know you are all wondering about our month back at home, what we did, who we saw, what we ate etc. but just calm down, I’ll get to that (eventually). For now, you’ll have to settle for the rest of our trip to Hualien. If you don’t remember that we went to Hualien, or what we did, you can refresh your memory here.
So, for our third day in Hualien county we had made plans to visit another FET who lived about an hour away from where we were staying, the only way for us to get there was by taking the train. We had never taken a train by ourselves in Taiwan before (or anywhere for that matter-which brings me to another thought, why doesn’t the USA have an affordable cross-country train system? It would be wonderful, wouldn’t it?) Despite our nerves, the train ride was uneventful, we just stood and read our nooks (there were no seats left for us). We even managed to get off at the right stop even though we couldn’t hear any English announcements. 🙂 Go Us!
Our friend was at the train station waiting with open arms and lots of smiles! She first took us to an old sugar factory where we had some delicious ice cream! After we were hyped up on sugar, we had a quick lunch (backwards, I know) and went to the Butterfly Valley Resort to do some hiking and look at the butterflies of course, but not before putting on sun block and bug spray (we’re responsible adults after all :P). Our hike started in a butterfly valley (but you already guessed that, huh?) and from there we hiked up a
hill mountain. In the butterfly valley, there were some butterflies that would not leave Nick alone! They would sit on his arm for like 20 minutes! I was starting to get a bit jealous, he’s MY man! 😛 Eventually they got the picture and moved on, but not before I made him give me a butterfly and snap a picture.
Yummy Ice Cream!
The trains used to go right up to the factory to haul the sugar all over Taiwan.
Our friend Anita who showed us around her town.
Some of the original Sugar Factory Buildings. Now people can stay in them for the night.
My new butterfly friend.
Once we made it past the butterflies, it was onward and upward! Nick and I think we’re pretty spry, so we thought we were up for this little hiking adventure, but we were in for a steep climb! We felt like we were going up FOREVER! Thankfully they had benches every so often so we could rest for a minute, or ten. When we finally made it to the top of the
hill mountain, we crossed over a suspension bridge and started back down the other side. By this time we were drenched in sweat and probably smelling pretty rank, so of course we run into people that wanted to talk with us, and of course the lady is looking perfect with her perfectly curled hair and not a drop of sweat in sight (some people). They turned out to be really nice Taiwanese people, they even offered to show us around if we ever came to their part of Taiwan! When they found out we were from Texas, they asked us if we rode horses! I was floored, I had never actually been asked that in seriousness. It was hilarious! I, of course, told them we did and that my horse was named Betsy and that she was a dapple gray. (Not Really!) We finally made it down the mountain, and into the gift shop for some much needed air conditioning and water!
The water fall!
Bird’s eye view from the awesome suspension bridge.
Isn’t it beautiful?
After that, we headed to the Hot Air Balloon Festival, but I’ll save that story for next time!