I’ve never been white water rafting. It’s always looked cool and it’s been something I would like to do for a while, but the opportunity never arose until Nick’s dad came waaaaay back in August. After visiting Taroko Gorge, we decided that a white water rafting trip was in order. With help from our great friend and co-worker Anly, we made reservations with a company that picked us up and took us to the starting line. After gearing up and watching a safety video in Chinese, we were ready to go!!!
Before loading the boats, we had to get into groups of 8-10 people. At first it seemed like no one wanted the English speaking Americans and we were standing around like a few lost puppies, but finally some people took pity on us and called us over. We wagged our tails in appreciation and quickly joined them in line. Our group consisted of four Taiwanese people and three Japanese people, all of whom spoke at least a little English. We ended up getting along really well with them and were a big, happy, wet family by the end!
The rafting trip was really fun! There were soo many boats and we all started at the same time. Unfortunately our boat got stuck on some rocks right off the bat, so we ended up being the last boat to start its trek (clearly none of us had done this before). Amongst the row boats, there were workers in motor boats who were there to push people in the right direction, help people get their boat un-stuck, and to splash everyone with water, of course! I think I want that job!
Getting ready to get in!
So, there you have it! Hualien 2.0!
As mentioned a while back, Nick and I took a trip to Hualien at the end of June. This was our first trip out of Penghu since January, and needless to say, we were super excited about it! We took the last two days of school off and hopped on the plane to start our weekend of fun (does that make us bad teachers? I hope not, because we loved it).
Upon arriving at Hualien, we planned on taking a taxi to our hotel and then taking a bus to Taroko Gorge, the Grand Canyon of Taiwan. However, the first taxi driver we stumbled upon just happened to know English, so we gladly accepted his offer to show us around Taroko first thing and then take us to the hotel later. He took us to all the popular sites around Taroko and told us valuable information – the main road is only open for ten minutes every two hours due to a rock slide that occurred two months ago. We had a great time, but were exhausted when we got back to the hotel, so exhausted that we fell asleep at 5:30 and didn’t wake up again until the next morning. Well except for Nick’s sleepy suggestion of getting dinner at 1am. 😛
Friday morning we woke up beautiful and refreshed from our long night of rest and decided to rent a scooter for the day to get a more up close and personal view of Taroko. After a short game of charades with the hotel staff, they finally understood that we wanted to rent a scooter for the day and they contacted a scooter company for us (It helps that Nick knows the chinese word for scooter- part of his limited vocabulary, and only because it is part of a Chinese insult). The company sent a car to pick us up, got us hooked up with a great scooter, and then showed us how to get to Taroko. Nick drove out onto the highway and we were off! (Apparently the scooter had lots of “get up and go”). I have to say that seeing Taroko on the back of a scooter was waaaay better than looking out of the taxi window-can you say beautiful?!
The mountains were so lush! It was absolutely beautiful.
We got to walk on a suspension bridge!
Taroko Gorge is made of marble. We were hoping to find some slabs we could use for our countertops. We were unsuccessful.
We went on a hike that told us to bring a flash light and rain gear. We had neither, but thankfully we still survived! This is one of the tunnels we passed through.
We had such a great day! Nick loved driving the scooter on the mountain roads, and I thoroughly enjoyed the view. If you’re ever in Taiwan, Taroko Gorge is a must see!