Saturday, December 21, 2013

Waterfalls, Sandwiches and the Beach

Last weekend Michelle and I hopped on a late night bus and headed to Pingtung to visit Ria-Leen. We arrived at her place close to 1am and spent a few hours star gazing and chatting on her balcony. 


We lazily woke up and got ready for the day. We headed out later than we had hoped but it was well worth the extra sleep. We headed to the train station to rent scooters for the day so we could drive into the mountains. Much to our surprise, we had no issues renting scooters and we were quickly on the road. If only we knew how to get to the waterfalls. After many circles around town and a few calls to friends we found our way and started up into the mountains. It was a beautiful, albeit windy and slightly rainy ride through the mountains to the waterfall site. Almost exactly upon arriving it started to rain heavily. We decided that a little rain never hurt anyone (plus we had come all this way) so we started the hike up to the waterfalls. The hike was well worth it to see two different beautiful falls as well as meet some friendly hikers on a trip from Taipei. 
The view from Ria-Leen's house in Pingtung 

Signing my day away 

Hiking over the rocks to get to the waterfall

Ria-Leen and I

All three of us

The second waterfall

She climbed to the other side for the picture

Absolutely beautiful 

The rain actually made everything look even better

After getting back to Ria's house and eating a quick dinner we headed back to the scooter shop to return our scooters. Like basically every other experience I've had in Taiwan, this easy task did not happen without a story. It was raining quite hard and I lost Michelle and Ria on the way back to the train station. I ended up on a deserted corner as the rain started coming down harder. I called Michelle and she passed the phone on to a Taiwanese lady who told me that she did not know where I was after I told her the cross streets of my location. I ended up driving around and finding signs that eventually led me to the train station. Needless to say, I was soaked. 
We bought train tickets and boarded a train headed into Kaohsiung. In Kaohsiung we got off at the stop that we thought was connected to the HSR station (in our defense it had the same name as the HSR station). It was not the same stop. After walking around for a bit and crossing some train tracks and lighted bridges we decided to just take a taxi to Ria's friend Henry's house where we were staying the night. 
We met up with Henry outside of his apartment and he graciously welcomed us into his home. We spent most of the evening hanging out with Henry and his friend Sky on the balcony of his apartment. Later that night Ria joined us and we all went to a club where Henry and Sky were selling sandwiches (they just opened a gourmet sandwich business). 

The bridge we found when we were lost in Kaohsiung 

Walking Henry's dog, Hero


We spent most of the day Sunday on Cijin Island. I had already been here once with Katie and Angela back in September. It was so nice to have a relaxing day on the beach. We played games (and drew lots of stares from locals) and chatted on the beach for hours. It was the perfect end to a fantastic weekend. 

Taking the ferry to Cijin Island

The boardwalk area

Blowing bubbles while waiting for the ferry. Everyone loves bubbles

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