Wow!

Trip Start Aug 24, 2010
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11
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Trip End Sep 01, 2011


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Flag of Taiwan  , Taiwan,
Friday, November 19, 2010

So...we finished classes! Well...we took the last two days off to travel a bit before being forced out of the country...haha. So, as usual, our last minute planning lead us to the train station to buy a ticket to Taitung, then hopefully a plane ticket to Green Island. It went kind of like this: Arrive at the train station at 9:41am, wanted to buy the ticket for 10:05am, ended up with tickets for 9:46am, had 5 minutes to find the right platform and board the train...but we couldn't leave it at that of course! In our 5 minutes to board, we thought it wise to buy our breakfast from 7-11...lol. So in 5 minutes, we bought our tickets, bought our breakfast, ran to our platform, and boarded the train! (in all fairness, I did ask for the train that left in half an hour from our arrival time...so it wasn't really my lack of planning that caused the chaos!). We arrived in Taitung at 12:10pm, realized we didn't have any money left, tried the ATM at the train station, and of course....it didn't work for our card! So now we have 20 minutes to find our way into the city (the train station is on the outskirts) before boarding the bus to the airport. Jay took a taxi to a bank, grabbed some cash, took the taxi back....and we missed the bus...haha. So we just took a taxi to the airport instead, bought the last two tickets on the last flight to Green Island, hung out at the airport (which is really quite nice) for a couple hours before our departure. There is a nice coffee shop there with outdoor seating, so the wait was enjoyable. Time to leave...we walk out to our manually started propeller plane with exactly 12 seats, no door to the cockpit, barely room to sit...oh, did I mention that my seat was missing a bolt, so it wobbled instead of being attached to the floor?...haha. The flight was fun (only 15 minutes) and the view was spectacular!

 We quickly found a guesthouse once we arrived. We had planned to visit the Tourist Information Building to view our choices; however, the building was closed for renovations....it would have been nice of them to note this on their website...lol. A few people drove up to us on scooters asking if we needed a place to stay, so it wasn't long before we found one. We rented a scooter and toured the island, in the dark, on our first night. The drive was spectacular in the dark, the island has somewhat of a glow to it in the moonlight. We found the Saltwater Hot Springs (one of three in the world), took a dip and relaxed. Around 8pm, we got hungry and decided to head back to town for supper....GULP!!...everything was closed. The town was deserted!! Good thing for 7-11...sigh...so dinner at 7-11 it was! 

Saturday morning, we woke early and started on the 18km road around the island! It actually took us the WHOLE day! haha. Of course, with our curiosity, we stopped everywhere we could. There is a nice campground there (it was also closed), we stopped at the hot springs again because the natural ones, right off the ocean, were open, we found some other areas to trek through, climbed some hills and found a wonderful viewpoint. The waters were Kool-Aid blue...nothing I've ever seen before! We also saw the largest fish (the size of a large shark) washed up on the rocks, ran into some weird goats, and welcomed our sunburns! (unexpected of course)...lol. We made sure to be back in town before 6pm, as we didn't want to get stuck with another 7-11 dinner! 

On Sunday, we checked out the Ancient cross island trail, bought our ferry tickets (flights were booked up), took a couple Gravol to be sure to survive the torturous ferry ride, went to the wrong ferry dock (again, waiting to the last minute before boarding time), panicked to find the right ferry dock, searched the ferry to find the seats with the least puke on them, ate lunch (not sure why I would eat lunch right before a ferry ride infamous for making its' passengers seasick), luckily passed out from the Gravol, and woke up when we got there! Jay stayed awake for the whole ride. The ferry ride was insane, rocking so much that you couldn't even stand up without holding onto the railings! I don't know how he didn't get sick!!

We returned to Hualien to start packing our things to ship home!!
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