By train from Taipei to Hualien

Trip Start Nov 06, 2006
Trip End Dec 31, 2008

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Where I stayed
Ivy International Youth Hostel

Flag of Taiwan  ,
Sunday, April 29, 2007

Route: By train from Taipei to Hualien

All packed again, I enter the Che Chiang class train at the Taipei main station at 15:42 pm. The train is packed with people, not only that no seats are available, all the walkways and sections between the wagons are full and I sit with others on the floor by the door - it's Sunday afternoon! The train passes through some of the areas I had walked on my first section to and along the North East Coast. The section from Ylan to Hualien goes a lot through tunnels, but sometimes opens the view on the phantastic cliff /ocean scenery, for which this section is so famous.

Arriving at 18:37 pm in Hualien I go to the visitor information center where a very friendly and efficient man in good English provides me with a lot of information I am looking for, such as the bus times to the South for Neal, who wants to walk with me for a few days on the coming weekend. He then calls the Youth Hostel Ivy for me. They say that they will pick me up by car as the hostel is on the outscirts of Hualien. When the owner of Ivy, a young mother of two sons arrives she asks: " Are you the one ? " I say: " Yes, if she is the other one ", referring to Ivy. By communicating in this vague way many surprises could have been in store. The hostel building is big but pretty simple, more like a converted former warehouse, lying in a kind of large garden/plantation. It's really a bit on the outskirts just off Chung Yang road. I also see two wooden huts  and a grass area which seems to be used as campsite. The rooms are clean and neat with aircon and cable TV.  All this B&B for 600 NTD a night and person. The atmosphere and friendliness cannot compare with the high quality in Ylan's cat house. I stay in the garden until I have fed most of Hualien's mosquitos and then retreat to my room, where I watch TV and prepare my next days.

Tomorrow I will visit Hualien, walk criss cross on foot and only move on the day after.

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