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Archive for February 5th, 2009

addendum

Included below are the three photos that the internets and the mysterious creatures that run it, repeatedly rejected within the format of the other pictures. Below: tidepools at the park, sunset driving along the coast, homer simpson man, and me running up this giiiiiant stone staircase while singing the rocky song (unfortunately I had to stop halfway to catch my breath and rest).

Enjoy.

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Kenting

So early early Monday morning we were off for some R&R in Kenting, which is located at the very bottom tip of Taiwan. First we had to go by Jim’s parents business to get some things, and apparently the business is located in the middle of nowhere in Taoyuan. The whole place was a bit kooky since its filled with furnishings and statues for his interior design company. We plopped ourselves on some giiiant teak chairs and enjoyed some coffee first. Then it was off to the HSR (high speed rail) station.

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An hour and a half later we were in Kaohsiung (pronounced with a G instead of a K, whyyyyy pinyin whyyyy).   Tina slept the whole time.

Kaohsiung surprised me with how smoggy and dirty it looked. As the second largest city in Taiwan I was expecting something more along the lines of Taipei. Apparently its the home of alot of metal refineries, but still, icky.

We then rented a car and started off on our hour drive further down the coast to Kenting.

We passed tons of farms with giant rows of palm trees. Soon I discovered that the palm trees all grew wax apples, because there were hundreds of roadside stands selling them…literally stands every 20 feet (again.. I repeat, how do people have successful businesses here?).

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We stopped at this roadside restaurant, Jim knows the guy there apparently, and had lunch. Delicious beef noodle soup and mango slushies. We also had tons of wax apples pushed on us. Unfortunately I do not like wax apples, I think they have a weird after taste and the insides look like styrofoam. So instead I made faces with mine and then reluctantly ate one, washed down with mango slushy.

Back on the road, we arrived in Kenting, we had a great bed and breakfast and it was a bit cloudy. We went down the road to the Elunuba lighthouse. There were tons of school groups of kids and soon the calling began. “Helllloooo, helllo girl, helloooo, helloo pretty girl, hellloo” . Weird, weird, weird. I guess there are less foreigners here than in Taipei, so the stares were escalated to outright talking about me. It was like being a celebrity for no reason whatsoever. One group of girls even asked to have their picture taken with me. Bizarre. I really don’t like this kind of attention, I am not a zoo exhibit.

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We hiked around, got lost and then lost somemore. All the maps were few and far between and completley not helpful. We checked out the rocks and tidepools at the beach.  I took the opportunity to hop into and out of every cave I saw and tease about snakes and monsters in the tropical forest. We did not want to be in the park at dark so we headed back to the hotel. A nap and then the nightmarket.

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We wandered around, got food, Tina and Jim got temporary tattoos, we stopped by the beach and saw a roadside bar made out of a truck. Hundreds and hundreds of shops filled with the same things. Tons of shorts, swimsuits, and tshirts, but no towels (we forgot to bring ours). Finally we found some and then headed home to eat food and play cards.

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Tuesday we headed to the beach. It was a bit overcast so we played for a while. I read by myself, and we jumped on the rocks.  I spotted a 7/11 sign hidden in the woods (they’re everywhere… everywhereee).dsc04258

We went hiking in our beach clothes in the park. We swung on vines in giant caves and took in the views. I, of course, got majorly sunburned without realizing it. Below is me, rejoicing that we’re at the top, group shot, and my face in reaction to the ever present evidence that I take really really awkward pictures.

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Here are the shots of Tina and I swinging on the vines hanging down into the gorge. Because there were no signs telling us not to. Excluded are the 15 shots of me screaming and making face of terror.

Dinner at a mexican restaurant that wasn’t very good, but there was an asian guy at a table behind us who looked just like Homer Simpson. Seriously. Look at the guy over my shoulder.

Drinking wine on the beach, playing with sparklers, and looking at all the stars, we ended the night.

The next day a last little bit of beach before we had to leave. The sun was fully out for the day. Swam for a bit and collected shells, the beach near our hotel was pretty deserted for most of the day. And the water was so so blue. All of the local wore long sleeves, and coats while at the beach…I guess 80 degrees is …cold?

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