Wednesday 3rd, as we were watching the news on TV and asking about the typhoon that was coming, we decided to go south much quicker as planed as the typhoon’s direction was to hit the north of the island. So good surfing on Wednesday and then packing up our stuff.
Thursday 4th, we left the farm around 10:00 am for a journey of about 3 to 4 hours of drive. Half way of the distance, we found our self stopped on the road, around midday, because of a landslide and we heard that we could pass through after 4:00 pm.
Then, we decided to turn back and take the only other road that could take us to our destination; so we passed by Syueshan Mountains. We drove back until Su-Ao before taking the road to Luodong, Sansing, Nioudou, Cilan.
From there, the weather became not pleasant (but still tropical) as well as the quality of the road. We went up around 2000m of altitude with some peaks of about 3400, 3700 and 3800m.
Magnificent road but difficult and above all very alive: it slides every where! It was incredible the number of time the exterior side of the road was gone…
On the other side, face side, it wasn’t better as they were a lot of landslides. However from our driving point of view we did well even if we were stopped 20mn in the Taroko gorges for some workers to fix the part of the road that had disappeared.
With this big detour, we finally arrived to Hualien at 8:30pm after 10h30mn of driving (Laurent only as I’m the co-driver!). We found a nice hotel quite easily, before going to eat in the street some good local foods. All shops were still open and a lot of people every where.
Friday 5th, in the morning, very bad weather because the typhoon was approaching. But after an hour it calmed down. We asked about the weathercast and so we decided to continue to the south.
We did some shopping and bought our lunch before heading to Taitung at 1:00pm. We took the coastal road which was magnificent and in the same time to spot out some possible surf spots for the way back. The sea was crazy: waves of 3 to 10m, and above all, as we were driving of the speed of 40Km/hour most of them were passing us as they were going at about of 60km/hour!
In different areas, the road was covered by some pebbles, which must have come over the night by the sea. So you can imagine that no surf was possible. We did several stops, took pictures and drove calmly as it was very very windy.
We spend the night at Taitung (not a great hotel, but right in the centre of town). We did a longer visit of the centre, as planed, after our good diner, as we got lost! Our decision to hit the south was great; according to the news on TV; the north did seem to be in a very bad situation.
Saturday 6th, we left early after breakfast to Kenting. The journey was difficult because of the typhoon, especially between Daren and Fonggang as we were in the valley between East to West coast. We arrived around midday and we found a hotel very quickly. Because as we wanted to check other hotels we found out that we just got a flat tire. The owner of the hotel helped us to get the flat tire fixed; he took Laurent to a tire shop. And everything was in order after putting back the spare tire in the boot. And then easy afternoon because of the typhoon…it was too risky to go outside.
On Sunday 7th, our fifth day of typhoon was finishing. We took the car to explore the area and find surf spots. Around 3:30pm, we saw some surfers in the water; so we went back to the hotel to get our gears and surf for about an hour until the sunset: it was great sensations for both of us.
See you later…time to surf!
first and foremost, thank you ever so much for your
warm hospitality extended during our stay at
TouCheng farm.The food and wonderful environment
were throughly fantastic throughout our entire stay.
(Pity that we did not have the opportunity to enjoy
the greater variety of fruits though).
Sadly, the typhoon meant that we have to shorten our
tay, we'll like to apologise for any inconveience
caused during our abrupt departure. In spite of our
short experience,TouCheng has and remains to be one
of the fondest memories that we have brought back
from this taiwan adventure.
Many thanks once again to you (sorry for not being
able to say bye personally before we left) and
especially to all these great people at Toucheng
PeiQing - who was always there to make sure both of
us are not left out from the yummy meals and
MingZe - the handsome one who drove us around and
helped us to get our train tickets last minute.
ZhiLing - who helped us to take pictures for our
Teacher Zhang - who gave us such good tour around
the farm and guided us through the crafts
Your Hubby - His muffins, they are yummy! =p
Oh yeah, thanks lots for sending us the pictures
too! We were told that there will be a link for us
to go online to download the pictures, can you send
us the link?
Cheers, Xiuxing and Kenny =)
We managed to arrive to Taiwan; instead of flying Nouméa à Osaka à Taipei as planned, we had to do Nouméa à Brisbane (1 night at the hotel) à Cairns à Hong Kong à Taipei.
Two days before our departure, Aircalin plane got broken and it has to stay in Osaka for a week to get fixed. So we flew with Cathay Pacific.
We arrived Saturday 29th around midnight at Taipei airport. The day before, from Nouméa I had sent a fax to let the rental car company about our delay (we should have arrived at 13:00); and a car was waiting for us. While I was setting up the car paper work, I asked about a hotel that would be open (about 2 hours later) at Jiaosi (Lan Yang Spring Resort); and in the meantime Laurent had collected our luggage and nothing was broken (surf board and kitesurf).
So there we were driving in the middle of the night to avoid day traffic and to start to familiar our self to the Taiwanese way of driving. We managed pretty well to find the hotel and after a good shower we fold asleep around 3:00 am.
On waking, Chinese breakfast quite good (but we will get better ones). We decided to check-out at 12:00 pm (the check-out time). But before and as we had a wooden bath tub in our room with water that was going from a thermal source, we decided that we definitely should spoil our self by using it! Before going into a tropical rainy drive.
We were looking for some surf spots and a hotel. For the surf, no problem; a lot of nice waves, but for the hotel; a lot of searching, back and forth, stops, requests to people that couldn’t speak English to finally end up in a huge farm where the young manager (a lady) came to collect us at a meeting point in spite of all the people she was receiving (on Sunday all is full).
As soon as our stuffs were in the room and without doing the check-in, we went surfing at sunset time to decompress from this special day. The water temperature was at 26°C. And the exterior temperature was about 29°C. This climate reminds us of the one in French Guyana.
Since then happiness! Every day very interesting meetings. Taiwanese are kind and helpful, food is great, and waves are here, friendly surfers, temples everywhere, cities with histories, and an incredible mess on the roads…
Monday, as we were taking outside pictures of a temple, some ladies ask us to come in. One of them guides us to pray. When we were leaving, the ladies were saying something and as we couldn’t understand, one of them took my hand to show me some food; they wanted to offer us food; but we were already full from our superb breakfast!
Laurent sold one of his all surf boards and bought another one in the same shop; the deal was made in English, Chinese and drawings to explain what he was looking for; a lot of fun and kindness.
As we were coming back from our shopping, our hosts took us to a restaurant that the owner, the brother-in-law, opened just for us: magnificent! A recent construction in a tree ferns garden, wooden floor at the entrance and then grey paving stones made out of solidified volcanic ash, diner and services were great. At the same time, we did get some Chinese lessons that would help us in our future meals!
Thursday, Laurent surfed with his new surf board, in a good swell and the result was excellent. He is short of training regarding his arms and shoulders to be at the top of his form, but it will come.
For me, it is quite hard as they are several sand bars to pass over and my leash is quite small, so I’m scare to dive under the big waves. So I only took the small ones. I will have to buy a surf board leash for big waves even if I have a body board.
As we were walking in the centre of Toucheng, our host (that was passing by) told us that we were right beside a small street that was 100 years ago a river! And then, in that street, a lady on her bicycle came to us and « obliged » us to follow her to show us the very old houses!
Little info, our taste buds were non stop stimulated by the good smell in the streets!
For the supper, we were with a group of retired people that was doing karaoke during the diner: excellent. Ten dishes followed each other on our table; we got full of great food. Some old persons were laughing at Laurent when he was trying to get some of the sleek food with his chopsticks!
In the evening, our hosts invited us at their house. We came with our laptop to show them some pictures from South Africa and New Caledonia.
They told us that when they pronounce: Laurent, the sound of it means rainy day in Chinese!
在2007.10.12當天，農場來了2位專程由馬來西亞搭機到台灣渡蜜月的新婚夫婦---Mr. and Mrs. NG；看他們甜蜜的笑容，周圍的人也感受到幸福的氣氛！