-Chinese New Years
Chinese New Years is the biggest traditional celebration in the eastern world; consisting of multiple weeks off work for families to gather for the annual reunion dinner. It is also known as ‘spring festival’ and signifies the start of spring. The start date of the Chinese New Years fluctuates, and in 2017, January 28th signified the start. Each year a different animal is appointed-this year is the ‘year of the Rooster’.
-Our Adventure(Thoughts and Info)
With six days off work myself and fellow teachers ventured to the beautiful east coast of Taiwan. Our adventure started in Taitung City. We camped alongside the Philippine Sea, making our way north on the stunning Highway 11. Highway 11 is a 180km long coastal road spanning from Taitung City to Hualien City- I would highly recommend the drive. Unfortunately, my scooter was having issues starting every morning, we managed…barely. Due to the holidays all the scooter shops were closed for weeks- just my luck… After a refuel and rest in Hualien we cruised into Taroko National Park. Taroko National Park is quite guest friendly; free entry into the park, great resources and visitor centres, free camping, free shuttle transportation and friendly park staff. The gorge itself is 18km long with a lot of hiking, waterfalls and sights along the way. We were warned beforehand the Central Cross-Island Highway connecting east-west Taiwan can be quite miserable, but we didn’t listen…Bad idea, highway 8 cannot be underestimated, it was a gruelling 4+hrs on the scooter. We were poorly dressed, it rained the entire time, and on top of that due to my faulty engine I couldn’t risk turning it off. So with that being said we had to painfully scoot by cozy-looking cafes with our hands clenched, slowly meandering up the pass which felt like eternity. After many demoralizing hours through rain and fog we topped out at 3,275m. It felt amazing to descend through the clouds and feel our bodies thaw out. Unfortunately I couldn’t stop to grab my camera and capture our miserably long slog-of-a-day, but I sure have vivid memories of that bloody highway ahah. Lesson learned, the Central Cross-Island Highway cannot be underestimated and plan ahead if you are scootering this road.