Taipei Air Station - 1966 - - - " What you have in the end are memories"......... Photo Courtesy of Richard Reesh.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Return to Taiwan Tour - On the Bus - Day 5

We wake-up this morning in Zhiben,  I peek out the window, it's still cloudy, but, not raining just now.

Before breakfast we take our bags down to the bus, then head to the hotel dining room for breakfast.

By 8:30 AM we are back in our bus.  The parking lot is just about empty.  The Chinese tourist buses have already headed out.

Today, we are driving to the south of the island.  Take a look at the map, posted at the bottom of today's story.

The highway to the south runs along the Pacific coast shoreline for a time before crossing the island.

Our first rest room stop today, an isolated point along the east coast.

The rain is threatening again.

The rest area was on the ocean side of the the highway, to my back.

  I'm standing along the highway here.

Across the street, you can see Ted checking out the area.

On this corner,  across the road is the entrance to an Aborigine area.
The overpass with yellow and black stripes supports railroad tracks.
Campaign posters flying everywhere, the big elections take place on 14 December.
The eagle, a symbol of strength, seen around the world.

Look at the carvings along the wall.

We didn't have time to venture into the hills of the Aborigine area, it was time to leave.

 A short distance down the road, Highway 9 turns right and makes it's way across the island.

After another restroom stop, we find ourselves in Hengchun.

The main attraction in Hengchun, the old wall of the city.

Our bus, stopped to let us out along the outer wall at the North Gate.

And, the SUN is shinning again, the air clean and dry!

 The North Gate.

I wanted you to see the size of these bricks.
A suppose there is a story of why bricks were this small.

All of those who have come before us....what stories they must have.

Here we are today, passing through the area, wondering about the men who build this wall..

Our thoughts and imagination can only go so far, but at times, we catch just a glimpse, in a sliver of light, from the other side, of which we cannot fully see or understand, but know in our hearts - the best is yet to come.....

 The wall, inside the gate, looking off toward the west.

Shirley, getting a photo along the inner wall.

Inside the wall.  Ted and Gene making their way to the ramp that goes up to the top of the wall.

 Along the top, beautiful view of the mountains.

Leaving the wall..  Shirley and Gene here, followed by Ted and Ann.

We drove south, stopping at the first beach that was close along the highway.
We parked in this lot, just off the beach.

Across the highway, not much, small hotels, a few restaurants.

Here's an idea of where we are.

The beach stop.

The wind was whipping, clean fresh air off the Pacific, we're enjoying the day. 

Here, half of our group, L to R:   Holly, Ted, Gene, Kent.
It's lunch time, we had reservations at a small restaurant just a short distance back up the road.

 The restaurant, the open brown door next to the "open" sign in the window.

The fellow who runs the eatery, a local man, is the chef. 
He grew up in this building, his parents old home, which he's converted into a French Restaurant.  He loves France and spends a month or more there every year.

I think most of us were very hungry for western food. 

We were served a cream of tomato soup and plates of freshly baked French bread, with basil olive oil, just delicious.  

Then a salad, followed by the main dishes, pastas, and pizza, very tasty, and a wonderful glass of iced tea with fresh lime.
Dessert -  ice cream cake with a hot caramelized sugar cover.

No left-overs today, our tummies were full.

It was time for a nap.. but, we've off again,  too many sights yet to see this afternoon.

We made a number of stops this afternoon. 

 Here we were, at the southern point.

Good sign.  There were places along some of these trails where you could get into trouble.

The wind was strong, fresh cool, clean air blowing in from the Pacific.

Looking north on the tip of Taiwan.

Twan, Shirley and our driver down at the lookout area.

The wind was really blowing.

We drove up the road to see the old light house.

Had to park a distance away and walk down.

Along the walk to the lighthouse we passed the weather bureau radar dome.

Shore line, lots of old coral.

Probably 90 percent of these folks were from China.
Lots of China tourists on buses all around the island.
The positive side, loads of money flowing in to the local economy.

Ted and Ann.

Park entrance.

If you're old enough, free.

Ready to send the visitors back to their hotels.

I was stuck here, at the park entrance, my leg just couldn't handle the long walks to the various sites around the park.  

  I sat down on one of these benches around the park entrance.
I saw this couple walk in and later posing for some marriage photos.

Everyone soon returned to the bus area.

We loaded up and headed to Kenting and our hotel.

Our Hotel in Kenting.  The Agong.

It sat  along the main drag in Kenting.

After we cleaned up and got situated, we headed east along the main street looking for the best place to eat.

We settled on a pizza and pasta restaurant.

After dinner, we strolled up and down the street checking out the Night Market and stores.

Tomorrow, we're back on the bus exploring a bit more of Kenting before heading west for Kaohsiung.

See you tomorrow.


Anonymous said...

Thanks again, Kent. I'm enjoying the vicarious tour. Oluanbi used to be a great spot for scuba diving. FASD ran a hostel there which provided a place to sleep and a dining hall. The best diving location was just west of the southern tip -- lots of pretty coral and marine life and the occasional passing barracuda or eel, just to keep your mind from wandering. But it could be dangerous too. There was a very strong current flowing up the east side of the island and in late afternoon it sucked a lot of water around the tip of land. Experienced divers knew about it and made sure to be out of the water by 3:00 o'clock or so, but even so I recall one time when the current set in early. We had only one recourse: drop to the bottom and hand-walk our way west until the current lessened enough that we were able to surface and swim into shore. But a couple of US servicemen weren't so fortunate: sometime in the early 70s two divers got caught in the current, tried to swim against it until they were exhausted, and were carried around the tip of the island and into the northbound stream. They were never seen again. I think one body washed up on shore way up north a couple of weeks later, but the other guy simply disappeared.


Wg said...

Good to see all your pictures and commentary and musings. Keep it up!