August 28th-30th: Hualien, Taiwan

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September 9th 2018
Published: September 9th 2018
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August 28th - Hualien, Taiwan - Dia 68
Being recommended to go to the east coast of Taiwan I planned my last few days there. Fast and smoothly I took a train early morning for just 2 hours and a half to end up in a completely unfamiliar place. One of the things I am really starting to like about Taiwan, the closeness and diversity of its island.
Getting off in a town next to the sea and with limited bus transportation. Almost everyone rode motorbikes. That meant I was going to do the same 😉
After a quick walk to the Hostel I met new unfamiliar faces.  Dropping my stuff I asked two local teachers studying around the Hostel to recommend me a place to go for the rest of the evening. With not much to see in the town they recommended me to get a bike and head down to the beach. What a great idea!
Riding down to the beach, feeling the happiness rush over me as I experienced everything for the first time. I love the feeling as soon as you arrive to a new destination.
Big pebbly shoreline facing the blue pacific ocean. No sand to dig holes or built castles , did not necessarily stop some kids from digging and making a wall out of pebbles though 😍
I layed on the rocks and listened to the ocean waves smash and move all the small pebbles as it washed out. Reminded me of the Peru coastline with my family , my father loves that sound. I understand why, it's like hearing a soothing musical.
After a quick nap 😴 I went on a walk through the shoreline, all the way to where the coastline became to rocky and vicious to walk through. And then I started thinking of jumping quickly into the dark blue transparent water. Thought about it twice due to the warnings from the teachers about the current being to strong to swim. I decided to just take a quick dip to freshen myself, just take a few steps close into the water. Fresh and salty! I did feel the waves and current controlling me though. So I decided not to swim deeper into the ocean.
Fresh, I walked back to my bike and strolled through a paved trail next to the shore. While riding back home I really wanted to find a park with a pullup bar to do some exercise. As if a genie heard my wish, a park appeared a few minutes later with a perfect gym. 😍  Interestingly one thing I have noticed in Hong Kong's and Taiwan's parks is the inclusion of a pebble walkway. Used as a massage therapy for your feet by taking your shoes and socks off and walking on the pebbles. Heaven to your feet. Parks in Mexico should really have all of this things, does a good job to promote wellness and exercise.. maybe when I head back to México 😊

August 29th - Taroko Gorge - Dia 69
For my first full day around Hualien I decided to go to the  Taroko Gorge. A huge canyon going from sea level all the way up to 2500meters. Containing a road which starts next to a river and slowly curving its way up to wet tropical forest filled with monkeys and wild animals 😍 I was excited
Without finding any other people to motorbike with through the Gorge I headed out by myself. First of course I went to the motorbike rental store and got a motorbike for two days. Uui I had definetly missed riding a motorbike. And this one I rented was much more newer, powerful and lighter then the one from Yangshuo.
After eating probably some of the most delicious dumplings I had tried in Asia I zoomed away from Hualien and entered the Taroko Gorge.
Gorgeous canyon with steep walls going up up and up on either sides. A lot of tunnel crossings and bends made the motorbike ride amazing.. I stopped various times in hiking trails to take a rest and walk around for a couple of kilometers before jumping back into the bike.  The main river started branching upwards and smaller streams were left to follow. Getting higher I also was encapsuled by the surrounding clouds, making incredible dramatic scenaries. As I headed up and bent a curve I all of a sudden saw a monkey run from the exposure of the street, to that shelter of the jungle. I stopped the motor and found myself next to a fruit tree with many monkeys curiously trying to stay hidden. I was looking at my first monkeys of the trip!!! Finally😀. They were medium sized red faced monkeys, not to knowledgeable to detect the specie.
Leaving them alone I continued...
Beautiful big Pine trees starting appearing suddenly through the dense vegetation of the tropical jungle as I got close to 2000meters. Unfortunately having reached a half tank by 2000meters I had to head back. 😔 Never managed to see the highest point of the Taroko Gorge. But what a beauty
And then I still had hours of motorbike riding all the way down. Getting more comfortable with the motorbike and enjoying the curves rhythm 😌
Took a mid stop break to drink an Americano Coffee! Yes a finally found a cheap coffee drink to buy, in a Seven Eleven!! It's not China anymore ☕
Arriving back home at dark I was too tired to do anything else and fell to sleep

August 30th - Cruising the east Coast- Dia 70
Having rented the motorbike for two days my plan was riding south of the village of Hualien, cruising through the coastline.
Beautiful ride with amazing views all the way. After almost 4 hours of riding but only covering around 150km 😂... I was stopping way too much, I bought a cold beer and layed in a pebbly Beach enjoying the views of the Pacific Ocean. Drifted to sleep a bit while doing this.
The most memorable time today was on the way back to Hualien, when I least expected it.
I stopped quickly in a Taiwanese Fishing Harbor to enjoy the afternoon vibes coming from it. The men where finishing their day and had beautiful Taiwanese music blasting through all the Harbour. With the sun setting behind them I took in the scenary.
A bit farther into the road a series of tunnels had to be crossed, taking you beneath some big mountains. Immediately when leaving the tunnels behind I managed to glimpse with my right eye a closed road leading around the tunnels, towards the rugged and cliffed coastline. Figuring that this road was the old way to cross the series of mountains but got closed as soon as the tunnels were constructed, I turned around and went in to explore it 😊🙄.
At the beginning I had to cross a small mud landslide which had covered the road with compacted soil. Checking it out by foot first, I jumped back as I saw a small little snake slither in front of me, disappearing into some bushes. Gaining confidence by seeing some bike tracks in the mud, I got back in my bike and gave it a try. Success! Back in pavement of the desolate road I road for less then 10 meters before reaching the entrance of a small tunnel. Passing through it with ease I was welcomed to a beautiful view of the pacific ocean and a lonely, empty, fragmented road winding itself through a steep mountain side on its right and a cliff on its left.
A bit farther in the road I had to quickly stop my tracks as half of the road had collapsed and been eaten by the cliff. Had never seen something like that before. With a small section of the road still intact I hopped off my bike and checked it out by foot. After vertifying it was crossible I got in the bike and passed through the narrow road section extremely slowly. Success!
Now on the other side I noticed even more landslides but this time too vegetated to cross by motorbike. So I had to continue on by foot I guessed.
Not going to far, I stopped because all of a sudden there was no road anymore. Just a vegetated cliff side and a fenced tunnel leading away from the sea and into the mountain. I figured that the tunnel connected to the current road because I could occasionally hear the echo of the cars passing by, if I got close to the entrance of the tunnel.
With not much else to explore I stopped and relaxed by taking in the beautiful scenery. Until I started hearing the dog barks 😱...
Two barks coming a few seconds after the other coming from somewhere. Quickly grabbing two rocks I stood still and tried to figure out the sound. It seemed to be coming from everywhere!! Thinking it was maybe coming from the tunnel I got close to it and heard no barks. Not figuring out the noise got me more scared. Thinking it was maybe a recorder I started counting the seconds between each bark. Realizing both barks were randomly spaced out freaked me out.
Scared out of my mind I gave up and backed away slowly. Turning around after a couple of steps and quickly walking back to my motorbike while hearing the two barks echo through the air.
Turning on the engine and leaving the place behind. Spooky!!!! 😰
I still can't figure out the dog barks. I can't understand how there were living  dogs around the area since the road was completely abandoned and I never saw traces of a living human around.
Quickly leaving that place behind I head back to the village of Hualien. Not making it in time before the rain. Got completely soked as I arrived safely to my Hostel.


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