Monday, October 23, 2006

Train wrecks

Then on Tuesday - after weeks of plotting and planning - my overzealous organising skills meant we got on the wrong train - 15 mins too early - and ended up missing our actual booked train seats to Green Island! (Public transport disaster #2).
Cam & Harriot were very calm and patient while I had a nervous breakdown trying to get us on a later train, find new accommodation and change ferry bookings etc...not a great birthday for Cam! But after a very long 7hr train journey, standing up in the aisle, we really got a chance to laugh and chat and see some funny Taiwanese snippets - the train conductors that kept saying "Aiyo!" and slapping their foreheads when they checked our now hopelessly inaccurate tickets (wrong time, wrong train, no seats!); the young girls that scored our chips because they tried to practice some English...we ended up eating a fairly grim meal and staying in a very grim hostel in Taitung while we waited for the ferry on Wednesday morning. We were upgraded to VIP status on the 45min very trip - bigger seats. Whoohoo!

But GREEN ISLAND was magic....we were fetched at the harbour and then giving 2 scooters to drive... Mmnnn=Problem=neither Cam nor I have ever driven a scooter - as you know I've been on the back of a scooter but never actual made it go by myself. All I can say - the de Bucks are fast learners (no chirping about my 14 year learning curve thank you!) - we hopped on and whizzed off behind the van...well I wobbled and nearly crashed - cornering is not my strong point.
Checked in, got the run down on our package and ran off to practice driving some more - really fun! Then a snorkelling trip which was superb - despite the fact that we had to ride our scooters in FULL wetsuits, life vests and booties! A hilarious sight - no pics! But we saw amazing fish, coral, caves and Nemo just a gentle stroll into the ocean - totally magical and I was entranced.
We ended with another night drive - the insects smacking into your face aren't a great bonus!!! and a BBQ (braai) which is funny - you choose your own food and cook your own food at a restaurant - not like 'home'! Shopped a bit - everything is open late. Very, very, very early the next morning, Cam & I hopped on our steeds and rode off in the darkness to 1/3 sea hot springs in the world - it was very surreal - a few people in man-made pools next to the waves at 04h30. Then I walked off to one of the natural pools as the sun peaked through and slipped on my butt - but no one saw! Mre people arrived so we left and took tons of photos of the stunning scenery around the island - it was a paradise for me after 8 months of city sprawl. I had the best tuna toast & tea in Taiwan and then we headed off back home way too soon. I'll be back though.

I know.

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