Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Amazing weeks

I've had loads of fun these past weeks...we have been to a 24hr Spa twice now. It's called Calla Young Garden Resort and there is something very magical about sitting in steaming hot pools with good friends under the stars until 11pm - actually one time we only left at about 3a.m. with Doug in stitches - literally - as he split his lip open. But he's OK now. http://www.calla.com.tw/index.htm This is the link to see the spot.

And then last Sunday, Darren and I went to Wulai which is on the southern outskirts of Taipei - a bus ride, 25 minutes on the MRT and another bus up the mountain to these great waterfalls. We walked around the town and took a little old train up to the cable car -very cool and then walked around in the mountains. It's very commercialised; unfortunately in a rather tacky way but it's quite amusing and we looked beyond the dancing show and amusement park and overfed koi fish so it was great to be out & about; despite Darren's hangover! (photos to follow)

And then on Sunday I was going to spend a rainy day in bed reading...but it turned into a beautiful Autumn day so 5 of us (including XP) drove the windy road up to Yangmingshan National Park and went for a walk. The area is very special - there are natural sulphur springs and geysers and amazing views in all directions.
The weather was perfect - not too hot and with foggy conditions in certain spots which cooled us down and really gave me the impression of walking in the clouds to the end of the earth. But it turned into a huge hike up a million stairs to the highest peak in the park Chichcingshan - Seven Stars Mountain......................

...........And then the second highest peak in the park too - despite our protests and some foul language from me; Doug's topographical map was not that accurate so we never levelled off and we never found the damn split before the peak...then Kim, the Canadian Mountain Goat and her Trusty Black Rescue Dog, XP - bounded down the peaks and took the wrong forks in the path so we all landed up in the parking lot - the wrong parking lot. Exhausted, we refused to walk another minute to the right parking lot somewhere along the road...so Sherry & I tried to hitch-hike (without success), we tried to catch a bus (with no money) so Doug tried to hitch-hike (without success) and he took a bus, found the car and came back to fetch us - thank goodness!

And then We then drove down into Tianmu in TPE, despite being hot & sweaty, and ate at a German Restaurant - how odd is that???

Funny Chinese story - Sherry phoned ahead from the car to reserve a table at the restaurant and was asked "Do we want table legs?" - naturally she said "Huh? Don't those come standard with the meal?" but it turns out that the Chinese word from eisbein (pork knuckles) is almost the same, so they need to ask to get it prepared in time - we found this hilarious as Sherry is fluent in English & Chinese and even she can get confused! No hope for blond me!

Anyway it was delicious food in a Biergarten with a real German Bakery - except the staff speak Chinese! Perfect end to an amazing day!

AND THEN...while we hobbled home, Kim saw a stray black puppy under a scooter in our community. We had all been talking about our 'doggy tales' that night and this little guy just looked up and said "Hi Mum! You found me". So she took him home - his name is Shadow and he's very, very cute - so it was meant to be!
And now it's raining a lot.

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