A&E on the World Heritage Train East 2009 travel blog

Great Mt. Shuishe Trail

Fishing raft


Lakeside flower

My hotel in there somewhere...

And it bloody well didn't rain today! Though I'm obviously not complaining about the lack of rain, if I'd known it was going to be an OK day I would have got a pushbike and ridden round the lake. On the other hand, this may have been a blessing in disguise, because - no doubt as its Saturday - the traffic has gone barmy and there are loads of people pouring into the Lake. Most of the bike route would have been on the narrow, busy, lakeside road and may not have been that enjoyable with that level of traffic. So instead I did more walking at various points around the lake, some on the lakeside, but mostly up in the surrounding mountains. I also spent a fair while this evenng speaking to my landlady Jame, who is a very interesting woman and speaks good English and fluent Japanese. This was the most conversation I've had in a month and was much appreciated!


It was a slightly frustrating day today, as my plans went wrong straight away and I ended up spending the whole day travelling, which always feels like a bit of a waste. I left my place early this morning, with Jame waving goodbye and shouting up the street that she would miss me, though I'm not quite sure what to make of that. My plans started going awry when I got on the wrong bus, and ended up in Puli, instead of Shuilli. This isn't the first time travelling when I have had it brought home to me that if there is one thing you want to learn to pronounce properly in a foreign language, its the name of the place you're trying to get to.

This put paid to my plans to spend a few hours riding a pushbike through paddie fields whilst on route from Shuilli to Taipei, so having checked out the limited options at Puli Bus Station, I just got a direct bus to Taipei instead. The nuts thing was that I was only about 40 kms away from where I wanted to be in the end - Taroko Gorge, further through the mountains - but the roads are completely out, so I had to spend about six hours going all the way up the West Coast to Taipei, and then back down the East Coast to Hualien, where I am staying and am currently writing this in the biggest and noisiest internet place I have ever been in!

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