June 01, 2009

Roadnotes: Hualien (communications from spirits and hitchhikers)

The following is based on events that occurred on May 25 and May 26.

A Plan for Avoiding Falling Rocks
At Taroko Gorge National Park, they take safety very seriously. That's why they have signs everywhere that tell you to keep moving--that way it's harder for the rocks to hit you!

A Spirit Talks to Me
While enjoying a peaceful moment of respect at a shrine in Taroko Gorge National Park, a thought popped into my head that we should hurry. I tell the sweetheart and we head back down the series of steps we had just climbed. We're thinking that it's because of the weather, because it can be nasty when it rains there and it looked like it could rain any minute. We get to the bottom just as a monk's bag of bottles to recycle breaks open, so we help her collect the bottles. Whatever spirit watches over that shrine definitely cares about recycling!

The weather stays nice, despite everyone around us telling us it's about to pour, so we keep hiking. While driving to the next trailhead, we pick up hitchhikers who are trying to get to a trail that's on our way. Oddly enough, one of them is from Seattle, though they live in California at the moment.

Hitchhikers Part II
Coming back from yet another short hike, we run into the California people again and they're looking for a ride back to Hualien, which is where we're staying, so we give them a ride again.

In Hualien, we take in the night market, and then walk around downtown. There, I trade in my flip-flops for Crocs. Yes, they look ridiculous, but they are SO much more comfortable than my $2 flip-flops. I didn't realize how difficult it was to walk in flip-flops until I switched.

Some More Stuff
The next day, we visit a Japanese temple and write a prayer on a delicate-looking piece of wood. Then we paddle boat across Liyu Lake. Then, we catch the train all the way back to Wu-Fong.

Coming up next: Hospital Care

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