Monday, July 24, 2017

A weekend of scootering in Miaoli and Taichung

My god. 36 years ago I was 18 and David there with the beer was my college roommate. We've been friends ever since. Recently he has been studying traditional Japanese theatre and musical instruments, and has also taken an interest in things Chinese. He is now studying Chinese at NTNU this summer. This weekend we scootered around Miaoli and to the Dajia Matsu Temple. Enjoy the pics below the READ MORE line...
David is a talented photographer. As you can see from his picture, it was a cool hazy day....

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Alas, my camera has died. So it's camera phone shots for me. David inspects a shot.

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A damn fine day to go scootering, actually.

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Above Jhuolan David shoots the cemetery.

One of his shots.

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David contemplates an angle.

One of David's shots of the hills. I love this area: full of orchards, interesting people, and lovely terrain.

The road descends to an arm of the Liyutan Reservoir.

David snapped the farms above the reservoir.

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Washouts are common on Taiwan roads.

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Happy to take you on these roads by scooter or bike...

David caught this lizard.

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David poses with the fruit memorial at an overlook.

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A snake found this a congenial place to shed its skin.

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The boy on the ATV drove up to us as we paused at the overlook. He chatted with us, then drove off. Moments later he returned with his brother and two large Asian pears for us. They were delicious.

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We sped up the 130 to the Mile High Cafe. One of my favorite bike routes in Taiwan.

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As we paused for some landscape shots, I spotted this wasp paralyzing a cicada.


At the Mile High Cafe David shot A-Shen and her baby greeting us.

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David plays with the kids.

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Of course, it was time for a red flesh plum slushy.

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The road leads ever onward.

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At the broken railroad viaduct I chatted with the vendors while David grabbed some shots.

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A band was playing next to the bridge. In Taiwan there are no silent public spaces.

David snapped this pigeon mansion above the bridge.

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We stopped in the valley to grab some shots.

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Then drove home over the hazy mountains...

David shot the Da-An river and the orchards beyond...

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The next day we went to the Mazu Temple in Dajia to satiate David's interest in religion, where there were a number of homeless hanging out.

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Breakfast = cold noodles.

The temple is bustling even early on a Sunday. David's capture.

David took some lovely shots.

David captured some devotees of Guanyin worshiping in the temple.

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Hard to believe we are this old. Seems like only yesterday we were doing all the things that would result in us looking as old as we do today....

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A vendor at the temple hides from the bright morning sun.

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Need a blessing? There's an app for that...

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We walked over to the memorial to the woman who kept her chastity after being widowed early in life. It's about 100 yards south of the temple.

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Where a homeless man had made his home among the stone markers.

After visiting the market, we headed back along the river. I hadn't been in this area in years.

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It's a river plain, and thus, home to stinky, smelly, rice paddies and duck farms. And yet, when we reached the end of it, we found...

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...the truly surreal. Someone had filled in their duck farm and planted a campground on that mud-stinking plain, which must have been full of gnats and mosquitoes.

And it was packed.
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