Monday, May 26, 2008

Into the mountains

Verily 'twas a great day spent exploring the Taiwanese countryside riding thither and hither, fro and to, forth and back. Our plan for this Sunday had been to ride to the mountains to the South East of Tainan and take the number 40 road that very scenically crossed a high section of the range. It was great to be able to take our time and stop to see whatever took our fancy. I have to say that our scooter is very economical to run. We were out all day and used less than a tank of petrol (from the Latin petra [rock] and oleum [oil]) which costs us just over US$3. That's a long, cheap ride.

Driving along, we saw a sign for the muddy volcano. We are aware that there are a lot of hot springs in Taiwan. According to the Lonely Planet guidebook, Taiwan's hot springs attract a lot of Japanese tourists who know the value of a good hot spring. So what did we find when we finally reached the site? You'll have to watch the video to find out although I can tell you that it was a pleasant surprise to discover that there was no fee to see the volcano and no businesses very close to it.

Riding along on a scooter honey... I was going to quote the lyrics from an old Mungo Jerry song here but upon checking the lyrics I decided that I didn't like that particular song very much so I'll quote the lyrics from the title track to Transformers the Movie instead:

Something evil's watching over you
Comin' from the sky above
And there's nothing you can do

Prepare to strike
There'll be no place to run
When your caught within the grip
Of the evil Unicron

More than meets the eye
Robots in Disguise

And you thought that I was holding up that dragon bridge didn't you! A very cunning photographic illusion I'm afraid. My dragon-bridge lifting days are behind me and I'm sworn to a life of abstinence (from lifting dragon bridges).

An inactive cone close to the very active muddy volcano. Note that my pose here was intentional and I attempted to look wacky, to little avail methinks.

Oh they're so cute together, the Australian country boy and the Canadian hapkido black belt. Note my collared short with the subtle floral pattern. I may not look tough but I can wield an axe like she can wield a pair of nunchaku. Incidentally, according to Wikipedia the name nunchaku derives from the terms nun (a pair) and chaku (from shaku, a unit of measurement). The weapon may have developed as a response to the moratorium on edged weaponry instituted by the Satsuma daimyo, or so says the great Wiki.

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