Saturday, July 5, 2008


Okay, Kenting is a bit of a cliche for any foreigners living in this part of Taiwan. Everybody knows about it and everybody has been there.

For those of you who do not live in this part of the world, let alone this part of Taiwan, Kenting is a huge national park that occupies the coasts around the southern tip of the island. It was the first national park to be created in Taiwan (1984) and is famous for its beaches (I admit that they they are good beaches when held relative to other beaches in Taiwan), surfing and coral reefs. It also contains the only "armed" lighthouse in the world, complete with a deep trench around the outside and high walls with "loopholes" in them (loopholes are small holes in a fortification that allow defenders to fire out or observe enemy movements). Here's a map of the park, straight from the Kenting National Park website:

As you can see, most of the park is yellow and the remainder is green apart from a few red specks. The park is also replete with a range of large geoglyphs including one depicting a couple separated by a wall and another depicting a person in a wheelchair. Ha. So funny.

We actually made this trip a few months ago, in March perhaps. As with our trip to Rueli, we were lucky enough to be escorted down by our friends Craig and Helena and their baby daughter Susannah. They had made the trip before and knew of a hotel that was reasonably priced yet centrally located on the beach-side of the main highway through the actual township of Kenting.

Villa Kenting: Our Hotel, decked out in balmy yellow and orange. Makes me think of small seaside resorts, which is what this place is, so that's fine right? Andrea poses with a gesture communicating something along the lines of, "So I guess this is it. I like the balmy yellow and orange. It feels like the seaside."

I can't remember why I was so tired by the time we got to Kenting but all I wanted to do was lie down and sleep. After checking in to Villa Kenting we headed off to the beach to soak up some rays. Actually I didn't soak up too many rays. I fell asleep under the umbrella and had a nap. I do remember I managed to soak up a bit of sand: It seemed to find its way into my hair and down my pants. When I finally came to a great time was had by all. Rather, all had had a great time already yet there was still time for some swimming and some more swimming and some reading and some more swimming. Craig and Helena were joined unexpectedly by a large group of friends that they knew from Chiayi and there was much swimming and snacking and talking and walking. After being in Tainan for a few months with only our rather lame local beach to go to, the beaches of Kenting were like unto those of the Hawaiian islands although I have no idea what the beaches of the Hawaiian islands are like except what I have seen on TV. I guess I would have to say that they were similar.

Nothing special about this shot. Just thought it looked nice. You can see the big mountain range off in the distance. Real mountains with sheer inclines; The Taiwanese geoscape is a lot younger than Australia's.

Our secret love pudding baby! She looks like our baby but actually you'd be eminently mis-leadable if you believed that. This small, female creature is Susannah, the daughter of Craig and Helena. Craig and Helena come from Canada and South Africa respectively so they're in the process of applying for spouse visas. Andrea and I need to do the same thing. We've been in the process for a while but we haven't gotten our application together yet.

I really like this shot: Father and daughter synchronise. Something along the lines of "Out there across that water is that other country that you do not know, yet you will come to know it intimately and it will be your homeland. You will grow up with cousins and grandparents whom you have not yet met but will come to know and love. This land, this island Taiwan, you will come to know through our stories and our pictures but you cannot grow up here. We will be leaving to start our other life soon. It's just over there...on the other side..."

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