Thursday, June 4, 2009

Xiou Liouciou 2: The Second Coming

On a fine Saturday morning of a week not long ago, four companions (the fellowship of the riding) set off on an amazing journey that would take them to the edge of their experience and the edge of their country (of temporary residence). Then they got thirsty and had to stop for ice tea, before setting off again on the long ride to the town of Donggang. With the wind in their hair and in their faces they rode like the wind that was in their hair and faces until they needed to use the bathroom and they stopped at a gas-station which housed a surprisingly nice bathroom. And as soon as they were able they ripped out of the gas station and tore down the road towards Donggang until they got thirsty again. This stop-starting went on for a little while until they really did reach Donggang and headed straight for the ferry terminal. Arrangements were made by John (the chief interpreter in our party of four) for our scooters to travel with us on the ferry to the island and tickets were purchased accordingly. Supplies were bought for the overnight stay, mainly fruit. The ferry trip finally began and we left the mainland.

So who were we? There were Andrea and me, of course, and John, our often-times travel-companion. We were joined on this trip by Liza, an Australian girl working in Tainan and a friend of John's for some while.

I think our overnight vacation really began the moment we crossed the threshold from the river outflow to the waters of the ocean. There is a very distinct edge of the water outflow. As the ferry passes over the line where the water from the river stalls against the wall of ocean water, you can see on one side the dirty, brown, murky river outflow and, on the other, the clear, bright blue water, transparent to the sea floor. A transformation occurs: from living in Taiwan to holidaying in Taiwan.

Aboard the ferry, experiencing the vacation vibe.

One of the nicest beaches fringing Xiao Liouciou. Interestingly, the sand on this beach is noticeably whiter than the sand on the beach in An-ping where we live. The sand on An-ping beach is a grey color and strewn with garbage. This nice beach on the island presented its own assortment of garbage but was still much cleaner than the main(island)land beaches.

Here we are down on the beach, sheltered in the sun-shadow of the rocks at the end of the beach. At this point in our vacation, some of us had already had enough sun and ultraviolence done to our collective skin.

We also went snorkeling about the reefs around the island. I somehow ended up with a mask that did not admit water and require emptying every minute or so. This has always been a big problem for me and is probably the main reason that I haven't done more snorkeling.

Back at base, consolidating energy reserves and cultivating positive indolence. Altogether, this trip was a much better experience than our last one. We might even go back again...

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