As the year was drawing to a close and Andrea's departure from Taiwan to a Canadian christmas approached, we had time for one last peregrination out of Tainan and into the Taiwanese countryside. It was a beautiful time of year for camping; the heat and humidity had ebbed and made it comfortable enough to sleep inside our sleeping bags while the seasonal changing of the winds was not yet chilling us with hints of Siberian ice. And so we set out on a Saturday morning to cycle to Wushantou, a reservoir and park north-east of Tainan city. This journey has been covered before in this blog and so I'll take this opportunity to post the few, nicest photos that were taken.
Somewhere on the road to Wushantou, this giant gorilla begs for a refill beside a bar/restaurant. Why a giant gorilla? Perhaps the "Don't drink and drive" message was an afterthought and the gorilla was originally communicating something like Cheers! I'm a happy gorilla because I'm drinking beer! Perhaps. It makes a nice distraction for tourists regardless.
The campsite. There was no shortage of space for tent-pitching although we would like to have pitched right about where all those people are standing. There's a good patch of grass there and it's very close to the bathroom, useful for those moonlight urinal serenades.
On the Sunday morning, on our way out of the Wushantou Scenic Area, we stopped for a group shot before a field of flowers.
Just as we were getting back on our bikes we were greeted enthusiastically by this posse of pre-pubescent pedallers. I wouldn't expect anything less, in Taiwan, than enthusiastic greeting.
Just down the road, on the side of the road, corn. Road-side corn. And road-side water-caltrops (the red jester's-hat shape on the sign hanging from the red awning). And it was good corn too. A lovely spot to stop and snack while more water-caltrops where being harvested by water-caltrop farmers in the flooded field immediately to the right.
Temple roofs are a Taiwanese phenomenon worthy of being acknowledged as a tourist attraction in their own right. I'm sure you could write a book about the art, craft, form, history, cultural legacy and religious inspirations of temple roof decorations in Taiwan. This one caught my eye, the central feature occupying pride of place being a giant goldfish with flags sticking out of its back. Ah, Taiwan.