Saturday, August 17, 2013

Bike trip - Day 2

If you ever pass through Hualien County, you need to see the Taroko gorge. It is a huge canyon carved out of marble. It is amazingly beautiful, but is also located in a geologically unstable area. Heck, they even hand out helmets as you enter. We didn't take them but we probably should have. Even though we didn't feel it, a small earth quake occurred while we were there.

A portion of the gorge was shut down because it was unsafe (probably due to another rock slide) so we took a bus as far as we could and hiked back to our hostel (about 7 to 10 miles). It was extremely difficult to capture the grandeur of the canyon, but I tried.

 The next few pictures were fun because I worked in logging--while--drilling. The large holes, or vugs, show up in our downhole images sometimes. It was interesting to see them above ground.

 Also, it is important to point out that the green in the images are full sized trees and not shrubs.

 We really should have been wearing hard hats, but the pick up locations were very hard to get to.

 One of the many waterfalls springing from seemingly solid rock
 Here we are at a traffic jam due to a rock slide. This is my only picture because I high-tailed it through the area.

This reminds me of a house that Frank Loyd Wright built (did he copy this?). I'm skipping a lot here but people feel that it illustrated his weakness as an architect because it wasn't very practical and has lots of rot-issues. This temple was made of stone, so I am guessing rot isn't a problem. However, it has been rebuilt 3 times thanks to it's unstable location.

Every time you photograph a statue like this, the nearest Taiwanese quickly points out that the symbol in the middle of his chest has nothing to do with the Nazi's. They stole their symbol. Also, note that the arms on the cross point in the opposite direction.

Lions on a bridge.

 Entrance to the gorge.
After getting back to the hostel, we saddled up and rode about 20 miles into Haulien. We got off the main road and rode along the coast. Here is one of the many Christian cemeteries we found on the island. I was surprised to see so many because the island is less than 5% Christian.

We came across an accident right after this cemetery. A gal drove her scooter off the road (2 foot drop) and looked like she was in pretty bad shape. Her friends were taking care of her and an ambulance was on the way, so we helped by dragging her scooter back on the road and offering water. We left after the ambulance showed up...sorry, no pictures. 

We then stopped off at a beach.

 This appears to be one of the more popular beaches along the east coast, even though the beach is primarily rock.

After investigating a little bit, we realized that there was a fish farm a few hundred meters away from the beach...we decided to get out of the water at that point.

And so ends day 2. Lots of hiking and a little bit of riding.

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