Sanxiantai, Luye, Taitung Taiwan (Day 7)
A walk across the Sanxiantai Dragon Bridge is all I wanted and a peek from a distance is all I got. I learned upon arrival to Sanxiantai via Google Translate that the bridge was under construction and I can’t cross the eight arches to the island or go anywhere near it as you can see from the photo above. Sometimes our best efforts (and trust me it took some effort) are just not enough. Why did I care so much??? Well look at the photos others took below! I guess that’s one good reason among many to return to Taiwan!.
The rest of the day was filled with futile effort after futile effort as I canceled the hotel in Sanxiantai and spent $80USD to have the taxi driver take me to the Taiwan International Balloon Festival expecting hundreds if not thousands of balloons at Luye Gatoia and found none in the air or on the ground. There was only 3 paragliders and that’s it. Disappointing so we then traveled to Luye Station (as the website for the festival said there were trains to and from there during the festival and I could get to Kaohsiung from there) but low and behold that was incorrect. As such, onto Taitung Station we went where I finally scored a 5:40 p.m. train to Kaohsiung. So off to Kaohsiung down the east coast to the southwest corner 3 days earlier than expected given the lack of sites available to see and activities to do as promised on the east coast. The coastline, however, was spectacular as was the jaunt to the interior of the island near Luye. In fact, I think my driver must have felt bad because he kept stopping at various “site seeing” spots so I could…I don’t know…”see” something. He even stopped at a Visitor Center to get me a map in English with some potential sites for me to see. Unfortunately, while I was walking back to the taxi looking at it, I ran head on into a rear view mirror on a big truck and banged my head. We had a little shared laugh but like everything else it was in Chinese (just joking)! That part was at least funny unlike the backhoe driver who was blocking our exit when leaving the B&B who tried to move out of the way and pulled down a telephone pole – wires and all. And I thought folks in Sanxiantai didn’t have interet or cell service before. Whoops.
Some of the stop offs we did do included Sanxiantai Bridge (from a distance), Salifan where they make all these sculptures out of straws and sticks that look like funny little scarecrows, a viewpoint to see the Pacific and a viewpoint to see the paragliders above Luye in Taitung County as well as a gas station for gas and bathroom break ;). Understand that he speaks no English except hand gestures and “okay” and I speak no Mandarin except hand gestures and “okay”. Moreover, he wouldn’t use Google Translate either but somehow we communicated and I don’t know how to explain it but we understood each other – sort of – and had an enjoyable afternoon. He was a kind man and I’m almost certain he said he was glad to drive me because he has grandchildren who call him Papa in Taitung that he could visit. I don’t know how I know that, I just do. Perhaps it was the way his face lit up when he mentioned it. I also think he thinks the Green Island is the place tourists should visit. He lit up when talking about Luado.
The funniest thing during all this frustration today may have been taped on the seat in my taxi. I mean what does no drinking, no motorbiking and no VWs in a the taxi mean exactly??? LOL
In any regard, I finally made it to Kaohsiung after a harrowing day only to leave my iPhone and battery on the train! Bet you won’t believe this but I got it back! That tells you something about the people in this great country and probably a bit about good karma. Always do good things for others because when it happens to you, AND IT WILL, that good karma will swing back around. I immediately went outside the train station after the phone was returned and bought a homeless person a meal.
That’s all for now from Kaohsiung Taiwan.