Last Saturday morning was the start of Spring Break for Erin and me. We had decided to rent a car and drive around Taiwan. Having gone out to see "Hunger Games" in the theater the night before and trying to decide what to do with newly found mold on our stuff we had a late start. But then, after picking up the car and making a stop at Costco for supplies we were on our way.
First stop was the Taitung Sea Art Hostel near Dulan. The couple there has created a beautiful home in the woods. While somewhat difficult to find it turned out to be a very peaceful stay. They had recommended a good Vietnamese place nearby for dinner. Before heading back to bed we stopped by the Dulan Sugar Factory which has been transformed into an artistic community.
The next day we started at a local attraction where the water appeared to be flowing upward. We then found a trail that the hostel owners had recommended. It was a very technical trail with many slippery rocks and need for ropes, but the views were beautiful. We then drove to our next stop, The Wisdom Garden Guest House at Yuli. The owners were very nice and offered to take us and several of the other guests out to dinner. We were very fortunate to taste the local food with the host and guests from Germany, France, and New Zealand.
The next day we left out early with one of the other guests to hike the nearby Walami trail. Part of a Japanese-era cross-island trail it featured several suspension bridges and beautiful views. Our new friend helped push us a bit further than we would have normally gone so after the 10 mile hike we were exhausted. It ended up being an early night back at the guest house.
On Tuesday we drove up the Eastern Rift Valley of Taiwan. It is very pretty countryside. We stopped at the Hualien Sugar Factory for some ice cream and then at Liyu Lake for a bike ride. In Hualien we found a nice brunch place serving Western food for lunch. We then made our way to Taroko Gorge. After battling the traffic on the narrow winding roads we stopped for a short hike. Finally we made our way to the Leader Village where we had a cabin room for the night. After a delicious dinner of grilled meats and vegetables we were ready for bed, looking forward to the hikes we would do the next day.