Friday, October 5, 2012

21 September 2012 - Taipei Day 5

First stop of the day was Yehliu. Took Kuo-Kuang bus 1815 from the Bus Terminal B. With Google Maps showing that he was nearing the destination, he also informed the driver to inform him when he was at the designated bus stop. Started this adventure on an empty stomach.

It was a rainy morning. It was quite a walk in, and he had to went past a fishing harbor. An old man would inform him later in the day that the fishermen would come in with their catch at 4pm.


Further down the road, a Family Mart and a temple right beside it.

A temple across the road, along the fishing harbor. Mazu temple perhaps?


Saw some signs of the geopark after some dangerous encounters with huge tour buses zipping by.


Paid NT50 for the entrance, the Youth Travel Card was useless in this case. The place was chock full with people. A little off-putting, but not for long. This shows the regular sightseeing route for touch-and-go tourists. He would later end up at the peak of the small hill, where few people went.


These look like his favourite King Oyster Mushrooms having a bath in the sea.


Caught sight of a lone sea cockroach scurrying across the terrain. It froze in place when he was trying to take a picture. Posing or playing dead?


Full of weird rocks. Cross the red line and you'll get park rangers pointing and shouting at you. They probably don't want to risk having tourists falling into the sea and dirtying the water.


Discarded crab moult?


Overheard from tourists saying that they had killed some crabs by stomping on them. Felt disgusted, but then, these could be crab moults.


 Ice-cream rock or phallic structure?


Candle rock formations. Still bewilders him how this can be natural.

 Some fossil, of a flower?

The place was not only full of rocks, but full of potholes. And the potholes were full of mosquito larvae. If the pot holes were caused by erosion of seawater, then the sea level really has gone down by a lot. You'll see more from the walls of the hills later.

People in the background were rushing/queuing to take pictures with the weird rocks. He stayed away from the crowd.

 Hero Lin, who died while trying to save a student who had fallen into the sea. Unfortunately, he didn't manage to save the student.


The lower trails to more sights. He decided to continue on the upper one first.

View of the lagoon and the curious rocks. Sea in the background, also notice the mountains in the distance beautifully shrouded by clouds.

More mosquito infested potholes. Stagnant rain water?

The inviting shore...

...but he decided to hike upwards first.

View of the same shore from higher up.

Saw some tofu in the sea. Amazed by the power of nature before, and now amazed by the finesse of nature.

Choices again, guess which he took?

Walked up to the peak and then descended the a bird watching area. Many photography enthusiasts were camping there with them equipment, blocking the way to the edge of the cliff. More than a handful of these photographers would have to move if he wanted to cross. so he decided to skip that and move for the shore walk.

This black beauty pranced around him, begging for a shot. This was the only decent one he managed. It flew away when two Taiwanese girls came along. They were curious to know where he was from as he sounded alien. One of them thought that he was very cool to travel and explore mountains alone. Her more sober friend had to pull her away before she decided to kidnap him. Black beauty came back and did her fluttering dance around him again for a few rounds before flying away. This happened when he came back to about the location in the middle of the picture right above. 

Moved forward and loved the sight. Willowy trees providing dreamy visuals. Very comfortable.

Next up was the entrance of a blue flutterby. This one was more shy, kept flying away as he neared. No chance allowed.

 Flight of stairs or fright of stairs?

Don't they resemble thirsty hippopotamuses in the water?

Weapons of nature.

Faces of the hill. Who carved these faces into the cliff? The wind or the water?

Looked back at where he came from and found more thirsty hippos. 

Started descending and took another photograph of the "sea creature" rock. No more people blocking the way on the stairs.

He's going to set foot on the shore.

Hm, Medusa in front of the sea creature?

Silhouette of the pair.

Love the color combination. Place still looks normal over here.


 Beautifully sculpted by nature, he could do with a wall like this at his place. Maybe the color scheme too.


Mark left by a huge oyster?

Marbling by Mother Nature.

Two security guards overlooking the closed path. Guarding against trespassers huh?

Two holes of a cave, one which led to the other. Boring holes. Above them look like some faces in the cliff again.

Another view of the natural breakwater.Keelung Isle in the distance?


Standing on a hard shore full of potholes looking back at the trail.

Another look-back from a honey-combed rock formation. Sun had started to feel really scorching, and he would soon empty 3/4 of his water supply. He had thought that the bridge was the maximum tourists were allow to go, but there was a path at the end, and some people in the distance. So on he went.


Reached a shore of mummies. Looks that way, don't you think so?


Capturing the movement of the wind using a puddle of water.


Stone that fell off its cup? Must have been a heavy fall judging from the depression created.


More alien terrain with dried up traces of liquid trails.


Fossilized dino-eggs or alien eggs?


Source of inspiration for Scream?

Then he noticed that a skinny one was right behind the fat one. The foreground looks like some cleavage too.

Looking back across the curious landscape again. Did this again and again and found himself in awe all over again.

A castle surrounded by a moat, with many agile crab defenders lying in ambush. Didn't manage to found out who the occupants were.

Balls of rocks ground on the cliff. They look like the King Oyster Mushrooms to him. Perhaps the sun or hunger's got to him.

Wondered who left their table behind. On it is one of his reused lemon tea bottle. Great for the seven days he was there, but had to dispose of them at the airport.

Some form of a throne? It looks like it could cup the body comfortably.

Sashimi-ed uni? This sea urchin was found far in shore.

Yet another of those look-backs. Pot-hole or honeycomb?

On the walk back, saw Yehliu staff clearing the floating rubbish accumulating at the corner of the lagoon.

Time to exit Yehliu to head to Keelung Hoping Island. On the way out, spotted the amphitheater on his left. The place was probably just 10% occupied. After he got home, some friends mentioned that it was the Yehliu Ocean World, offering some water performance and was actually quite interesting.

Went to the Visitor's Centre and got directions to Keelung from the pretty ladies. Also managed to get his bottle topped up with water from the cafe, despite the older lady owner looking a little unwilling. Skipped out of the geopark and got a cup of iced black tea (NT25) from one of the shops along the way. Saw a regular restaurant instead of the many seafood restaurants and settled for noodles (NT50). The stir-fry was fragrant, the onion very sweet smelling. The noodles were smooth and chewy, and the carrots added to the flavor. Had only a few slices of chicken, but enough to fill his growling stomach.

Thanked the proprietor and went on his way to the bus stop. Along the harbor, he spotted this still bloated blowfish on its back, with lots of (carrion?) flies molesting it. Didn't dare take a macro of the fish eye, the flies were too digusting.

Columns and rows of nets near one end of the harbor. Used to catch crabs? Met an elderly man who shared that the fishing boats would bring in their haul at 4pm. He mulled over if he should stay but decided that he didn't want to miss Hoping Island.

Viewing the road he came up from, from the bus stop. Missed one bus (think it was 842), because the number was modified from 242, with a backward slash used on the first "2". Took another bus that came (as suggested by GoogleMaps) and had a very giddy ride to Keelung Harbor. The driver took turns with just one hand, without slowing (maybe he did, but very slightly *nauseous*). Pro-driving.

Finally reached Keelung Harbor. With Google Maps, he managed to direct a Shanghainese couple heading to Jiufen to their bus stop, but he himself got directed to the wrong bus stop by locals.

Turned out that his bus station was just beside the Keelung rail station. The picture shows the small bus station, while the rail station was across the road on the left (not shown).

Alighted at the Hoping Island bus stop, and it was still quite a long walk in (facing the opposite direction in this picture). This was the same bus stop to return to the bus station.

Sailfish mascot near the entrance of Hoping Island park. Entrance fee was just NT40 with the youth card. Really useful to save bits of cash.

Fortress of sorts...

Took the path on the right, and came by a small temple.

On the left of the same path was an islet, and signs which said "No Fishing", but see that man in the background? Similar situation to Yeh-liu Geopark's.

Some statue... forgot what it was about.

Spotted similar weird rock formations as what he saw in Yeh-liu. Chanced upon some professional bikini shoot there too. No idea how those people got down there in the first place.

On the right side of this picture are swimming pools. It was interesting to note that these were sea water pools, not your regular swimming pools. If he remembered correctly, there was a wading pool and a lap pool.

Sun's setting, about time to head to Miaokou for dinner!

Took the same bus from the same spot he had alighted from, and informed the driver to let him know when they've reached Miaokou.

Saw a long queue at this stall, and decided to try the shui jian bao (pan-fried buns, 1 for 10NT). Freshly kneaded and filled, his came pipping hot. The vegetables filling were crunchy and juicy, but he did not find it fantastic (meat lover).

Walked on and saw pang xie geng (crab broth) that he had read on other blogs. Sat down and had one bowl of it for NT50. The fried rice in the foreground was very tempting too, just NT25. The people who sat beside him all had a serving of that, but he decided not to fill his stomach so soon.

Anyway, back to his crab broth. Whole hearty pieces of crab legs / claws were dropped into thick broth that contained mainly enoki mushrooms. Soup had good flavor, and prepped him for more exploration this evening.

Saw some deep sea shrimp being offered at NT50 per serving, and succumbed to temptation. This was sprinkled with garlic and salt, so yummy that he even finished up all the crunchy and pungent garlic.

Walked several rounds of the Miaokou night market, and got more food, NT10 honey drink, and a version of Nutritious Sandwich with sausage and egg between 3 slices of bread for NT65. Topped with mayo, margarine and peanut butter, it was an explosion of flavors. Somehow, it was really good. Too bad it was too dark for him to have taken any decent pictures.

Walked along the harbor to get to the Keelung railway station, and spotted a familiar sight. Star Cruise.

Another picture before he called it a day. Had to run after the train departing for Taipei, luckily he was able to find a seat to rest his feet.

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