Sunday, December 11, 2005

Busy Busy

Nothing much to write about recently. I guess I'm just preparing for the trip. Actually, right now I'm relaxing with some OoLong tea on Sunday afternoon, but I should be preparing.

Winter has finally come to Ilan. Last Sunday the temperature actually dropped to 10 C. It was freakin' cold (there is no central heating in these parts). That day I went bicycling with two Slovenian friends down the coast highway to NanAo, about 50 Km south of here. The wind was pretty fierce and as I cycled I reminisced about the wind back in Lethbridge. Boy, it really is windy there... Yup. Anyway we went to NanAo because I have never cycled the coast highway, and also because I spotted some hot springs in the mountains behind NanAo on the topo maps. The springs turned out to be a little disappointing (there are better natural springs nearby), but the ride was really nice.

The highway is cut into the 800 meter mountains that drop straight into the Pacific. Check out the two pictures above for a view from the highway looking down into DongAo, and a view from NanAo looking back at the highway. You can see the road there cut into the mountain about two thirds of the way up. (Please note that those two pictures were taken on a hot clear fall day in September, and last weekend was cold, windy, and grey)

You can see from this pic that the springs were "over developed". This is to say that some well meaning Taiwanese folks decided that they could improve these springs by building concrete pools, or pits, as I would call them. Though located in a beautiful unpopulated valley, you could only see the sky while sitting in the pits.

The springs were in this little valley, which was covered in these monsterous metamorphic boulders. Very uncharacteristic the valleys here.

Finally, here is a... flower. I would say it is a type of orchid, but I really have no idea.

Fortunately those first few days of cold last week were dry, but now the omnipresent winter drizzle has begun. Thankfully though the temperature came back up to 15. I figure this weather is good, because it will help me acclimatize to the Alberta winter. It's not that much colder there, right?

No comments: