Day 9 – A bus ride to Hengchun

Well the plans of mice and men can change in an instant. One minute my plans are sorted and my task this morning is to take a taxi to Kaohsiung Zili Bus Station but the man in the lobby says that while I can do that it is better to catch a bus at Kaohsiung Station. As he is trying to be very helpful I agree to take his advice. There’s an element to traveling where I just have to go with the flow. In some ways I don’t seem to get so anxious here or when on holidays because there is no rush and I don’t have to do anything. That said, there is still an element of planning that I do and when it gets ‘adjusted’ like this feelings of anxiety do bubble up. However the man in the lobby told me the taxi driver would show me exactly where to go and he did. Now I am sitting at Kaohsiung Bus Station waiting to catch the 9188.

Now I am on the correct bus, excitement about another new adventure about to begin. However it seemed that I was on a stopping at all stations bus rather than an express so I sat back and just went with the flow. Again leaving Kaohsiung I was once again blown away by the beauty of the mountains that for the centre of Taiwan. The other side of the road for a good part of the way was ocean; incredibly beautiful.

Along the way I messaged my kids and received a reply. It was great to hear from them. The different chat formats are a great way of staying in touch with family and friends. It’s also great to hear that some are following this blog too. While I write mainly to capture my memories of what I was doing and my impressions of the different encounters I experience it is also great to know that I don’t have to repeat it all over and over when I get home; I can give the short version!

I wasn’t sure where to get off but managed to find the exact spot with the help of Google Maps. I do wonder how people managed in the past but technology has been so helpful especially for this journey where I have no idea of where I am going nor any common language.

First step when I arrived was to drop off my suitcase and then go and have lunch at Bossa Nova. Wow! What a fabulous place to eat and spend time in. I also felt very safe because this is Gene’s favourite place here and the only place she eats at when she is here. The staff were wonderful and friendly and the main waitress seems to speak perfect English.

Gene is friends with the owners after many years of visiting and so when I asked the main waitress if she was Clare she said no but was delighted to hear that I was Gene’s friend and that Gene would be here tonight.

The cafe claims to be a menu of world foods and it certainly is. I enjoyed a beautiful chilli con carne and coffee for lunch followed by a most delicious peach cheesecake.

Next to find a scooter. Turns out I can hire an electric one but it only goes for about 50kms. I’ll think about that tomorrow. I also checked out the beach. Oh how beautiful!

After walking for a bit I returned to the Bossa Nova to try an iced tea. Not my favourite drink but it did kind of grow on me.

After blogging and filling in some time there I was able to check-in to Yoyo Hotel. It really is beautiful insde and the staff are just lovely. One of the guys offered to try to find a petrol scooter for me – but as I found out later, he too had no luck.

Once in my room I unpacked and put my togs on. I realised that as much as I would love to explore this area it’s a perfect place to veg-out and just read a book, swim in the ocean and wander.

Just been for a swim in the ocean. Haven’t quite worked out if it’s the Pacific or South China Sea or close to where they meet. The water is beautiful and clear, although the sand is made up of washed stones; so nothing sharp but one minute they’re all small and gritty and the next there’s a smooth stone under your foot. A tad nerve wracking for someone who is wary of sea life nibbling toes!!! All that said, this place is like a piece of heaven. Here I am floating in the sea that is lined by golden sand with a backdrop of mountains. Yes there are some buildings and people in between and that’s life. Can’t wait to go swimming tomorrow.

Once I knew that Gene was close to arriving I returned to the Bossa Nova and managed to get the window table I’d had at lunchtime. While I was waiting I decided to start with a Bossa Nova cocktail that consisted of vodka, peach brandy and cranberry.

It was delicious and when Gene arrived we went again and this time added some corn chips and salsa.

Apparently Clare cooks steak beautifully so I went with Gene’s suggestion of steak and it was beautiful. At the same time we opted for a red to go with our meal. Marco, Clare’s husband was the wine connoisseur and we were delighted with his selection of a Spanish red.

To finish the bottle we ordered a cheese platter which was soon followed by coffee and liqueurs!

Clare joined us as often as she could. She was participating in a surfing competition tomorrow! How inspiring! Anyway throughout the night we shared stories, laughed and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. We were actually the last to leave!!!

As I went to bed I thought about the wonderful night I had! So much delicious food and wine followed by coffee and liqueurs, great conversations, moments to treasure and stories that brought laughter. I am very blest.

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