April 1, 2014
One of the benefits of this blog and of posting on facebook now and then, is the comments we get back. When I sent out the blog on our first day in Taiwan, one of my followers emailed back and said, “Don’t miss Taroka Gorge!” Well Alvin, we took your advice. We had one day left with no plans, and while everyone told us that it was too far for one day, we found a tour that would fly us down and train us back.
So we got up at 5:00AM, got box breakfasts from the hotel kitchen and headed in the van to the local airport in Taipei. We boarded the ATR 72 prop plane and headed south. As we took off, the ground crew lined up and waved good bye in the typical Japanese manner. There is still quite the Japanese influence here. We watched the sunrise, ate our box breakfast, and before we knew it, we had arrived.
The plane ride was only 25 minutes to Hualien. Although it had been raining in Taipei, the sun came out and the skies were blue. We were met up by our guide, Josafina and our driver, an older woman. Quite unusual to have a woman driver! Josafina was a firecracker. She grew up in Hualien and kept telling us how she is the best guide there. For example, why doesn’t she give us any brochures? Because she knows all the answers. She certainly made the day fun.
As we drove from the airport, the views of the mountains were magnificent. The plan was to spend the day exploring Taroko National Park. Taroko was established in 1986, is over 227,000 acres and is famous for its marble gorge. In our one day, we would get to explore parts of it.
To read more about Taroko Gorge, including Bailong Bridge, Beipu Village, Bridge of 100 Lions, Changchun, Chimu Bridge, Eternal Spring Shrine, Jinheng Bridge, Nine Turns of the Coiled Dragon, Shakadang Trail, Silk Palace Hotel and much more, please click on these links: