Hualien, Toroko Gorge – Day 28, April 21

Hualien is the town people stay in to visit the Toroko Gorge National Park. The weather is wet but I’m signed up for a tour tomorrow that includes a lunch with aboriginal Taiwanese people. They were here long before the Chinese came over.

I had a 10 am train and I walked one last time to Ximen Station with my heavy backpack and rolling suitcase. Notice the mess on my bed with all the clean clothes before I packed it up.

In one of the pictures, you can see the trash on the street in the pedestrian shopping area. This place is nuts at night. Like in Japan, cities just don’t provide trash cans so they don’t generally have to hire people to empty them. Most people just carry a little bag around and take their rubbish home or to the hotel. Every once in a while this backfires and the trash is all over the place.

The train was nice but went through lots of long tunnels, so I knew I wouldn’t see too much of the pretty coastline. It was the time factor: two hours on a train or four on a bus? I ate my breakfast and had a can of coffee. I got some reading done too.

Hualien started off nicely at the train station, but it was a bit dingy after that. My hotel and the area my hotel is in are quite a bit nicer. I just had sushi at a restaurant next door from a revolving conveyor belt. It was delicious and it was $14!

I walked to a new supermarket and got a few things. I found granola, Oil of Olay, and Q-tips. Breakfast is included in my rate but I am struggling to find nutritious food, so Greek yogurt and granola add to the fruit and a couple of veggies I purchased.

As annoying and dangerous as I find the mopeds, I am impressed that they are mostly electric. See the second to last photo? You rent two fresh, charged-up batteries and drop them in the compartment under your moped seat. You swap the used-up batteries back in the unit for recharging. It’s an impressive system.

I’m tired out and it wasn’t a very exciting day, so I’ll end this here.