the three of us took our scooters, packed our tents and toothbrushes and set off at 7am on saturday morning to sun moon lake. what a beautiful ride. we rode through the mist and drizzle past strawberry farms and betelnut plantations. we could actually smell the strawberries in the air. we had coffee in a little town somewhere between dahu and dong shih where the “restaurant humaniste de Rive Gauche” had pictures of prague 1906 and barcelona against the walls… and dog shit on the chairs outside.
we took a wrong turn and drove through an atayal village- a hakkanese tribe, or like they were referred to in the early 1900’s, savages of formosa. it seems that poverty and inbreeding has taken it’s toll on this once rich, traditional culture, though.
we reached puli, the town right in the centre of the island and had nio rou mien (beef noodles) and dumplings for lunch.
we eventually found sun moon lake high in the mountains. the water is actually bright blue and the lake is mich bigger than I expected. we set up camp in the far right corner of the camping site, far away from the SUV’s and families with TV’s. we took a stroll to the village about 10 minutes away and had fried shrimp (caught in the lake) and beer on the pier.
the next day we drove around the lake looking for the hot springs but only found an oversized, ugly building that advertises itself as a spa.
we took the long road back and decided to eat lunch in a town called guoshing, but the only place we could find was the 7eleven. so we had to settle for microwaved food on the steps of the post office. not that bad taking into account that we were also the main attraction in this town for that brief period.
on our way back we stopped to get a box of strawberries. the smell was just too overpowering. we arrived back home with sore muscles and bad helmet hair.