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A day in the life of ...





Updated: 2018-02-24T19:21:50.398+08:00

 



CNY in Kaohsiung (高雄) — Day 5 ...

2018-02-24T17:30:56.378+08:00

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Could not get enough of the trees in the south! So good!

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The Cijin Tunnel (旗津隧道)

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Walking through the Cijin Tunnel

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The seaside pathway looking back at the Cijin Tunnel




CNY in Kaohsiung (高雄) — Day 5 ...

2018-02-24T17:14:41.062+08:00

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Overlooking Cijin Beach from the Cihou Fort (旗後砲臺)
My second trip to Cijin District (旗津區) did not disappoint. The journey over to the very long but narrow island takes about five minutes by ferry from Yancheng District (鹽埕區) which is where I was staying. I took my scooter right on the ferry for NT$80/one way. I was there to visit two attractions that I had either missed last time or that did not exist back then. 
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At the Cihou fort (旗後炮臺) and looking at Xiziwan (西子灣) in the far distance

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Walking along the seaside path to the Kaohsiung Harbor sign on the tip of Cijin Island

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A lovely visit to the Cijin Shell Museum (旗津貝殼博物館) (entry fee: NT$30)




CNY in Kaohsiung (高雄) — Day 4 ...

2018-02-20T17:29:42.276+08:00

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The suspension bridge at the Tardy Hill Nature Park (漯底山自然公園)

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A trail that was blocked off but very easy to crawl through the ropes

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This place is like a mini version of Moon World (月世界)

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One of a handful of military bunkers




CNY in Kaohsiung (高雄) — Day 4 ...

2018-02-20T17:19:12.606+08:00

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The badlands at the Tardy Hill Nature Park (漯底山自然公園) — 45 minutes north of Kaohsiung City

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Lots of old military stuff to look at

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Talk about being a bit off the beaten path — had the place all to myself

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A mud volcano at the Tardy Hill Nature Park




CNY in Kaohsiung (高雄) — Day 3 ...

2018-02-17T08:40:18.867+08:00

The Dome of Light at the Formosa Boulevard MRT stationThe Dome of Light light showThere are daily light shows, about three to five per day. I arrived to the station around 10:15am and saw that there was an 11:00am light show. I decided to wait it out. Was it worth? Not so much. The art installation itself is extremely impressive. I'd been wanting to see it for years. It was another cold day making it a good day for indoor activities.The Holy Rosary Cathedral Minor Basilica (前金天主堂)Inside the Holy Rosary Cathedral (it was dark)I met my co-worker for lunch after the light show. We went to the J Cafe, which is owned by a famous Taiwanese singer. The atmosphere and location were great but the food? Not so much. It was only OK.After lunch, the two of us wandered around on foot all over the city. It was a great way to get my bearings before renting a scooter the next day.[...]



CNY in Kaohsiung (高雄) — Day 1 and 2 ...

2018-02-17T08:17:55.575+08:00

One of the buildings at the Pier 2 Art CenterI arrived in Kaohsiung late in the afternoon and spent the evening unpacking, getting the cat settled and looking around the neighborhood for the nearest convenience stores and local restaurants. I was staying in the Yancheng District (鹽埕區) which is one of the older areas of the city.The following morning was a tad drizzly and cold. I wasn't motivated to leave the comforts of my warm bed though I eventually wandered out to check out the neighborhood.At the Pier 2 Art Center (駁二藝術特區) in Yancheng DistrictTons of buildings in the area have art on themEven the signs have art on them[...]



Sunday January 14th, 2018 (21°C)

2018-01-28T08:15:26.766+08:00

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Revisiting some trails in my neighborhood that I've not been to in years

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Overlooking Dahu Park on a gorgeous day

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Love this house front

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Temple Dragon




Saturday January 13th, 2018 (14°C)

2018-01-15T10:40:04.782+08:00

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My first event with the Taipei Hikers this year at Monkey Mountain (猴山)

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The Lin Family house treated us to hot tea on a chilly day

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The Lin Family gardens

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One of the trails from Monkey Mountain heading into Shenkeng




Saturday January 13th, 2018 (14°C)

2018-01-15T10:32:34.235+08:00

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At the Four Dragons Waterfall (四龍瀑布) in Shenkeng (深坑)

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The Lin Family House is 150 years old

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The Lin Family tea gardens

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The trail to the Four Dragons waterfall




Christmas Day Hike (23°C) ..

2017-12-31T08:39:39.591+08:00

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Hoping to make it back before dark

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The Golden Hour


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Looking forward to more trails in 2018




Christmas Day Hike (23°C) ...

2017-12-31T08:33:59.364+08:00

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A solo Christmas day hike in my backyard

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Silver grass season quickly coming to an end

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Did not run into a single person on the trails since it was a work/school day for most

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Late afternoon = lovely light




Random December ...

2017-12-27T08:48:58.018+08:00

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Costco didn't have advent calendars this year but friends found some and surprised me!

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Santa came a little early this year after making a stop at Ikea

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Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

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Miaoli, Taiwan




Sunday December 10th, 2017 (23°C)

2017-12-24T10:16:19.125+08:00

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What is that big ball in the sky?! So, so good!

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Snuck in a long but extremely muddy hike out back of my community

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Hoping to make it home before the rain starts again

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Trying to dry out before the afternoon rain




November and December ...

2017-12-24T10:12:15.723+08:00

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Anja with two of the performers
My first post in December. Oops. It's been raining and raining ... and raining. It started in late October and hasn't really stopped!

This photo was taken at the Oktoberfest event held near Taipei 101. It was a TON of fun! Luckily, we were seated directly in front of the stage. I can't wait to go again next year!

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Still inspired by the B&W challenge and looking for indoor activities to pass time —Dakeng, Taichung

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Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

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Hamilton, Ontario, Canada




Playing around with B&W in Lightroom ...

2017-11-20T09:43:34.635+08:00

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Lion's Head Mountain near Hsinchu, Taiwan

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The trail leading up to Jade Mountain ... Taiwan's highest peak

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The old mining building near Ruifeng District, Taiwan

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Hiking around Zhiben National Forest Park in Taitung, Taiwan




Playing around with B&W in Lightroom ...

2017-11-20T09:38:08.190+08:00

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Along the #102 near Ruifang District in northern Taiwan

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Hiking the challenging and quite dangerous Yuanzui Mountain near Taichung, Taiwan

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The Sanmin Bat Cave near Fuxing District, Taiwan

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Hiking the crags in Pingxi, Taiwan




Saturday October 28th, 2017

2017-11-13T08:25:38.178+08:00

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Took eight Taipei Hikers to Yilan to hike the Taoyuan Valley Trail (15KM)

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It was extremely windy up on the ridge ... I had an earache and a headache at the end of the hike

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Perhaps doing a ridge hike while a typhoon was passing the island wasn't the best idea!

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Still one of my favorite day hikes just outside of the city




October 7th-8th Hiking Weekend ...

2017-11-13T07:59:59.674+08:00

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Took thirteen Taipei Hikers on a rainy 10KM city hike ...  the only image I took during Saturday's hike

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Led four Taipei Hikers on a 10KM hike in my backyard ... made it  home minutes before the downpour

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Enjoying the little things during today's hike ... we also ran into a bamboo viper

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Levi basking in the sun in her box ... it's been a very rainy October




Saturday September 23rd, 2017

2017-11-08T08:36:06.451+08:00

Our leader, Francis (aka Pineapple)Entering the Lujiaokeng Ecological Protected Area on Yangmingshan was exciting! We had to apply for permits a few weeks before the set hiking date. Upon arrival, the gate was locked but the permit approval letter had the code on it! The hike itself wasn't too difficult though finding the trailhead at the start was tricky. We didn't realize where it was until we came back down to the start of the trail. The trail markers were stacked rocks like this for the entire trail up and were hard to spot at timesMore trail markers along a very bouldery trailThe Fenglin Waterfall (楓林瀑布) on Yangmingshan: the second highest waterfall on YMS (25M)[...]



Hualien Road Trip (September 16th-17th, 2017)

2017-11-03T11:00:03.887+08:00

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Day Lillies for miles at Sixty Stone Mountain (六十石山)


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A quick stop at Shitiping (石梯坪) along the #11

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The Hualien crew on our rental scooters




Hualien Road Trip (September 16th-17th, 2017)

2017-11-03T11:00:11.864+08:00

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Our route over the two days

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Taking a break along the #11

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Day Lillies at Sixty Stone Mountain (十六石山)





Saturday, September 9th, 2017

2017-11-02T09:20:13.902+08:00

The Sandiaoling trail leading to the fallsWith all the rain we'd been having, I thought a 10KM from Sandiaoling to Shifen waterfall would be a good idea. The trails were muddy but there was very little water at the falls.I led nine Taipei Hikers (all women, which never happens) on the hike! We had a lot of laughs and it seemed that everyone enjoyed the hike!One of the falls at Sandiaoling with very little water flowingThe #106 road to Shifen Waterfall with Wufenshan in the distanceThe Shifen Waterfall is always flowing and it's now free of charge[...]



Japan: Day 24 — Hakone to Tokyo ...

2017-10-31T09:09:13.408+08:00

The Odakyu Limited Express "Romancecar" trainI was up early for one last onsen before packing up and making my way back to Tokyo. The commute was straightforward. I hopped on the Hakone Tozan Train to the Hakone-Yumoto station. From there, I was able to reserve an observation deck ticket for the Odakyu Limited Express "Romancecar"  to Shinjuku. I wasn't sure exactly what the 'observation deck' meant but I read that you can sit at the very front or back of the train for wonderful views. There was very little difference in the ticket prices so I purchased one.I had the entire car to myself for the ride down to Odawara. I sat at the very front of the train. It was quite special with the big open windows. There were some nice views but the day wasn't clear enough for one final glance of Mt. Fuji as we whizzed on past.I was back at Shinjuku station in less than two hours and set out in search of a capsule hotel that wasn't too far from the station. I opted to go outside and walk around the station rather than go through it as the stations in Tokyo were extremely busy and huge and it was easy to get lost.The Booth Net Cafe & Capsule Hotel (girl's room)I followed my GPS to the hotel. Check-in time was twelve noon, which was wonderful. I could get into my bed immediately ... not that there was much to get into to.I was staying at a place called the Booth Net Cafe & Capsule. It had very cool decor and the check-in was quick and easy. The place was spotless and there was an all girl's floor. While searching for capsule hotels online, I found that many don't allow women. Overall, it was a neat experience and one I thought I should have in case I never make it back to Japan.I didn't spend much time in the capsule as there was very little space. I found a nice restaurant in the area for lunch and then ventured over to a park with a temple that I had missed during my first week in Japan. It rained a lot the first few days, so I didn't make it to a few places on my list. When I got to the park, I was too exhausted to enjoy it. I knew in my heart that I was done with touring around and ready to go home. I went back to the capsule hotel and set out to a pub for a beer or two and some dinner.Shinjuku at nightAfter dark, it was apparent that Shinjuku was the heart of the red light district. Bars with pictures of barely dressed women on the doors were everywhere and men were coming up to me and aggressively pushing me to go to their restaurants. I had seen a sign warning tourists that people would do exactly that and once you got to their restaurant they would give you very strong drinks and scam or steal from you.I opted for a small British Pub that was packed and smokey. I had a quick bite to eat before setting back out to the comforts of my tiny capsule. I had an early morning bus booked back to the Narita airport and the time couldn't quite pass quickly enough. I absolutely loved my time in Japan but was very looking forward to getting home! Thank you, Japan! What an amazing trip![...]



Japan: Day 23 — Hakone ...

2017-10-30T09:47:43.234+08:00

Hiking up to Mt. Kintoko (1,212m)My last day in Hakone and my last hike in Japan! This picture here is certainly one of my favorites. The forests in Hakone were absolutely magical!There was a constant rushing fog from the volcano (which most likely was not the best to hike in) but it gave the forests a sense of eerieness.I was up early and took a morning onsen. The plan was to hike Mt. Kintoki. I missed the first bus to the trailhead and the second bus wasn't scheduled to arrive until after 9am.Taxis were parked near the bus stop so I decided to hop in one. It was ¥2300. The driver spoke a bit of English and dropped me off right at the trailhead. He even got out of the car to show me the map and gave me a suggested route!One of the signs at the top of Mt. KintokiIt was early and it seemed I was the only one around. I set off on my own and hoped to run into a few others along the trails. The hike itself wasn't too challenging. It was another steep climb but the trail let up in parts.It took me about one hour to reach the top without any breaks. The breeze was wonderful up top but there were zero views. On a nice clear day, Mt. Fuji is in the backdrop but I had no such luck. I took a rest and had a small bite to eat before heading back down a different route.I hardly ran into anyone on the way down. I was planning on hiking to the trails I was on two days prior but the day was hot and the sun was beating down. The trails had zero shade, so I opted to take another route down the mountain and hoped I would be able to find my way back to the hostel.I found the main road and a bus that led me right back to where I needed to be! Perfect! I took the afternoon to do some laundry and relax in the onsen. I was scheduled on a train back to Tokyo the following morning. My time in Japan was quickly coming to an end but to be honest, I was ready!On the way down from Mt. Kintoki via the Sengokuhara trail[...]



Japan: Day 22 — Hakone ...

2017-10-14T11:04:00.959+08:00

One of the pathways around Lake Ashi (eastern side)My last journal entry for Japan was on Day 21, so these words are coming from memory two months later! I was tiring from three weeks of non-stop activity but there was more to see in Hakone. Zoe had moved on and I was alone.I used my Hakone Free Pass and took the cable car up the mountain to the Hakone Ropeway. One must get off at the Owakudani Volcano so I stopped for another quick visit. It's a spectacular sight and it didn't hurt my feelings to be there again.After a quick look, I made my way to the second ropeway that heads to Lake Ashi. I walked more than halfway around the eastern side of the lake. There weren't too many views along the way and I ran into very few people, mostly locals walking their dogs.I was making my way over to the Komagatake Ropeway. (¥1300) This ropeway is not included in the Hakone Free Pass but pass holders are offered a discount.The Komagatake Ropeway car with Lake Ashi in the backgroundThe day was cloudy and I knew there wasn't going to be a view of Mt. Fuji (there is on clear days) but who doesn't love a good cable car ride (7 minutes) taking you up to 1,300m above sea level?! The view of the lake below was stunning! Once at the top, there are trails to follow and a small shrine. The clouds were rushing by making it eerie at times.The Tamadareno FallsI stayed at the top for some time before taking the ropeway down. I found a bus to the Hakone Ropeway. I went back via the volcano and the Hakone cable car. I then took the train to another waterfall that was on the tourist map. The place was called the Tamadareno Falls. They, unfortunately, were not too exciting.The falls were behind a touristy hotel. The place was a zoo. There were ducks everywhere along with people. Loud music was playing and there were people dressed up in stuffed animals costumes. They were parading around and dancing. I was hoping to be in a quiet forest.I was too exhausted for all the commotion and took off quite quickly back to my hostel and went straight to the onsen. The water was almost too hot to get in. The water in the onsens came directly from the Owakudani volcano and the temperature couldn't be controled. There was a sign saying that the water temperatures depend on the 'mood' of the volcano! I thought that was quite cute. You are able to add cold water into the pool but even then it was too hot! I was only able to get in for a few short minutes and hoped the volcano's mood would be a bit cooler for the following day![...]