Today started off bad, well because I woke up let and “lost” a few things so my mum screamed at me. Then the morning was spent angsting and sulking. As usual, I fell asleep on the bus. The journey to Hualien was so long and by the time we got there, it was lunch time.
Lunch was prepared lovingly by the lady boss of the restaurant. She insists of making each dish herself and all the ingredients are home grown for the vegetables and home reared for the meat. First time eating bamboo rice. Pretty exciting how you have to use a hammer to crack open the bamboo. I would have preferred the glutinous rice hot though. Nonetheless, it was a good virgin experience. Oh, and the rice there is purple. Apparently, it good for the ladies because there is iron in it. Yum yum. Good food at a humble rustic shop along the road.
After which, we made a small pit stop at some Muah Chee stall along the road. All the Muah Chee are hand made and there are no added preservatives. Therefore, the can only be kept for at most two days. Super super huge Muah Chee and super tasty too! I am loving it.
We head off to the Tai Lu Ge to walk in caves and soak in nature’s beauty. Kudos to the bus drivers for their excellent driving skills – squeezing two buses on a one lane road and making three point turns on the mountain roads. We were literally at the edge of the cliffs. Pretty scary but exciting. The air was very refreshing even though it was quite chilly. What I hate the most is people smoking up there in the mountains. I mean why bother going all the way up there just to smoke. Air pollution. We had to wear safely helmets because rocks fall from the cliffs once in a while. All in all, the view was magnificent and it is quite amazing how the president insisted on building this tunnel or road through the mountains from Hualien to Taichung.
After the cliffs and caves, we went to the jade factory. There, they taught us about the various stones and how to tell the fake ones from real ones. For jades, if you shine a light through it, you should be able to see the light. If not, it is probably a stone painted to look like jade. Furthermore, for the cat’s eye jade, which essentially is the heart of the jade, there should only be one white line or divide through the centre of the jade. If there is more, that jade is likely to be fake. Apart from jades, we saw crystals and are previous stones. Colourful shining stones. Apparently, the more often you wear the jade, the shiner it will get. So do not leave your jades sitting in the safe deposit box! Quite a magical experience but unfortunately, no photo taking is allowed. So sorry, I do not have any photos of the place.
Finally, we headed straight to our next hotel to rest and call it a day. There is a interesting man made river around the resort so we got to sit on some boat ride to tour the area. Because it is dark, we could hardly see anything. I will probably snap a couple of pictures tomorrow, if I can wake up early. Before we went back to our room, we gathered to watch a performance. It was suppose to be international dances but honestly speaking all their moves looked the same. Nonetheless, good effort on their part. Here comes the most embarrassing part. I had to go up on stage to perform with them. Oh my, it was horrific. My coordination skills are so bad. But it was quite fun to make a fool of myself and just let loose. After the performance, I rushed straight to the bouncing castle without noticing that the sign wrote – for children of ages twelve and under. Whatever, I am a kid at heart. That ten minutes or so of bouncing and sliding was the best moment of my life. I have not felt so carefree and happy for a long long time. It is great to be a kid again.
It has been a long day and even though we did not do much, I do feel exhausted so goodnight!