Hua-lien Travel Blog› entry 3 of 10 › view all entries
May 31st, 2007 – by: seahlk
Our friendly driver told us to chope the front-most area of the boat (Ok, i know there is bow, stern, starboard and portside but I dunno which is where, so just the front-most area).
The guide did a great job about informing us not only about the ceteceans but also the geographical aspects of Taiwan as a whole. It is very cool to see mountains in one direction and if you turn 180 degrees around, you see pacific ocean. Taiwan is located on 2 platonic plates, so this unique feature draws an ocean current which serves as a highway for sea creatures and thus, whales and dolphins can be spotted in Hualien. If you want to know how special the geographical aspect of Taiwan is, just zoom in to the map in the profile page of this site and turn it to satellite view.
We cruise at the ocean for a very long time. approx 3 hours and all that were spotted are some flying fish and some birds. The excitement of spotting flying fish soon died-ed as everyone became soo demoralised that there are no dolphins at the least. Nonetheless, our guide tried to informed us about Hualien, including the very nice and picturesque Qing Shui cliffs near TaiLuGe. We searched for near 3 hours, and then there was an excitement coming from the guide. She had spotted something in front, but as we draw nearer, it turned out to be a large school of fish. That kind of brought the morale up a little, but since 3 hours have past, and there were no sightings, all of us were kind of certain that we will not see anything this trip.
It was a 10minute reward for a 3 hour long of searching and sun-burning, but it is all worth it. Throughout the 3 hour of search, I was praying soo hard to at least spot some dolphins so that they can play underneath my leg that was stretched out of the boat. But seeing real, wild dolphins up close and personal, not separated by the thing called TV or book, I felt soo happy and excited. The excitement was that like a child scoring 100% in her first test. It was very very very cool for someone who only saw dolphins on TV, books and zoos. I was also very impressed by Turumoan company cos they did not use sonar to spot the dolphins. The respect they have for these wild creatures was something which I really admired, and I am glad that they do not do this purely for tourism, but more of education and awareness.
Apart from the experience, another gift I got from this trip is a very burnt skin on my face and my forearms....We had forgotten the necessary sun-protection in our excitement..but the burnt skin are going to be a very nice ice-breaker when we interact with the locals.
Our next stop is Ocean Park. It is bascially Everland shrunk down. Though most of the rides were meant for kids, there were rides that are challenging to us standing at 1.6m tall. Anyway, we took most of the rides in Ocean Park. I challenged myself at Viking ship and I sat at the second seat closest to the centre. Yes, the Viking ride was terrifying.
Most of the ride operators were very friendly. They keep telling us to go for the most challenging seats. Of course, with burnt face, wherever we went in Ocean Park, the operators will recognise us and tell us to go on the rides they operate one more time. It was the interaction that was fun. Anyway, there was a dolphin pool where one can go down and feed or interact with the dolphins for a fee. As I had a wild encounter with dolphins in the morning, paying to feed and touch those in captivity does not appeal to me much. We caught a show about mantanee (did I spell it wrongly?) They were cute.
We took a taxi back to our minsu, then went out again for dinner around the city area. The busiest area of Hualien is the triangle region bounded by 3 main roads. Anyway, we met the taxi uncle who drove us back from Ocean Park because we are the sun-burnt girls, everyone seem to recognise us. He pointed a wontan stall that he said was very nice. We walked and walked, and managed to get lost. Whilst we were lost, we saw that cats and dogs in Hualien can cross the roads much better than us.
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