My world walk blog - Taiwan #13
Taiwan has been walked!
That short day was just 15 kilometres from my backpacker's hostel in Checheng to another one called the Gold hostel near the Nanwan Recreation Area. It was a nice stroll despite a blustery headwind. The slate-grey sky threatened to crack open and pour with rain. Somehow it didn't. The Nanwan area and surrounding beaches were busy with swimmers surfers and lovers. I was told its a famous surfing area in Taiwan.
With my beachside hostel which charged me only seven Euro, a night was certainly a hidden gem. Those last few days of my walk and with a return bus journey costing just three Euro I commuted back and forth from my route to my accommodation. And as always that meant I didn't have to carry my backpack, always a joy. The buses run frequently and on average my journeys took about a half hour; time spent answering my emails.
A few days ago I was stopped by a funny woman called Paige to see if I was okay. She addressed me as Cute Sir (lol ) and said she met a Taiwan walker on the road and mentioned it would be great if we met as we are walking in opposite directions and towards each other. As luck would have it I just happened to be sitting on the right side of the bus when I looked out of the window and spotted him. There was no mistake as he wears a big sign on his back with the number of days since his walk began. Had I been sitting on the opposite side or not looking out the window I wouldn't have noticed him. So I got out three kilometres early and walked with him to Checheng.
Called Jarvis Cai, he is 25-years-old, speaks very good English and is walking around Taiwan. He said he needed a challenge after he finished his military service (which I'm told is compulsory for men.) He mostly camps or sleeps in temples or in peoples homes. He walks with a sign on his back asking for a bed and reports a lot of success. I joked and said his sign should just say "LADIES ONLY NEED APPLY!" on his sign lol
Anyway, as we were near my hostel I suggested he stop there for the night. As people have been so good to me on this walk it was a rare opportunity for me to give back and I was delighted to sponsor his bed. Back at the hostel, I was surprised to meet another walker. Also from Taiwan 60-year-old Chiou doesn't speak English and he told us he is also walking around the country but wants to do more inland trail walking. The three of us went out to a restaurant that specialises in duck and astonishingly the kind owner insisted on sponsoring our dinners