Thursday, August 25, 2011

week 48_Wai'ao beach

This past weekend I participated in my second Formosa Hash. The hash -for those of you who didn't read about my first hash (yes, the name sounds questionable at best... a Brit told me hash meant "bad food," and it's true, that is one meaning...)- is a group "run" through the mountains near Taipei, followed by dinner & drinks with the group. When my girlfriend invited me to join the run and mentioned that it would take about an hour to get to the location, I didn't think twice about it (after all, Taipei is a big city). After I had piled into the car (along with some other hash runners), it became clear that A. I should have brought my swimsuit, and B. This run would be absolutely fabulous because it was to begin on a beach an hour outside of Taipei! I was happy to be getting out of the house, but so much more thrilled to hear that we were headed to the ocean! I hadn't been to the beach yet in Taiwan, despite it's proximity to the city ~ it's about time!

I didn't take ANY photos (go figure), but I had such a great time... so I'll fill in the blog with a few pictures I've found online that represent the area. The beach was actually a black sand beach, with large rocks protruding out of the ocean, and pleasantly not too much of a crowd. People were scattered along the shoreline, but we didn't have to fight for space - which I've heard is an issue for some of the other beaches near the city.

Wai'ao Beach
The day was ridiculously hot - or mostly just humid, clearly because we were so near the ocean - and our run began at 3pm. Personally, I am not a runner. AND almost immediately after we started the run I was 95% convinced I wouldn't make it... I might have to turn back. The climb started on the beach, but immediately turned vertical scaling the adjacent mountainside headed straight up! I need to read back at my previous hash blog... I wonder if I felt so defeated then too!

View from the mountainside back to the ocean
The climb was KILLER(!), but the views were absolutely spectacular. In the end, I made it through the hard part and eventually reached easier terrain. The hashes (two) that I have been on so far are always so rewarding. I have to work up the nerve to attend, but once I'm there it is such an awesome way to see parts of Taiwan that I might not even hear of otherwise. The trail was scenic and interesting, I saw many creatures in my travels this time: frogs, lizards, grasshoppers, birds, too many gigantic spiders to count. Of course, the rest of the reward is the feeling of accomplishment once it is over. Tired legs, and complete exhaustion are replaced with pride and renewed energy. At the end of this run, it was so hot and exhausting that we all couldn't wait to dive into the water! I forgot my suit, but decided to just swim in my clothes anyways. After all, I had finally made it out the beach ~ and I am so glad I swam, it was definitely worth it!

More beach
Following the swim, I found a small beach shop with showers and cleaned up a bit. When I offered to pay for the shower and towel they said it was on the house. Did they let everyone use their showers for free? Plenty of surfers and young folk were just hanging out cooking dinner at the place. What a life, just beach bumming along! We ended the day with dinner and drinks as usual at a nearby seafood restaurant. The food was delicious, and most likely had been caught the same day from a few miles away! This is the one photo I took, because I thought "I might want to come back to this restaurant sometime..."

I can't wait to go back so I can show the husband around! I had forgotten how rarely I see the sky (really see the sky) these days, and how rarely my view is without tall buildings. Being in the heart of the city is great, but getting out and spending a care free day ocean side was just perfect. :)


  1. Love that view. What a great way to spend a day!

  2. Ha! Great except that the photos don't do a very good job of recording just how hot & humid it was! :)