Thursday, July 19, 2007

Taiwan: Hot Springs and Sunburn (Ouch!)

If your wondering what day and all that crap it is for me, I am not sure anymore. It is Friday morning here, but besides that, we don't need a play by play each day. I do not find it necessary to keep you up to date when I might go eat or take a dump so for my own sake (and for the sake of your precious time) I am keeping it minimal.

So yesterday we went to the hot springs along the coast of southwestern Taiwan. After about a two hour drive we arrived at our destination. The second half of the drive, the part past the nasty city traffic, was beautiful. The mountains rose up to sky with their peaks resting in the undersides of large dark storm clouds. On the other side lay the large blue expanse of the ocean, which went as far as you could see. The water along the Taiwan Striaghts, the water between China and Taiwan, often being turbulent, was causing huge, powerful waves which slammed against the rocky beaches.

This area of Taiwan is considered a tourist destination by many Taiwanese as was evident by the large number of families I saw stopped at rest stations and picking up supplies for the day's excursions. Many of the people who actually live in the region are the island's original inhabitants, or the aborigines. Unluckily, much like many other places, and as with the Native Americans in America, the aborigines of Taiwan are slowly being assimilated into Taiwanese/Chinese culture. The amount of space they inhabit has become smaller and smaller and their way of life is also being absorbed and/or used for commercial gains.

The spa itself was decent, but compared to some of the conditions I had been present to within the last couple of days it was pretty freakin sweet. The were several different pools ranging in temperature of the water, ranging from refreshingly cool to warm, to "Oh my god" I just got first degree burns! Also nice, was that several of the pools were 'flavored' with various 'health items.' One pool contained rose petals, another held Chinese herbs for healing, and yet another held ginseng. The hot water was nice and relaxing, but with 90+ degree (Fahrenheit that is) the cooler pools felt much better. That and the amount of little kids surrounding me set me at unease in resting in warm water, especially since we all know what warm water makes you wanna do ;(). So I was either in the really cold or really hot pools. The rest of the time I spent sunbathing. DON'T fall asleep in the sun when you are on a tropical island. I was asleep for no more than fifteen minutes and I am still a lobster today! Oh, but it was worth it. Till later, I need more lotion!

Smiling cause I am relaxing, soaking it up. Relaxed a little too much as you will see!

Cool (as in chilly) pool shot.

Hot water!!

Not so relaxed or happy.

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