Monday, October 26, 2009

another trip to Tai-An

You might remember me biking there last year- what? No? Oh, it's all right...

Well, our school is closed this week because it's National Sports Week in Taichung, which I guess means Taichung is hosting like national games for professional athletes? Anyways, a week off of school. We had an optional trip to Tai-An hot springs are with our school, which I took advantage of, and got permission to ride my bike up (about 55 km). It was absolutely a perfect day- sunny and breezy and gorgeous. I had a great time going there. Unfortunately, the combination of my run commute and lots of hills led to some sore old-woman knees... sigh...

One bummer was that the hotel was a crazily nicer than I'd ever stay in on my own hotel, but it was like at the top of a mountain that was perched on another mountain so once I got up there I had no desire to go walking back down in search of hikes. (Most everyone else rode a bus up from Taichung.) I did get to enjoy the hot springs and had a little awkward moment in that I didn't know if it was a wear-a-bathing-suit hotsprings or not. It seemed not to be, as it was separated by gender and the only showers were right next to the pools, but there were also windows that you could kind of see in, and I was the only person there and I figured better to not be naked in a naked hot springs than naked in a non-naked one, eh? Especially when your boss walks in. One lady did get in- she came to the pool in a towel and then left and came back in a bathing suit. I later found out you are not to wear a bathing suit in them. Well, live and learn.

We had a delicious meal and an enjoyable evening. I rode the bus part of the way home and stopped at several places with the group and then rode my bike the rest of the way- only about 30 km this time and mostly down hill so it was fun.

I would like to say for the record, though, that I'm not too sorry I'm not rich, at least when it comes to hotels. Twice in the last month I've stayed at hotels that are beyond my means (here, and at the Tai-dong triathlon where we had crazily discounted rates) and I don't know, Taiwan seems to be about pointless luxury. Like our room for two adults included a bathroom the size of my living room and a Japanese tatami tea-drinking room, but we had 2 twin beds pushed next to each other. Weird.

Great weather on tap for the rest of the week- looking to do some hiking and shopping tomorrow and then head up to Taipei for, I don't know, hiking and shopping? Depends on how creaky my knees are.

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