*take nothing for granted!
Unless otherwise indicated all photos © Richard McKie 2005 - 2015

Who is Online

We have 184 guests and no members online

Translate to another language

Sun Moon Lake

Our tour this day took us inland into the mountains to Sun Moon Lake.

Although it seems to be natural it is in fact another example of Taiwan’s amazing infrastructure.  Once a smaller natural lake it’s been enlarged with a dam and is used for pump storage to complement a nuclear power-station, located elsewhere.  Thus it has a rising and falling tide line depending on the demand for power, in addition to local rainfall.

 

 

It’s notable for a shrine on an island, that we were taken to by boat, and for the Japanese fishing nets similar to those we saw in Kerala. 

 

 

The local town has a strong Aboriginal presence and there are local craft markets that we were encouraged to visit.

 

Clint's photos - as are six of the following:

 

 

As we returned from our boat trip it rained heavily.  So instead of wandering around the markets Craig and I found a weatherproof balcony overlooking the lake and then, bored with that, a tea shop that was not nearly so weatherproof.  

 

 

It was interesting to see Betel Nut Palms (Areca catechu) growing wild and to learn that the Aboriginal people and some truck drivers are addicted to this stimulant that destroys a user’s teeth and causes them to spit red sputum constantly, among other unpleasant health issues that include cancer.

Our magical mystery tour bus then stopped off at a peacock sanctuary. But the birds were huddled indoors against the cold rain.  That suited Wendy who is phobic about birds, particularly big ones with feathery display tails.

But we couldn’t leave the lake without visiting one last temple this time high up overlooking it.  It can be approached by 366 steps, each representing a birthday and marked with one or two notable people born on that day, or alternatively by the road. 

 

 

Fortunately we didn’t invest in the steps as the temple was only vaguely interesting, having some hair reputed to have been grown by the Buddha, and the view was marred by the bad weather.  At least hair was a change from bits of the ’true cross’ or of some Saint.

Temples all done we spent the evening, for dinner and the following breakfast, at an hotel on the edge of, and partially suspended over, the lake.

 

 

Those who wanted to could visit a hot mineral spa.  But as the weather was now quite pleasant and as our room had a balcony overlooking the water and sufficient chairs for four of us to consume a bottle or two of quite passable local wine, we skipped the joys of a communal bath.

 

 

Add comment


Security code
Refresh


    Have you read this???     -  this content changes with each opening of a menu item


Travel

Berlin

 

 

 

I'm a bit daunted writing about Berlin.  

Somehow I'm happy to put down a couple of paragraphs about many other cities and towns I've visited but there are some that seem too complicated for a quick 'off the cuff' summary.  Sydney of course, my present home town, and past home towns like New York and London.  I know just too much about them for a glib first impression.

Although I've never lived there I've visited Berlin on several occasions for periods of up to a couple of weeks.  I also have family there and have been introduced to their circle of friends.

So I decided that I can't really sum Berlin up, any more that I can sum up London or New York, so instead I should pick some aspects of uniqueness to highlight. 

Read more ...

Fiction, Recollections & News

The Password

 

 

 

 

How I miss Rio.  Rio de Janeiro the most stunningly picturesque city on Earth with its dark green mountains and generous bays, embelezado with broad white, sandy beaches.  Rio forever in my heart.   Rio my a minha pátria, my homeland, where I spent the most wonderful days of my life with linda, linda mãe, my beautiful, beautiful mother. Clambering up Corcovado Mountain together, to our favela amongst the trees.

Thinking back, I realise that she was not much older than I was, maybe fifteen years.  Who knows?

Her greatest gift to me was English. 

Read more ...

Opinions and Philosophy

Australia's carbon tax

 

 

Well, the Gillard government has done it; they have announced the long awaited price on carbon.  But this time it's not the highly compromised CPRS previously announced by Kevin Rudd.  

Accusations of lying and broken promises aside, the problem of using a tax rather than the earlier proposed cap-and-trade mechanism is devising a means by which the revenue raised will be returned to stimulate investment in new non-carbon based energy. 

Read more ...

Terms of Use                                           Copyright