Cycling is a great way to sightsee, and the conditions in Taiwan for cycling are absolutely fantastic! We’ve done a bunch of day and few-day rides since arriving. Sometimes we bring the GoPro, and Mike stitched together this:
Yesterday was the Dragon Boat Festival. We headed down to the harbour at Nanliao to eat some zongzi (sticky rice dumplings) and watch some of our friends compete in the day’s races.
Mike put together a video of some of the action. Have a look!
Baseball’s a popular sport in Taiwan, and on Thursday we got out to see a CPBL (Chinese Professional Baseball League) game! There are four teams which rotate play through 12 stadiums across the island. The number of games at each stadium is weighted by population, and Hsinchu’s stadium has 10 scheduled games (out of 240 total) this season. I was really excited for this game, as there won’t be another in town until the end of July.
Monday June 25 We landed in Busan, and had a quick chat with a young Korean seaman before we disembarked the ferry. He asked us where we were from and if we felt ok during the voyage (there were ~2 m swells on the ocean, and a few people were not doing so well). We both did ok, although it is as bit rougher on the water in a jet boat than it is on something that moves a bit more with the waves!
We were the last to get through immigration and customs, and once we were through we asked for a map and the location of the nearest bank machine that takes foreign cards, as we were going to have to pay for the balance of our hostel booking in full upon arrival. Getting money turned out to be a bit harder than in Japan, but after visiting a few banks we finally found one that worked! We took our ~10 minute walk over to the hostel, which was tucked away on a side street next to a big market and got our room squared away. We shared with a fellow from Hong Kong named Bob, and someone else we didn’t meet until later on.
Well, winter has finally arrived here in St. John’s. We had a snow day two Fridays ago, and Mike and I took advantage of that by going snowshoeing with some friends around Pippy Park and in the Three Pond Barrens. It was a lot of fun – the new snowshoes are much easier to walk in than the big wood and catgut ones (although that might just be because I used to use my mom’s pair when I was little)!
It tends to rain quite a bit in the winter here, which means even big snowfalls might not last. However, this week I think it is safe to say winter is here to stay for a while. Tuesday we had whiteout conditions in the city, and MUN closed in the afternoon. Today, we had another fair-sized snowfall. The pile at the end of our driveway is starting to look pretty big! I’m excited to get back out on the trails this weekend. The only question is: snowshoes or skis?
Mike occasionally gets tickets to see the IceCaps from work. We were lucky enough to get to go tonight. The game-winning goal came with 42 seconds remaining in the 3rd, for a 3-2 win against the Manchester Monarchs. The crowd went wild! Seats on the end have their advantages – it happened right in front of us! They’re currently first in their division, and seeded first in the conference. Good job b’ys. You’re doing St. John’s proud.