Taiwan 2016 Day 5 – Landslide and stuck in Hualien

Woke up to a rainy morning with no sunlight at all. Made K some milk as we didn’t want to let him drink at the time too close to driving. Then after he finished drinking, he coughed and vomited again. Luckily, I quickly brought a plastic bag and collected the puke. A little clean up required and he went back to sleep.

The same routine as the day before, waking up at 7plus and getting the meals prepared. Again I went for breakfast first and followed by mommy. This time around we were packed and ready by 9. K also woke up around the same time and we got him all ready to move and at about the same time, the reception gave us calls to tell us that hotel transport was ready.

K was whiny from the start of the day. In the transfer he was whiny but we didn’t know why. There were other passengers who got off at the train station and we asked to be ferried to the Hotai car rental company down the road just within meters as it was drizzling. We got the documents settled for the Vios while K whined for the phone. Then as I did the car check he whined for me and didn’t want to go with mommy.

Left the car at the rental company first as we went to the stores nearby to get some Hualien goodies, namely Mochi (Ah Mei Muah Chee, 阿美麻糬) and Yam (Feng Xing Bing Pu, 豐興餅舖) and sweet potatoes pastries. When we were done, we returned to the car and drove towards Qing Shui Duan Ya (清水斷崖), a place to supposedly to be a cliff side that boast beautiful views. Worried about car sickness and the consequences of vomiting and cleaning up, I drove within the speed limit smoothly.

Ah Mei Muah Chee
Feng Xing Bing Pu
View of Hualien town
Hotai rental car company

Hualien roads were not as busy compared to bigger cities like Taipei but the city side was a little more. Needed to adjust to the traffic lights, behaving a little differently from Singapore. They were sometimes blinking yellow meaning to slow down and then there was blinking red which was to stop before proceeding. At the outskirts, it was much easier with lesser cars around.

As we approached closer to the place and with K asleep after some whining, I was on the lookout for a viewpoint stop, with a carpark of some sort but it was all road. Then we were past the point as indicated by Google. Google map showed a picture of Qing Shui Duan Ya and the spot on the map but there wasn’t a viewpoint stop at that actual location. I did a Uturn on the road at the right opportunity and as we drove past the same point, there wasn’t any difference. So we gave up and continued on the rest of the journey. Anyhow the weather was cooperating and the view wasn’t going to be fantastic with all the gloom the dark clouds brought along.

View from the car, while trying to locate the viewpoint of Qing Shui Duan Ya

Punched in Cingjing on the GPS and we continued on the same road. The drizzle was much bigger than the day before as we go through Taroko gorge route, taking the same route that we traveled during the day trip. It was winding and a little difficult to negotiate, and always a worry and to be constant alert to check for oncoming traffic because the lanes merged and unmerged multiple times. Thankfully there weren’t much buses or cars from the opposite direction at that time.

We soon got to the end of the route before the start of ascending the mountain. We took toilet breaks first at a camp site to use the toilet and second time at Tian Xiang to get a drink. K woke up as mommy got off the car to get some food and drinks, meant for our lunch takeaways. Since he woke, we settled for having lunch at the nearby restaurants where mommy initially bought takeaways from.

Bee Hoon
Fried rice

When we were done having our lunch at the restaurant, we took some time to walk around a bit so that K could digest, including visiting the 7-11 for window shopping and also using the toilets nearby. K was particularly sticky and was whining again as l went to the toilet. Changed his diapers before we were on the road again.

View from Tian Xiang
Walkpath at Tian Xiang

Onboard the car, he whined for the phone again and for milk which we didn’t allow, for fear of vomiting and we had to endured the whining until he fell asleep. 30mins into the drive we arrived at a gated road in our direction at Luoshan. A car past by and told us that the road was closed up ahead of us, due to fallen rocks until 8am the next day. Another person walking nearby also said the same and gave us a number to call and verify. The authorities also mentioned that but no further advise was given to us when we said we had to get to the accommodation that we had reserved. Too bad.

We had to return to Tian Xiang as advised by our driver yesterday through whatsapp, as he had wanted to keep in contact with us. Without much to be done to salvage the situation, with the crazy exception of taking a 7hrs detour through Taipei that we wouldn’t do, it was a 30mins return to Tian Xiang. As we parked at the Tienhsiang Youth Hostel Activity Center carpark there to evaluate our accommodation options for the day, there were only 2 choices. The other one was a 5star for 360SGD per night vs the hostel.

I went in to check for availability and was given a room for 125SGD per night. I checked in immediately and moved the luggage down first before driving mommy to the 7-11 to get more food stuff and dinner, before she went into the room first to cook for K while I stayed at the car with the still snoozing toddler.

Tienhsiang Youth Hostel Activity Center
Toilet and shower

K woke up at 6pm when it was already dark. I carried him to the room and he started his whining again. He was fine only after a while. Spend the night in the room with TV, hand phone videos and photos, puzzles and books and toys and balls, followed by our dinner and his dinner.

Microwave curry chicken
Baked chicken takeaways

Went to borrow a tub from the reception to bath for K where he spent a lot of time. He wouldn’t get out of the tub as I think he was feeling cold.

He was whining for milk which we gave and just before sleep he was whining again. Repeatedly. Mommy then smacked his bottom before he stopped and went to sleep. A prelude to terrible 2. A difficult trip with all the whining and winding.