Monday, May 07, 2007

Adventures with Catherine, Danshui & Bali (Trip #3)

We set out at about 11:30 on Sunday for the northern-most part of Taipei, Danshui. Our mission was to find the ferry that crosses the Danshui river to Bali. Bali is a haven for walkers and bike riders in northern Taiwan. It's a tree-lined community that is a nice escape from the madness of the city.

After asking a handful of people, we managed to find the boat and bought tickets. Catherine thought it would be fun to buy a pass that takes us to Bali and on to Fisherman's Wharf. This meant we would take the 6 minute boat ride to Bali and then another ferry to Fisherman's Wharf, which is about a 12 minute trip across the river. Sort of a tour of the whole area. Since it was Sunday and the weather was great the place was crawling with people.

After arriving in Bali, we quickly found a little bike-rental place and picked out a nifty little tandem model. I could tell by the look on Catherine's face that she was pretty skittish about being on the bike. It was really crowded and Taiwanese people aren't known for their ability to steer ANYTHING! She knew I was excited to do it, so she held her breath and we set off. Being an American, I am not about to calmly allow others to cut me off and/or inhibit my riding pace. Not long after setting off we encountered numerous folks that felt compelled to stop in the middle of the trail to talk, take pictures, etc...ugh. After a few near collisions I looked back and was shocked that Catherine didn't have her eyes closed. She said she was frightened but trusted me. We managed to bike for a few hours without incident. At one point, I looked down and discovered the Cath wasn't wonder I was sweating like a pig, I was doing all the work! She giggled and said she didn't realize that I wanted her to share in the work...ya right!

It was a lot of fun. We managed to see a good bit of the area. Tandem bikes are much harder to control. It's sort of like driving a bus, maneuverability is limited. Here are some pics from our arrival and bike trail fun.

The day's catch. A common sight on the banks of the river. The aroma of fish fills the air.

A cool looking sculpture. Sort of sticks out like a sore thumb amongst all the fish stalls and ice cream stands.

A look at the boat that we were going to board to go to Bali. The water was calm. I was a little nervous about taking the boat, I am not a big fan of seasickness. It was an easy ride.

Cath ready to set off on our trip. She is such a cutie.

A house located next to the bike trail. We were just a stones throw from the giant apartment buildings and gray buildings but it was serene along the trail.

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