We were excited to move on to Kenting, located in the very southern tip of Taiwan, for maybe there will be some waves to be had, since we came to surf, and have yet to do so. This morning, we checked our our hotel’s museum (because we had free passes only) for about an hours worth of wandering. Then we climbed back into our cozy little Nissan and while Josh went highway hunting, I studied the map (which had English and Chinese) for several minutes analyzing the characters and sorting through 12 pages of towns/counties in the GPS to find where we were going. First you enter the county, then the city, then the street of the hotel, all in Chinese characters only, and hope that you’re as brilliant as you feel when it accepts and the purple line begins the journey.
We drove along the coast on highway 9 today, and although there was a nice coastline for your viewing pleasure, there sure wasn’t anywhere to get off and look at it or take photos. There were continuous concrete barriers on either side. The beaches were jagged and rocky, and the water not terribly blue, but its ocean nonetheless and when you don’t get to see it often, you appreciate it for what it is. The weather was warm, but the clouds were low and gloomy, though, no rain today.
We passed through the center of the island, through more extremely winding narrow roads to the “windy” side. Hopefully, its just for today because as I sit here writing, the wind is howling ferociously through our beautiful little hotel room garden and in through the glass doors. Eeek. Not the kind of weather that makes you want to head out to the pool and relax, or sit outside for that matter. Nobody is, the pool is officially vacant. Ok with me, I prefer to swim alone!
Shortly after arrival, we made our way into town, just a short walk from the hotel, though on the busy highway road that was anything but pedestrian friendly. Watching our backs for tour buses and speeding scooters, we wandered through the shops of Kenting, curiously looking for anything that resembled a surf shop. There were a couple places that rent boards (many of them subpar foam tops), near the North side of town, and a few others closer to our hotel and the beach that called themselves such, but either had rip off surf brand stuff which was terribly ugly, or they only carried the flowered Hawaiian style “boardshorts” with elastic waste popular two decades ago, and about a zillion colours of flip flops and tacky tourist T-shirts similar to those you’d find at a road side souvenir shop.
And so, after perusing the “quality junk” the town had to offer, we took a risk on pizza and milkshakes, and it worked out nicely for a $30 meal. It must be the imported cheese, because I’ve yet to find it anywhere else. Needing to walk off the meal, we found the beach and I put my feet in the ocean for the first time here. I’d say it’s a little bit chilly if you’re going to hang out waiting for a wave, but there were few people swimming in it, not even children. Good thing we’ve got those wet suits on hand.