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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Sinhua Botanical Garden

For a while now we've known about some hiking trails not too far away in a suburb of Tainan, called Xinhua (or Sinhua).  On Saturday, we finally decided it was time to go check them out.

The drive was quite nice and it was great to feel like we were out of the city a big.  Clean air is a beautiful thing.  The hiking area itself ended up being quite nice as well!  It was a bit scary at first, because right at the beginning of the trail, amidst all this beautiful landscaping and otherwise extremely charming area was a nice big sign that said, "Caution!  Poisonous snakes!  Poisonous wasps!  Poisonous centipedes!"  As a result, we were quite cautious on the trail.  Even though we tried to make lots of noise, we still came across a snake or two. 

The other scary part was the HUGE spiders.  Taiwan has these spiders that are the side of your hand.  Their legs are as thick as twigs and they have massive webs.  They are also VERY plentiful on trails like this.  You could see them literally any time you looked off the side of the trail.  Luckily none of them had constructed webs over the trail or we would have just marched right back.


That said, the hike was otherwise fabulous.  There weren't many people, the views were gorgeous, the foliage was varied and the weather was pretty decent.

The sound of the shutter when Tom took this photo scared them and they jumped, ran into each other and fell off.

Tom took this one - gotta give credit.

At the end of the trail, there was a visitor's center, with this guy chillin' outside.

Biggest tree-born fruit on the planet.
As we were walking back to the scooter we decided to check out the lake.  We found these hammocks there and decided to take a siesta there.  We pulled out our books are read for quite a while.  

And that was that!  I wish every Saturday was like this one, but this Saturday I teach from 10 - 12, then have a work meeting from 1 - 3.  Boo.

On a happy note, I think I am officially caught up!!!!

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