|We are 4th from the left|
It was another gorgeous day in Yilan County and I woke at the crack of dawn, roused by kid from her sweet dreams and hopped on the scooter to the train station. It was easier than expected considering we stayed up a bit late at a delicious friends' braai (South African BBQ). We were early for the 5:30 am train to 和仁, and when we arrived at the little station, a tanned stranger from Fanatic Taiwan was waiting for us in a dark van tattooed with bright stickers.
|After our morning SUP adventure, we are return a darker shade of brown|
I thought maybe we were holding up everyone from starting, but actually they were pretty relaxed getting going, as the sun was getting stronger, there were the ceremonial picture taking. I regretted not taking my own camera as the mountain drop back behind us with the morning mists weaving in and around the crags was utterly breathtaking.
It was quite a big group, more like a club of SUP fanatics, most with their own boards and cars. They seemed all young professional types, well educated and most could speak English. They like most Taiwanese were extremely friendly and gracious, sharing their water and chocolates with us at the halfway point. Getting past the breaking waves was easy with extra hands and with my kid perched on the board's nose, out we rowed, south towards Hualien. Five minutes after heading out, my daughter pipes, "I'm so happy I'm here!" (She was a bit grumpy meeting all the friendly SUPers). "Me too!"
I was supposed to stay at the back with Evan, my "guide" but once we started going, I didn't want to stop. I got in a rythem. It was pretty relaxing. I could sit, stand, kneel. We stopped about an hour and half from starting. It wasn't the original idea but some of the 'skinny fat' ladies were tired. The sun was rather strong on the return, we might of left earlier.
A nice group dropped us off at the little train station on their return to their guesthouse in Hualien. The 和仁 station was just a minute away and so small it was completely empty except for 2 engineers/station masters. They let us wait an hour in their freezing cold office which was a restorative oasis from the blazing sun. My daughter slept the whole hour train ride to Yilan. I was proud her fair skinned face and arms were sun-free, but yikes on her legs! Lesson learned and she will wear a skirt or some UVA material covering next time.
That night, my body, delts, triceps, core felt amazing, not painful at all. SUP seems like the perfect total body workout. I hope to continue this sport on my upcoming Okinawa trip. There's also a few events coming up, I'll see if I can afford when the time comes. SUP yoga sounds like my cup of tea. It might be better to just buy a secondhand board. For this trip renting a board cost 2,800 for basically 4 hours.
For more info contact Tidal Force, which is associated with Taiwan Fanatic.