I love it when its Friday the 13th, especially when it's my daughter's birthday! The luckiest date of my life! I took off Friday afternoon, pulled the girl out of school and headed to Wulai as my gift to her.
Wulai is actually closer than our trip would seem. Its only 17 km from Jiaoxi (our nearest hot springs), there's an aborignal trail we could hike on.
Unwilling to brave the cold rain, we took a bus To Taipei, the MRT to Xindian and a local 40 min bus to Wulai.
|Our room with a view|
We stayed at a decent hotel only 200 m from the bus top and right by the bridge into the small Old Street. The place had a complimentary breakfast, unlimited coffee all day and a cat my daughter couldn't get enough of.
|bus to Taipei|
Our old Italian traveler friend Bruno was in transit between his Okinawa and Sri Lanka trip and met us there. He spoiled us with some gifts, including a hand mirror with our names engraved and a little artist's case with supplies for her. It was perfect weather for hot springs, freezing! We didn't make it to the crowded public ones across the river, but our hotel's public pools were indoors with open windows right on the river banks, and were empty.
Two nights was too much time for Wulai and not knowing any locals. We took our time, ate as much Atayal food as possible, took the gondola to the waterfall, had Z do some weaving with an Atayal girl, and did some shopping. I had wanted Z to do some aboriginal archery, where they make their own bows and arrows, but I had needed to make a more advanced reservation. I also missed meeting a friend who was going to show us his favorite restaurant, but by Sunday brunch we were eager to get back. Hopefully next time and also stop at Wenshan Tea Farm on our return to Taipei to buy some world class tea.
|On the cable car to the waterfalls|
All in all the girl was grateful for her weekend getaway, everyone appreciates a change of scene. yet she was equally grateful to be back in Yilan. I was too, I had to catch up on housework and laundry and prepare for Monday, she had to catch up on some Trollhunters.