The collected writings of a Renegade Tourist

Author RenegadeTourist

The Sunken Road

First I want to thank my wife for finding out about this place and sharing the information with me so we could arrange a trip. Now on to the post

Down in Jiayi (Sometimes also spelled Chiayi) in South Taiwan there’s a region with a lot of fish farms and oyster farms. In fact it’s so many that the GPS makes it look like the expressway is running on a bunch of islands and sandbanks out in the ocean, even though it’s actually on land. Over time the usage of these seafood farms has changed and some of the old … Read the rest

Baishuihu, 11:26 am

tall grass line the road and poke up through the cracks. Low waves, little more than ripples on the pond's surface, lap the edges of the asphalt. The ride is bumpy, every now and then I have to slow down to a crawl to avoid hitting a large pot hole too hard, and the weeds keep rubbing against the sides of the car as I go along. It feels like I'm the first person to drive here for many years. The road is long enough that I can't actually see if it connects to anything at the other end or if it gets swallowed up by the water somewhere up ahead. I really hope that it goes all the way across because it's so narrow it would be really hard to turn around. The thought that I might have to drive the entire distance in reverse flashes through my mind but I brush it off and press on. A sensible person would never go down a road like this, but there's something about the dilapidates state of it, as well as the fact that I can't see where it ends, that imbues the place with a sense of adventure and compels me to steer my car down it, heading towards the unknown.

Neglected Spaces

There’s a certain type of spaces that I feel strangely drawn to. The kind of spaces at the edges of the urban landscape, half forgotten spaces hidden behind and below the infrastructure that keeps our cities running. I don’t really have a good name for them, liminal spaces isn’t quite correct, backstreets indicates something that is more populated, they’re definitely not slums and you can’t call it wasteland; forgotten spaces is wrong, people still remember them, and they’re not abandoned or deserted. Perhaps the best term would be neglected spaces, they’re a bit dirty, they don’t get taken care of … Read the rest

The Plastic Problem

I guess that we are all aware that our oceans are full of plastic. For me at least, this awareness was what I like to call an intellectual awareness that let me keep a kind of detected attitude to the problem – I knew it existed but it didn’t really affect my day to day life. Last weekend however, that changed. Me and my family went out to the beach and to my great surprise there was a wide belt of plastic trash topping the dunes, stretching the entire length of the beach. It had not been there the last … Read the rest

Sanming Park, 6:55pm.

I try a few times but it seems impossible to take a decent picture and my son, sitting in the carrier on my back, is impatient, I don't have time to fiddle around with the settings. Instead I put down the camera and take a moment to memorize the details. In front of me is a large steel ring, maybe two meters in diameter, suspended in the air between two trees. In the middle of the circle is a trio of LED lights. A series of nozzles all around the ring are spraying a fine mist into the air. As it falls, floating slowly down to the ground, it catches the light from the LEDs, cascades of orange, purple and white that spread out and drift into the darkness. The colorful mists envelop the little grove of trees, creating a fairy-tale-esque atmosphere and you forget for a moment the ring of nozzles and the LEDs.

Touqian River, 4:47 pm.

What's normally a small stream flowing lazily through an otherwise dry river bed has swelled with the rains of the latest typhoon to a wide, swift flowing river. Just a few meters from where I'm standing there's a kind of wier, consisting of a series of large concrete blocks, stretching across the river. Normally you'd be able to get across to the other side by jumping from block to block but today that's not possible. The entire wier has been turned into a waterfall, the concrete blocks engulfed in muddy brown water. Just below it, there's a massive standing wave, the water curling in on itself as it flows across the stones and concrete. A loud booming fills the air of this otherwise peaceful river valley. That even a relatively small typhoon can transform a river this much is a stark reminder of the truly awesome power of nature.

Waking Up

Lieutenant Wakefield entered the control room and took up her position at the communications station. From her position she could overview the entire room, and as she let her eyes sweep from left to right she could that the rest of her team was already in position at their designated stations. She checked her watch, it showed 6:51 am. "Alright people, nine minutes until go time," she announced, "beginning pre-startup checks." Continue reading

Mapping the Tunnels part 2

Shortly after I made my last post about the old military tunnels at Fengqi Sunset Trail, my friend Johan, who is a Youtuber, contacted me saying he wanted to make a video about the tunnels. My other friend David, who was the one to introduce me to the tunnels in the first place, said he would also like to join (you can find David's post here). Said and done, the three of us met up at the trail head and with Johan filming we made another foray into the tunnels. Continue reading about our underground adventure.

Vehicular Variety in Asia

The idea for this post has been rattling around in the back of my mind for several years but it’s not until now that I have all the photos I need to write it. I’ve been living in Taiwan for eight years now and I’ve traveled a fair bit in east and south east Asia. What I’ve noticed is that there’s a huge variety in the vehicles on the roads in this part of the world compared to Europe. You see, in Europe, the types of vehicles you see are more or less limited to cars, trucks and buses, with … Read the rest

The Agency

There was something wrong with Sara's husband. The change in his behavior was subtle, but after being together for ten years she could feel that something was wrong. She asked him about it but he insisted that everything was fine. She tried to let it go but the feeling persisted and after two weeks she couldn't stand it anymore; she needed to find out what was going on...read the rest

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