The collected writings of a Renegade Tourist

Tag Mountains

The road to Vang Vieng, 12:14 pm 

It’s like I’m not in Laos anymore, the mountains are still green but they are covered in grass rather than jungle. Here and there dark grey, almost black cliffs shoot up, bare rock against the blue sky. The lower slopes are covered in a kind of tall grass with white plumes at the top that makes it look like some giant has shaken out an old feather pillow over the hills.… Read the rest

Tram Ton pass, 9:00 am

I’ve been riding through the mist and drizzle all day and then, just as I reach the highest point of the pass, I spot a patch of blue sky up above. Moments later, the whole sky opens up and I can see for miles, the mountains rising into the mists on all sides, the slopes down towards the valley below clad in verdant green against the clear blue sky. In the middle of this stunning vista is a sea of clouds, pristine white foam lapping the mountain sides… What a view.… Read the rest

Over the Alps, 11:50 am

I put my book down and look out the window. Normally all  I could see would be the blue sky delineated by the wing of the plane, but now, below us, I see the Alps. A vast range of mountains stretching off in all directions, stark grey tops covered in pristine snow that make me wish I could be there right now, riding my snowboard. Moments later a valley appears, starting somewhere under me and stretching out in a quarter circle towards the tip of the wing. The sides of the valley are a deep forest green, with lighter shades … Read the rest

Forests and abandoned houses

The main attraction in Xitou is the Forest Recreation Area, a large park full of trails that let you see nature without the hassle of actually having to go to a forest. We went there after breakfast this morning and I found it a little bit too civilized for my taste, I would prefer a real forest over this one. However, there were a few spots that made me appreciate the place more, chief of which was the Sky Walk, a metal walkway high up among the treetops that lets you experience the forest from a different perspective.

Read the rest

Indoor skiing then off to Wulai

This weekend is the Tomb Sweeping Day, which essentially just means we have four days off in a row. Renegade wife and I are making the most of it by traveling around and enjoying ourselves.

We started off lightly yesterday by driving out to a small amusement park just outside Hsinchu city. The park itself is small, old and pretty lame, except for a few really well executed optical illusions:

A clever use of mirrors make it look like Yini is flying

This tilted house is by far the best, I actually got a little bit motion sick just by Read the rest

Miao Li mountains

This weekend the wife and I decided to go for a mini vacation in Miaoli. We started right before lunch, took my motorcycle and went south out of the city. Before long we were entering the mountains and drove along a winding road through lush green landscapes. The road was so perfect for a motorbike ride, I just kept going along and soon enough we reached our hotel.

After checking in we went out again to explore the mountains some more, stopping here and there whenever we found something interesting. Here are a couple of pictures taken during our exploration.… Read the rest

Road no. 1, 4:27 pm.

We’ve just left the coastal road and turned back onto the main road. We climb higher up the mountains and then, as we come around a tight corner, the road opens up into a sort of narrow water chute valley, the road running along the valley floor and the sides rising gently just meters from the road. There is snow coming down from the peaks both right and left, flowing down the slope almost all the way to the banks of the road, big blotches of bare earth here and there in a sort of gigantic camouflage pattern. The sun … Read the rest

Five Finger Mountain Ride

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything because it’s been too cold and wet to really go anywhere. Last weekend however, it was nice and sunny so Yini and I took the opportunity to go out with the motorcycle. We rode east out of the city, passed through the little town of queerly painted houses that we visited last year, and on to the Five Fingers Mountains.

At a small temple we found an fairly steep little walking trail that we followed. It was a bit of a struggle for Yini and I got pretty tired as well but … Read the rest

Skiing vacation in Sweden

I should have written about this earlier but I kept forgetting, so a little late, here goes:

As Chinese New Year drew closer, we finished up the work in Switzerland and planned to go back home. I however, did not go back to Taiwan. Instead I took a short flight north to Sweden were I met up with Yini at the airport. A few hours later, my parents came to pick us up and we drove north. Since we started fairly late, we slept one night in Gävle about two hours north of Stockholm. The next day we continued up … Read the rest

More skiing and back to work

Today I woke up bright and early, and after a hearty breakfast, headed out in the slopes.

I spent the morning exploring different parts of the system than yesterday, and found plenty of untouched powder just a short distance from the main track. The weather was good, only light clouds scudding across the sky and I had plenty of fun.

Just before lunch I stopped off at the local igloo village. The igloo was not quite as impressive as the ice hotel in Jokkmokk but still pretty good. I also checked out the nearby snow mobile park, but it was … Read the rest

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