I started off very early, eager to make progress before the day got too hot. It was very beautiful, calm and fresh in the post-dawn, as always. The coast continued as before, but fish ports became more noticeable. They were very charming and although obviously they were trying to make money from tourism, they had a very authentic feeling to them. One noticeable one was Shihyusan. There were many interesting rock formations in or next to the sea, some of them creating natural harbours.
The main factor for me that day was the heat. It slowly crept up on me, and into me. I was concerned with the dual factors of heat stroke and sunburn. I was hydrating madly and sweating like a squeezed sponge, so it was hard to get the sun block to really stick. I also found myself getting that impatient, uncomfortable feeling that I always get right before heat exhaustion. Heat exhaustion is one stage before heat stroke. Heat stroke can kill you. Heat exhaustion is the warning that you better get into the shade and take it easy. By the time I got to Sansiantai, I was boiling hot. Although I felt safe from heat exhaustion, that was only because I had been very careful in my level of exertion. I got the bus from Sansiantai to Jingpu – one of those buses where you actually sit over the driver head. I was right in front, with the aircon blasting. Ahhh!
Warrior and faithful friend
There was a stopover in Jingpu, and I sat outside in the shade in the tiny little bus station. I drank three ice-cold Taiwan beers in 45 minutes, waiting for the next bus. It was bliss! The ride back was a sleepy dream of staring out the window at endless blue bays and rocky coastline.