Orchid Island Revisited (Aug 18 - 20, 2008) - Part 2

Continued from yesterday's post about my trip to Orchid Island, Taiwan.

The next morning (August 19, 2008), this was the beautiful island view welcoming us. I could get use to this island life.

After our breakfast, my friend and I headed to a nearby beach to enjoy the ocean.



A dead crab in one of the tidal pools. Probably too hot and cooked to death.

Afterwards, the hostel host brought out to the sea to do some snorkeling. The world underneath the sea surface looked so different with different type of corals and tropical fishes. The host pointed out some corals for us, but after a while, we had enough of the rocking of the waves and decided to call it a day. The host, on the other hand, continued to snokel to catch some fish for dinner.

While we were resting on the beach, a local fisherman was hammering a rock against another. Creeping closer, we realized that he was breaking the shells of a whole bunch of hermit crabs. We asked him what those were for, and he explained that these are their natural baits for catching tropical fishes. Make sense, I guess.

When we headed back to the hostel for more resting. I came across this beautiful bug crawling on the floor. It was missing several limbs, so I guess it won't be alive for long.
Calliphara nobilis

Our friend returned from his collecting and he showed us this little fellow. For the local people, Pachyrhynchus tobafolius is considered a "lucky bug". Why? Because women all want to marry a man who could squish this hardy little bugs with his fingers. Sounds like a stupid folktale, but it may be the reason why there are so few only these bugs around.


Pachyrhynchus tobafolius

Afterwards, we headed to check out the lighthouse on the island, which is considered the highest lighthouse in all of Taiwan because it is placed at the mountain top. The scenes to the lighthouse were just incredible and awing.

Unknown bird species.





That's the lighthouse. But the gate to it was locked at the time, so we couldn't go any further. Too bad.

Along the route, we came across more insects.


Phyllophorina kotoshoensis


Molted exoskeleton of Cryptotympana kotoshoensis

So Blue!

Later, we went to check out another high point on the island.


When we came down (by mopeds), we stopped by a nearby beach to check out the intertidal zones.


Some guppy-like fish were swimming in the pools, as well as some seastars hiding away.

Like this one. I did not rip its arms off. It was already like that when I picked it up, I swear.


Gorgeous view.

Another roadkilled animal. This time, a crab.

Now, one thing to know about Taiwan (and most of Asia) during summer is the numerous typhoons (or hurricanes) that we receive. So, while we planned for a four-day trip here on Orchid Island, a typhoon was approaching us from the Philippines. Therefore, we could either stay on the island for an extended period if the typhoon does hit us, or we could cut our trip short and head back at the next available flight that we can catch. Not wanting to take any chances, we decided to take the latter plan. So, today could be our last night here on Orchid Island (and it was), and we decided to go check out the sunset before we head for dinner.



We came to this wide plain field to view the sunsets, and the views were again gorgeous. I seriously believe there are very few things in this world that are more beautiful than the clouds of tropics, especially the ones before a typhoon.







Now, after the skywatching, my friend and I were trying to find the Master student and his companions. But there was no luck, so we went for dinner on our own. As we later found out, our friend (the Master student) was hit by a construction truck and he was quite seriously injuried (e.g. gashed thighs, arms, etc). Long story short, the hospital on the island was ill-equiped so while my friend received the required treatments, he needed to go back to Taiwan mainland first thing tomorrow morning to get adequate check-ups.

Since we weren't the only tourists on the island and the typhoon was approaching, many needed to leave the island unscheduled. Therefore, people actually need to come to the airport after it closes, write their names and contact numbers on boxes or carboards papers, line them up in front of the door, and hope to get their names on the waitlist for tomorrow's flight.

Anyways, we basically spend the entire next day (August 20, 2008) in the airport hoping to go back to Taiwan. The waitlist was long - about 100 or more passengers waiting for 5 flights that carry 20 people each (actually, three or four flights only because the first few were cancelled). Can't say it was the most exciting way to end the trip but our friend's health was more important, and we can always come again next time.

The view from our hostel that morning.

Took a picture of a dead millipede outside the airport while I was bored.

Airport runway. You can sort of see the waves crashing against the rocks in the picture.

Some ladies were bring these juicy-looking lobsters back to Taiwan mainland. I think it's okay since we are still in the same country and they go into our stomach anyways.

A plane arriving from mainland means one more plane going back to the mainland.

Some angel-wing like clouds. Don't be fooled by it, a typhoon was really coming.


A friend that we made in the airport. The island stray dog. Everybody knows him and cares for him. Such is the life of an island stray dog. I wish my life is like that too.

Anyways, that's my summer story for this holiday season. Feliz Navidad and Hauoli Makahiki Hou!!

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