Saturday, June 20, 2015

Dragon boat racing and boiled eggs - 20 June 2015

This past weekend was Dragon Boat Festival where we got to eat sticky rice dumplings (Zhongzi - pronounced something like Jongtzi). Derek and Joy had come out from Taipei. Joy, Derek's  Taiwanese girlfriend had also never seen a dragonboat race! We were quite surprised, she just laughed and said she always watched on TV. We stayed and watched for about half an hour, it was quite exciting.
Some of the races were heats and others were division finals, I think we watched the high school boys team finals which were quite impressive.                                                                                                                                       The competition is a knockout the first two teams in a race go through to the next race, the other two are knocked out. It looks like the boat is steered by a "professional" who is not from the team. 

We made bets on who would win, red, blue, green or yellow

They raise their oars when they are announced
When teams get close to the finish line they have a guy in the bow who leans forward to catch a flag which determines who won. Some of the races were extremely close.

Very well timed strokes

Teams grabbing their flags

We then took a ride up into the mountains to cook our lunch of eggs and mielies (corn) in a basin of boiling hot slightly sulfurous water. My first experience of geothermal cooking. The place is at the same location as a failed geothermal power plant, but it doesn't have an industrial feel at all.

Here I am busy cooking the mielies

Derek cooking the eggs
The eggs were soft boiled in about 10 minutes. They then have cold water basins so that you can cool the food off before eating it. Very well thought out. They had even tapped the water into pools so you could sit and warm your feet. The best part of all, you didn't have to pay a cent!

After lunch we drove around in the mountains and then headed back towards Yilan for supper. On the way Derek spotted a field full of sunflowers, we stopped and found there were a number of fields full of flowers. It was a good place for some photos, so we took many.
Renalda smelling the orange flowers

I must have said something funny

Some people offered to take this pic

Then they recommended all kinds of poses, their English was good

I'm not sure what they smelled like, my nose is perpetually blocked

Renalda insisted on taking these picks... guess who is the better photographer!
We then took a long ride down to the Yilan night market for some supper which consisted of random snacks, and went home to be in bed by 10. Joy and Derek went to the beach to watch the stars and discuss Tsunamis.

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