Last week was 10/10 day in Taiwan, which is known as Taiwan’s national holiday. So we all got a day off and were very happy and excited. I decided to go with a couple of friends to Yelio GeoPark on the north coast of Taiwan. It’s not a big park but it has some amazing rock formations dating back…a long time. The link provides a bit of brief history. After grabbing lunch we got to the park and I saw a guy there that I had accidentally bumped into in the restroom earlier that day. He was hanging out with his friends just inside the entrance. As soon as he spotted me, he made a beeline over and asked if he could take a picture with me. I swear. This happens every time I venture outside of Taipei. For as many people who have random pictures of me posted all over face book I should be famous. Why aren’t I? My two girlfriends, Nina and Jersey, looked shocked. I don’t think they understood what was happening or what the guy wanted at first, but at this point I’m pretty used to it. I thought about refusing (it crossed my mind to charge him) but then decided not to be a dick and just take the picture. At least he asked. As soon as I said yes, his entire group of friends leaped up to cram themselves into the shot. I made the girls pose too. If I had to do it then it’s only fair that they should too. They ended up snapping a couple before we extricated ourselves. It gets a little annoying but I have to laugh. I don’t think I’ve ever asked someone to take a picture with me unless they were famous. Not even then come to think of it.

Approaching the promontory.

Yelio is amazing. The rock formations are unique. The hoodoo stones look like gigantic stone bulbs planted on top of long thick stems made of sandstone. We walked around a few of them occasionally stepping near the surf. Nina got yelled at by the park guides for stepping over the red line painted near the edge of the cliffs. I get yelled at for touching one of the stones. Those guys take their job seriously. However, the area I liked the best was the promontory away from the actual formations. Step-by-step, as we walked further and further along the promontory, it began to feel we were entering another world. The sound of people and the city fell away, with only the occasional sounds being carried by the wind. The area was peaceful and quiet. We walked into a small cave that led back out to the promontory, and meandered down the coast for

Nina and Jersey in front of the cave.

probably an hour. It was the cleanest coast I’ve ever seen in Taiwan, and the most exotic. The entire promontory appeared to be made of sandstone. Hundreds of pools littered the stone near the water, constantly pounded by the relentless surf. The wind picked up and the sun was blotted out of the sky, but despite threatening to rain, we only had to endure occasional sprinkles. The sandstone was covered with hundreds of ridges layered one on top of the other. We chanced on a cliff overlooking the coast with a pack of wild dogs lolling around at its top. One stood, king of all he surveyed, and stared down at us curiously for a time. Another made his way down and picked through the sand for something to eat. There were areas completely covered by sandstone, with unique formations in every direction. In many areas water had etched away at the stone leaving behind beautifully carved lines in hues of red, orange, and copper. I could have stayed there for hours.

This doesn’t show the half of it.

Eventually, we made our way back and explored more of the hoodoo stones, but time was running short and we had a bus to catch. While we waited, we walked through the tourist market and picked up fried fish full of roe, and toasted fish flavored with sesame seeds. They are a common snack in Taiwan and I because I’d had them before, I picked up a bag for myself. We couldn’t stay all day, regretfully, but I found this trip to be an enjoyable excursion from Taipei. I definitely recommend an afternoon at Yehlio.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.