NOTE TO OUR SPONSORS...
Dear GoTaiwan.com and Tourism Bureau - so kind to sponsor and organize and pay for this trip. If I may make an assumption, your mission could translate likely to something like: "Expose media of adventure travel and cycling industries to the beauty opportunities in Taiwan, so they have a great time and tell everybody they know and every media outlet they have- so to get exponentially more tourists to our Fermosa (beautiful) island."... (*asterik - then we can take back China and be in power and prove the "David and Goliath" story to be poetic justice).
Just going out on a limb - if you want to show your best side, and sure you don't want to overspend your budget - I still don't suggest putting your evangelists in the back two isolated rows on the plane, directly... DIRECTLY in front of the prisoner in shackles and handcuffs.
A 7-11 stop for Pringles and mystery juice is not going to hold me over for another plane trip (50 min hop to South East Taitung), bus ride for over an hour to the "raft" river float, then bus back to check in at the hotel after 6. Just another dually noted piece of advice... feed your media.
After the brief view of Taipei, then the unusual flight experience, we directly were bussed North of Taitung to board likely native traditional rafts. A couple fun tragedies that included swimming and losing my beloved Specialized Endo Pink Cycling glasses *sigh* and Wireless Mark's phone AND sunglasses, were balanced out with the most excellent attitude of the group and kindness of our guide.
Joe, Canadian "Neeve", and Cola Mark.
Bev and Kate - while Wireless Mark has last moments with his gear before sliding into the river exposing circuits to water. Hrmph!
After seriously combing the shallow rocky bottom - crawling around like a crab, I resume to Cap't Morgan's way of searching for one's lost sunglasses.
Driftwood is everywhere. Some made into clever and beautiful sculptures. HUGE piles of gigantic post Typhoon debri so large, that I need to figure out a way to photograph the stacks and stacks of wood.
At a lookout along the highway that had stragglers finishing a 250km bike ride - was this beach and tree. Look closely at the tree, and you'll see spiders the size of my hand. No fibbing.