I left GaoXiung at a fairly early 11AM, this being due to the fact that I had no company and was able to move unadulterated. Once again I was blessed with sunny weather, sparsely-trafficked roads, and long stretches of flat land. The weather would hold out, but the flat part turned hilly as I got closer to HengChun. I am always stupidly deceived by maps. The map always shows the road as being flat, but I as I found many a time, was far from. Even if I had a contour map, it wouldn’t have properly displayed the magnitude of riding up the smallest mountain or hill. Then again, accompanying every up is a down, which is rewarding but never seems long or fulfilling enough as the uphill part would make you believe. "Georgia","serif";">I was headed to my friend Max’s place, the Ipanema Beach House. I had stayed at his place two years ago while hitchhiking around the island. I had met up with a friend George on that trip and we had met some of his friends and stayed at the beach house. It is in HengChun, often confused (also by myself) with KenDing. Max was a surfer who had lived in Brazil and other places before he decided to settle down in HengChun and open a bed and breakfast (they are called so in Taiwan, but there is no breakfast). He had long dread-like locks and spoke with the energy of the waves he rides, playful and full of joy. Upon returning this time, he had a military cut, and an expecting wife, along with his surf-inspired personality. He said with the recent release of the movie, Cape No. 7, a Taiwanese film shot in the vicinity, business has been good. This area had been popular with the beach going crowds and surfers looking to get away from the smog-filled cities. The movie opened the area to many other kinds of people wanting to see some of the places in the movie.
My plan was to stay in HengChun for two days, this being the most southern part and a marker as the half-way point of my trip. I also wanted time for rest and relaxation on my trip. As I mentioned before, during this trip, I always felt rushed to get somewhere, meet someone, stay out of the dark, or get started. Now would be the time to forget about the schedule for a while and just chill on the beach. It was so nice to have a break. A whole day of rest was all, but it was enough.