On our 3rd day in Hualien we went on a mini mountain adventure (we got a bit lost), cooled down in a river stream, and paddled around the lake where the Dragon Boat Festival was held.
We ate breakfast at a small shop that Zoe used to frequent when she was younger and lived in Hualien. I had a pastry filled with peanut butter and delicious ice cold soy milk.
We drove toward the mountains behind Hualien to check out the view and in the process we got a bit lost around the narrow winding roads. This lead us to a few interesting stops, including accidentally stopping at a cemetery.
We drove around the lake where the Dragon Boat Festival was being held and figured we had enough time before the races to cool down in a stream near by. We splashed around and had some zongzi (pyramid-shaped glutinous rice wrapped in reed or bamboo leaves); ours was filled with pork.
Click to enlarge the panorama:
Afterward, we continued our drive around the area and went to the Hualien Sugar Factory in Guanfu. They have over 30 different natural ice cream flavors; I had the peanut and taro. The area was full of people enjoying the great weather, their ice cream, and the large pond full of carp. There was also a small section near the back full of honey bees and a lady talking about them and how great they are (I highly agree). I miss honey. Nicole! Can you send me some? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guangfu,_Hualien
The ox was NOT enjoying this selfie.
Wood oven baked pizza!
After the sugar factory, we drove around a small town fully decorated with these murals depicting their history.
We finished off the day by driving back to the lake and catching the end of the Dragon Boat race and renting a paddle boat to relax in. I love paddle boats. I really really really do. It’s one of those strange things I always want to do if I find a city or place has them.
Since it was a festival, there were lots of booths and shows to enjoy. This kid and his parents were definitely enjoying this dance show.
As were these people…
And my favorite old man as well.
Before leaving back to Taipei, we had dinner with Zoe’s mom. She was so awesome the entire time I was there, I hope I get to meet her again soon.
And just for fun: