余(魚)眼看臺灣 2014 - 第三部曲 - 台東綠島 潛水之旅
Taiwan in Fisheye 2014 - Part IV - Taitung, Green Island
This is the last part of our series on our trip in Taiwan. Hope you guys have enjoyed the posts! Till next time.
這天終於到了，Cedric 來台灣最期待的一件事，就是去綠島潛水。 我們搭夜間火車到台東，台灣的東南部，是個聽說很有大自然美麗風光的地方。我們帶著疲憊卻興奮的心情前往 四天三夜綠島潛水之旅！
Of all the things to do in Taiwan, Cedric had looked forward most to scuba dive at Green Island. Green Island is the most highly recommended dive site of Taiwan (others being Orchid Island aka "Lanyu", Kenting, and Penghu). It also seemed like a popular summer vacation spot. Us going there in the winter raised many eyebrows.
We took an overnight train to Taitung; just to play it safe, we booked the business coach, which turned out to be more spacious. You can even swing your chair/s around to face your travel companions behind you. Though not an uncomfortable ride, unless you were a sound sleeper, the bumps and vibrations will probably wake you up from time to time throughout the night.
After more than six hours on the train, we arrived at Taitung just before 6am.
We were surprised to find that the shops in the station were open so early, so we grabbed some breakfast before we browsed for a cab. Ruby picked the driver she was most comfortable with, and tried to sound as "local" as possible to the taxi uncle. She even got us a slightly cheaper rate of NT$250 to get us to the ferry.
We had been warned about the ferry ride to Green Island. An hour of very choppy waves. Even Cedric who doesn't usually take motion-sickness pills took some just in case. He was glad he did. Upon boarding, we headed to the front of the ship, but some kind old sailors told us it was better to sit at the back as they loaded the front with goods and supplies. The boat was relatively empty, and at the last minute, a large group of tourists arrived. Their excited chatter gradually turned to silence as the boat left dock and began rocking. The silence was then broken by the infectious sounds of people throwing up. Most of us just tried to sleep during the journey.
Our friendly guide (brother cheng of "chufu") and contact picked us up from the ferry terminal, and took us to his hostel. We were immediately greeted by his two adorable dogs, Wasabi and Pangpang ("Chubby"). Pretty cozy place and we had the whole hostel to ourselves.
拿到電動腳踏車囉（圖上是租貨的地方）！ 迫不急待去環島，我們民宿阿飛哥說，綠島約２２公里就可以環一圈。騎摩托車不停的話，只要３０分鐘！（圖下為 Ruby 叫 Cedric 動作快點）
Check out the town, about 5-10mins drive from the ferry area. We picked up our electric bikes as we did not have Taiwanese/International licenses. They were generally fast enough for most things especially when you are sightseeing. Like mainland Taiwan, Green Island is also a very hilly place. Drive too fast and not pay attention and you might drive off a cliff. The place reminded Cedric of Maui (Hawaii). There were quite a lot of things to see for a small island. We stayed there for 4 days, and it felt like a decent amount of time to spend there. If you went diving like we did, you can probably even stay for a week or more and not feel bored; if hiking and exploring is your sort of thing (we only got to bike around the island once).
在離開綠島以前，我們並不知道綠島的靈異事件還滿出名的。這邊（圖上）好像是叫做＂燕子洞＂，不確定正確地點因為我們其實是誤打誤撞騎到這裡來，我們邊騎就邊覺得很不對勁，路上還看一座很紅很紅的廟。一到達這個盡頭（就是圖上），忽然有一陣大風往我們吹，彷彿叫我們不要再前進了。那風大到很嚇人，然後 Ruby 發現右手邊的山壁上竟是一堆石碑／墳墓。非常嚇人！ 回到溫哥華後才想起要查詢綠島的鬼故事，才發現原來我們誤打誤撞的這裡是很陰的。 我是很希歡冒險，但是那時候我心裡一直很毛所以不敢前進，現在回想起來好現我一向都是相信直覺﹢安全第一為準。
We went off the main road onto a dirt road once, and we ended up at a beach with a cemetery right next to it. We were thankful it wasn't night time when it happened. It was a nice beach, but just as we got off our bikes, there were strong winds blowing directly at us. It was as if the heavens (or the supernatural) did not want us going any further.
半路上看到一隻寵物鹿！在綠島上，養鹿（像小鹿斑比）是很見很普通的事情。我們問了主人是否可以拍照，她很大方地說＂喔好啊！＂ 鹿也不怕人，很乖 也不怕我們摸牠。
Towards the end of our round trip around the island, we came across some goats and deer which were kept as pets. With the permission of the owner, we said hi to the deer and took some pictures with it. It must've been raised in captivity for awhile, for it was calm and even seem to enjoy being petted. We saw a fawn awhile later in its "kennel", which seemed a lot more scared, hiding in its corner looking cold. It was probably caught recently. It seemed ironic later that night to have had deer for dinner... We don't know if anything in the restaurants are caught on the island, as we heard that even fish was brought in, not caught offshore; though people go fishing for cuttlefish and lobsters.
We came across this "mini Great Wall". It was really windy, and being at such heights seemed dangerous at times, but the view was worth it.
The winter winds of Taiwan/Green Island. First time I ever felt like I could've been blown over by winds.
Near the hot springs are these hilly grasslands which reminded Cedric of the Mongolian Steppes, or perhaps even a little of the Scottish Highlands. There were what seemed like wild "mountain" goats who confidently ran down onto the cliff walls when Cedric approached them. The wind was strong here too, blowing out to sea; not a terribly good idea to track down the goats.
The hot springs. Supposedly one of the only three salt/sea water hot springs in the world, Green Island has one of the 3! On a good day (like in the Summer), they pump hot water all the way to small pools right on the beach. At the time we were there, the smaller outlying pools were submerged in the high tide, so we stuck with mostly the indoor pools.
On our last day at Green Island, we took a quick walk around the beaches of the town we were at before heading to the ferry. The volcanic rocks/formations at the beach resembled some alien landscape.
這四天在綠島過得很開心，看到了很多不同的人事物。 這邊彷彿就像台灣的夏威夷，也許沒有那麼華麗的包裝，但是樸實的環境以及原始的海底風光卻是很吸引人的！第四天我們終於要回台北囉，有機會我一定還會再來綠島一趟（雖然坐船很痛苦）。謝謝你 綠島 給我們很棒的回憶！
Thus concludes our four day stay on Green Island. It is a beautiful island, great if you like exploring the outdoors, but at the time of our stay it didn't seem like there were any fancy resorts (not that there needs to be). We listened to some horror stories from our guide while waiting for the ferry. Thankfully, we only asked about such stuff towards the end of the trip. The waves were not as choppy this time, so Cedric snuck around the boat to get a few pictures.
我們第一個正式的潛水影片，也是我們第一次岸潛，比船潛困難度高很多！ 整整花了三天，潛水五次，五個不同的海底所拍攝的。 我們拍完才能深深感受，地理頻道啊，Ｄｉｓｃｏｖｅｒｙ頻道有多厲害、多艱難才能拍出他們那樣超水準！ 我們會繼續潛水，希望技術能越來越好！也感謝台東綠島的居福潛水民宿 以及 帶我們下海三天的導潛－全哥，對我們照顧有佳，Ruby + Cedric 新年快樂的那張合照還是靠全哥幫我們拍攝的 ！
Behold, our very first dive film! It is shot over 5 dives in 3 days. The dives did not disappoint. Our dive guide, brother Quan, was very patient with us. It was the first time we were doing shore dives, and boy, was getting in and out of the water exhausting. It is much easier to do boat dives, just dropping into the water instead of trying not to slip, fall and sprain or cut yourselves wading through the shallow rocks with heavy equipment.
Though it is winter, the waters are around 25 degrees Celsius, generally a little warmer than on ground. Visibility was pretty awesome most of the times, the seabed was full of beautiful soft corals (where we were) like a huge underwater garden.
There were a lot of fish that were generally not afraid of humans. Cedric loves scuba because there's few other chances for you to get close to wild animals. The fish here are also a little used to people feeding them so they would also crowd around you at times. Though such a practice is usually frowned upon, we learned that it's not so bad at a place like Green Island because there's barely anyone there during the low seasons, and the life there have to find their own means of survival instead of depending on tourists all year round.
This dive trip marked Ruby's 9th dive and Cedric's 10th dive. Hopefully there'll be another chance to go back there to explore the other dive sites!