October 12, 1961 – Formosa

Evergreen Hotel, Sun Moon Lake, Formosa – Clear

     The air was cool and pleasant this morning when I woke up. It felt good waking up to the fresh air scent of the lake water.  I was sorry to leave here so soon and I wished I had more time to just rest and recuperate here.  I was amazed that my body still had so many aches and sore spots.   

      After breakfast we checked out of the hotel and I took one last look of the lake.  It was so beautiful and the air so clear you could even hear little sounds from far away.  I hated to climb aboard the bus for what I knew was going to be a long drive back to Taipei.  We needed to be in Taipei by 4pm so we could get tickets for our plane trip to Hong Kong at 5:30pm.  Currently we were one day behind on our itinerary so this leg of our trip would catch us up to where we were expected to be. 

      The bus drove and drove and drove for what seemed to be forever.  It didn’t help that the roads were so bad.  I knew that I was going to be even sorer when I woke up tomorrow from all the bouncing around I’d had from this trip.  Every time I tried to doze off there was a bounce that woke me up so sleeping was impossible.  I tried to enjoy the scenery as we passed by.  I saw several obviously prosperous farms growing rice and tea shrubs that looked better than the ones we’d seen on our way going to Sun Moon Lake.  Sally told us that Formosa uses buffalo or oxen for their primary meat source other than fish since they don’t import beef.  Edith and I noticed that the villages reminded us of those we’d seen on other trips before to Mexico.

      Once we made it back to Taipei we took another CAT airplane to Hong Kong.  I never thought I would be so glad to get out of a bus and onto an aircraft.  I was pleased that I was able to take some pictures of Hong Kong from the air as we flew into the airport.  Our flight had been a good and once we cleared customs we were taken to the Peninsula Hotel where we would be staying for several days. 

First View of Hong Kong

Hong Kong Harbor from the Peninsula Hotel

Hong Kong Harbor from the Hotel

      I was glad when we finally arrived at the hotel 8pm.   Once we were in our room I pulled out my contact information for pen pal Peggy Aw.  I was excited to finally meet Peggy in person.  She had been introduced to me several years ago by Harry White a long time friend of mine and my parents before me.   Peggy was Harry’s adopted granddaughter and in all the years we’d written back and forth I’d become quite fond of her.  After I’d agreed to go on this trip I’d contacted Peggy to make arrangements to meet while I was here in Hong Kong since this was where she lived n an apartment with her mother.  Now finally it was going to happen.  It felt so strange to finally be hear Peggy and know I would meet her in person soon.  We made arrangements to meet late the next morning so we could spend some time together. 

      After I talked with Peggy Edith and I decided to walk around to some shops we’d seen near our hotel even though we were tired.  We had both been looking forward to staying in Hong Kong because of its reputation as a shopper’s paradise.  We spent several hours wandering through stores we found and we were quite pleased with what we found. 

      By the time we returned to our room I was exhausted.  As I put my things away and got ready for bed I couldn’t help but look forward to the following day.

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