Saturday, June 18, 2011

Girls Weekend Trip to Smangus Part 1

I attend a bible study on Wednesday nights filled with women from different countries and nationalities -- the fun thing is that we all know the Lord and want to study His word.  We have been studying 1 Peter 2 & 3 since I've arrived here in Taiwan it's a great study, sometimes we get sidetracked and start talking about personal experiences relating to the bible study.  It's my favorite day (night) of my week.  Knowing that I get to see my ladies and study the word.  We have two ladies who will be leaving this summer to return home so we decided to go on a girls weekend trip.  One of the ladies (Cookie) planned out our whole trip of what we were going to do, how much it was gonna cost and did basically all the grunt work that I wouldn't have been able to do.
We decided to go to Smangus which is a village up in the mountains.  The Smangus people also know as God's people are native to Taiwan.  They have their own way of life up there -- there is a school that only has 7 students at this time, then they have a church which was packed to the gills on Saturday night (it was wonderful hearing the praise and worship songs in a different language) and the have a restaurant, some convenience store and an amazing coffee shop!!  (Go into all that later)
We started our journey to Smangus at 7:30 am.  We had places to stop along the way to take pictures and just stretch out legs.  Our first stop was Neiwan -- Cookie was our amazing tour guide and showed us all sorts of different things and explained the ins and outs of the different vendors.  She was telling us that there are a lot of Hakka people who live in Neiwan and then showed us some more of the traditional Hakka foods which is a lot of dried things because it would travel well.  I got a frozen fruit bar -- green mango (interesting flavor) for my lunch and we continued on our journey to see the suspension bridge just outside of Neiwan and then a huge Spiritual Rock which used to have a temple right below it but it got blown over during and typhoon and then was washed away by the water.  We drove some more and stopped to see a statue of some famous native guy wish I could remember the tribe and the name but it escapes me.  After that we stopped to see a rock that looked like a frog -- it did look like  a frog but I was more impressed with the gorgeous water and having fun kissing our frogs to reveal our princes!! :-) Once we got past the frogs we had to stop at a sentry post so that we could give them all the information they needed so we could go to the mountains.
A beautiful 85 year old women!  We were just amazed by her beauty and then even more amazed when she told she was 85! 
 The way to Smangus is a very terrifying route, it's very narrow roads (narrow as in only one car can go on the road) with lots of twists and turns along the way.  I was getting sleep but needed to keep an on the roads to make sure that we didn't fall off a ledge or get hit by a car (the car thing almost happened a couple of times-- not that I could do anything to prevent getting hit by a car or falling off the ledge wasn't the driver but it was more mental then anything).  Wish I had taken pictures but just forgot or maybe was to terrified to think about it.  They had buses going up the mountain to go to Smangus and the buses would just go up the mountain. 
Finally made it to Smangus and we drove straight to the church which is where we were staying.....unpacked ourselves and then headed off to find the waterfall hiking path.  The hike to the waterfall was gorgeous but a little bit scary (steep) and I know that I scared a couple of women because they were terrified of me falling especially with me being pregnant.  Thankfully we made it to the waterfalls and we could take some pictures there.  I felt so at peace while I was down by the waterfalls.  There is something about waterfalls that get me every time!  Walked back to Smangus so that we could make back in time for dinner. 
They only have one restaurant in Smangus and it's a family style meal meaning there are dishes of food and you pick what you want and put it in your rice bowl to eat.  Still not really able to eat meat (pregnancy issue) so I was thankful for the many varieties of veggies that I could eat.  They also had a fully cooked fish with the skin on it (which Mom be surprised I tried some) and it was okay. 
We ended our night with a visit to the coffee shop.  Now you wouldn't expect a  very small village to have a good coffee shop but Smangus has really amazing coffee to offer you.  (I wouldn't know because I didn't drink any but I was told that by all the girls!)  The coffee shop also had other ice blended drinks that you could chose.  If we had come in July we could have gotten an ice blended peach smoothie......so wanted one of those!!
It started to rain as we walked back to the church and took a shower.  The nice thing about Smangus was that because it was in the mountains it was alot cooler so it was actually chilly as we went to sleep and we needed to wear long pj's and use the thick blankets!!  I thought it was wonderful especially after having to go to sleep with the ac on and still being warm. Went to sleep so that I was ready to start our adventure in the morning!

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Welcome to our blog! We try to keep this current for family and friends. We moved to Taiwan in February 2011 and are trying to keep in contact with loved ones through this blog. We love comments and will respond back if you have questions or comments!! Thanks for checking us out!!

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