* take nothing for granted    
Unless otherwise indicated all photos © Richard McKie 2005 - 2020

Who is Online

We have 48 guests and no members online

Article Index

Kenting National Park

 

The penultimate morning was spent in ‘Taiwan’s top tourist attraction’.

We spent some hours negotiating winding roads, that required buses to pass in single file while others waited on wider sections and gave our driver a chance to display his skills, with jagged rocks and other vehicles passing just centimetres from our sides.

 

There is a spectacular gorge in which the water can rise quite high.

 

 

During Typhoons can water volumes can grow sufficiently to sweep away bridges.

 

This bridge has been replaced several times

 

 

These narrow older roads were built by the army in Chiang Kai-Shek’s time. He needed to keep his huge army occupied and his son Chiang Ching-kuo understood that an army with time on its hands is a dangerous thing and proposed the Cross - Island Highway that gives access to this park.  In 1956 serious work began with as many as 10,000 workers using hand tools and explosives.  Many of the soldiers were veterans of the failed military campaign against the PLA on the mainland.

 

 

The soldiers and other workers had their pay withheld and were unable to leave.  Thus they were effectively slaves.  In excess of 450 were killed in the initial construction period, during which a single lane was built with passing sidings to allow traffic in both directions.  The road has since been widened using modern machinery and methods but is still frequently closed by floods and earthquakes and there have been additional deaths.  There is a shrine to the memory of the dead workers that is now a tourist focus.

 

Shrine to the dead workers

 

For lunch we went to a chicken place that roasts chickens en-mass in large spherical wood fired ovens and then presents them at your table to be ripped apart and the meat torn into chopstick manageable pieces by hand. 

 

 

Heat resisting gloves and plastic over gloves are provided.  Lots of fun.

 

 

 


    Have you read this???     -  this content changes with each opening of a menu item


Travel

Turkey

 

 

 

 

In August 2019 we returned to Turkey, after fourteen years, for a more encompassing holiday in the part that's variously called Western Asia or the Middle East.  There were iconic tourist places we had not seen so with a combination of flights and a rental car we hopped about the map in this very large country. 

We began, as one does, in Istanbul. 

Read more ...

Fiction, Recollections & News

Announcing Leander

 

(Born Wednesday 14 May 2014 at 5:23 AM, 3.3 kg 53 cm)

 

Marvellous.  Emily, my eldest daughter, has given birth to my first natural Grandchild (I have three step-grandchildren).  She and Guido have named him Leander.  Mother and child are well.

Read more ...

Opinions and Philosophy

World Population – again and again

 

 

David Attenborough hit the headlines yet again in 15 May 2009 with an opinion piece in New Scientist. This is a quotation:

 

‘He has become a patron of the Optimum Population Trust, a think tank on population growth and environment with a scary website showing the global population as it grows. "For the past 20 years I've never had any doubt that the source of the Earth's ills is overpopulation. I can't go on saying this sort of thing and then fail to put my head above the parapet."

 

There are nearly three times as many people on the planet as when Attenborough started making television programmes in the 1950s - a fact that has convinced him that if we don't find a solution to our population problems, nature will:
"Other horrible factors will come along and fix it, like mass starvation."

 

Bob Hawke said something similar on the program Elders with Andrew Denton:

 

Read more ...

Terms of Use                                           Copyright