Opera revisited

On January 20, 2015, in Opera, photography, by omegaforest

After a few months of hiatus, I am back at the opera. The backstage to be exact. It was a new year, new start and looking for new inspirations.

I still spent most of my time backstage. The makeup moments were so magical. You almost felt that time had freeze for a few seconds.

Expect the unexpected

Expect the unexpected

Young or old, they memorized their lines. No shortcuts

Young or old, they memorized their lines. No shortcuts

There were no makeup artist on backstage. All performers were responsible for their own makeup.

Hairdo

Hairdo

Drawing the eye brown...

Drawing the eye brown…

and adding some nice macho moustache!

and adding some nice macho mustache!

Objects

The troupe master also double up as musician

The troupe master also double up as musician

Something we seldom get to see. Rehearsal.

At times, the troupe would perform new show. We would see them do a walk through and rehearsed their lines.

At times, the troupe would perform new show. We would see them do a walk through and rehearsed their lines.

Primary One

On January 5, 2015, in family, by omegaforest

2015 was another significant year. We have moved into a new estate and more importantly, Megan goes to Primary one.

We are not morning person. I could imagined kiddo waking up at 5am for school.

A feel of the classroom

A feel of the classroom

We found ourselves transported back to our primary school days. Each parents sat at their child’s table, following the instruction from the form teacher. She had prepare 70 slides, which all of us diligently follow through. The difference was, the mobile phone became the most advanced tool for taking notes.

A little play during orientation

A little play during orientation

The modern day classroom had not changed much. Except for the whiteboard, the tables and chairs looked so familiar. School bags were more graphical with the Frozen theme high up on the chart!

Nothing much has changed in classroom furniture

Nothing much has changed in classroom furniture

2015 bag trend!

2015 bag trend!

The new school compound was huge and spacious. The lift looked like a luxury item! Looking back, I used to climb 5 floors to my P6 classroom. I did not recalled lift installed in my secondary and JC blocks.

Lift!

Lift!

We met Megan in the canteen. The P4 sister assigned to guide her looked kind of worried. They were running around and eventually we found out that on the first day of school, she had lost her water bottle! Interestingly, we did not find out what she had for lunch!

Looking on the bright side, she seemed to have blend in well. Perhaps no homework had been assigned! As the P1 returned to the classroom, the parents went back for a 2nd round of talk.

A brief moment before she heads back to class

A brief moment before she heads back to class

A new journey!
For many of the P1, it was a new experience heading back home. To me, the school bus was an interesting space as we get to interact with friends from different classes and levels. We used to play cards, games and even pointed middle fingers to strangers at public bus stops. During my days, it took me an hour to reach home. I had made many good friends but were also bullied by a few seniors. School bus journeys were still an awesome memories.

Going home...

Going home…

Now my child was retracing our footsteps and we wished her the best!

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Location: Chishang to Liyu Lake
Distance: 100km
Ride Difficulty: Easy. Country road

Chishang > Liyu Lake

Chishang > Liyu Lake

Today’s road took us northbound towards Liyu Lake, a stone throw away from Hualien city. We will pass by Yuli>Ruisui>Shoufeng. We will officially ride into Hualien country. This segment was about 100km. Mainly flat road with beautiful countryside scenery.

Leaving Chishang was like leaving a heavenly place. But we made a promise to be back. There was a lot more to explore here. Perhaps a 2-3 days stay would be more fruitful. With 100km ahead of us, we started out earlier today. We did not have the chance to bit farewell to 小黑。 It was a wonderful stay at his mingsu!

Heading out, we saw a theme restaurant just beside the guest house. It was beautifully decorated, transforming an old train cabin into a dining room.. We shall save it for the next trip.

How about dining on a train!

How bout dining on a train!

ROUTE 9

We left Chishang. It was another cold morning. The padi fields extended into the horizon where they merged into the mountain range. It was a sight that we can never get sick of. We cycled along route 9 which connects to Route 193. Today we cycle along 乡间小路!

走在乡间的小路上
暮归的老牛是我同伴
蓝天配朵夕阳在胸膛
缤纷的云彩是晚霞的衣裳…

Moving out of Chishang

Moving out of Chishang

I love the feeling of cycling into town.

I love the feeling of cycling into town.

Chishang was behind us. But we had the padi fields, who accompanied us for miles!

Chishang was behind us. But we had the padi fields, who accompanied us for miles!

ROUTE 9 to 193

Instead of heading to the coastal road, we have decided to opt for the countryside experience. From Route 9, we turned into Route 193. There were significantly less cars along this stretch of road. There were also less padi fields here. A sign that we are leaving the valley. However, it was still as beautiful.

Center map
Traffic
Bicycling
Transit
Google MapsGet Directions
A 7-11 marked the turn off to Route 193

A 7-11 marked the turn off to Route 193

Almost no traffic.

Almost no traffic.

There were too many photo opportunities and we had to restrain taking more awesome photo!

There were too many photo opportunities and we had to restrain taking more awesome photo!

Instead of cycling on the road, the cycling path runs parallel to the rail tracks

Instead of cycling on the road, the cycling path runs parallel to the rail tracks

Each town has its own cycling path. Very well marked map.

Each town along 193 has its own cycling path. Most have a detailed and well illustrated map.

51km @ RUISUI

Our lunch stop was at Ruisui, a mid sized town popular for tea, hot spring and white water rafting.

One of my favorite dish. Sliced beef served chilled!

One of my favorite dish. Sliced beef served chilled!

Ruisui Train Station

Ruisui Train Station

LEFT @ T JUNCTION
From Ruisui, we turned left at the T Junction towards Hualien. The 7-11 at the junction was another popular regroup point for tourers.

Center map
Traffic
Bicycling
Transit
Google MapsGet Directions


RAIN

Not long after setting off, we encountered rain. It was so cold that we had to seek shelter at a 7-11. The hot meals was god sent but the air-conditioned does not help much. We have to dibert our attention to the cycling magazines!

Plenty of Bike related magazine here!

Plenty of Bike related magazine here!

I can never ran out of beverage choice here!

I can never ran out of beverage choice here!

Coffee...7-11...Coffee...7-11

Coffee…7-11…Coffee…7-11

Eventually, we realized that the rain will outlast us! Like many other tourers, we had to move on. It was not cold but chilling cold! We pushed on for the next 50km.

Just have to do it!

Just have to do it!

Stopping was not an option....We had to kept paddling to keep warm

Stopping was not an option….We had to kept paddling to keep warm

IMG_4242

Passed by a meat stall…can you guess what’s on my mind?

We crossed a huge bridge. At thus point, my leg was pretty numb!

We crossed a huge bridge. At this point, my leg was pretty numb!

Route 193 > ROUTE 11A > Route 9
From 193, we head West to 11A which linked us back to Route 9. Finally at the intersection we, saw Guangfu Train station. 193 continues to Northwards into the mountains. For the adventurous tourers, it would still bring you to Hualien.

Center map
Traffic
Bicycling
Transit
Google MapsGet Directions

My mind was set to focus on the Y junction after Shoufeng Train Station. We had to take the road on the left to Liyu Lake. It was almost 5pm when we reached that junction. The route took us uphill. Halfway, we spotted an interesting sign named 秘密鸡地! Later I found out it was a restaurant.

Center map
Traffic
Bicycling
Transit
Google MapsGet Directions
Uphill to Liyu Lake

Uphill to Liyu Lake

After another 5km, we saw lodging on the left side of the road. It was a great relief because we were almost at last light.

The first mingsu was 5 Stars but there we no rooms.

The first mingsu was a 5 Stars standard but there we no rooms. PHEW!

Monet Garden

Monet Garden

We found out the cost of lodging was on the high side. We were not able to get a room at less than TWD$1500 per nite. Eventually we settled on the next available guest house, Monet Garden.

It was a long and cold ride…but tomorrow was a rest day!

My Thoughts

1. From Chishang to Hualien, you can chose to take the coastal or countryside route.

2. View Monet Garden website. There are a few mingsu in the area. Some are situated right beside the lake. Monet Garden is about 500m away from the lake. A great place to stay especially if you are a coffee lover.

3. Invest in a good rain jacket. I preferred a proper rain jacket to the $2 one from 7-11. It kept us dry and the better ones were breathable. A tight fit jacket also reduced wind resistance.

Link to Day 7

View more photo on my Flickr

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