Thursday, September 13, 2012

Bits and Bobs - River Tracing Accidents and Post-Typhoon Orchid Island

Sorry I've barely updated, but we've been busy.

A good friend from Australia is visiting, so there's that. Then, Brendan had to be carried out of the mountains by Jiaoxi on a stretcher - we went river tracing back at Yuemeikeng , but the bit of trail we needed was washed out. We tried an "alternate route" that quickly turned to bushwhacking, and just before we all agreed to turn back (I was the most reticent, I admit), the ground beneath Brendan gave out and he went plummeting back down toward the river, freefalling the last ten meters or so. Fortunately, he fell into a pool of very deep water, which meant he was (mostly) unhurt. He had to get stitches and a CAT scan, but remarkably, had no broken bones. He's still having trouble walking and moving his left leg, but he's on the mend.

More on that later - I am mentally composing a post that outlines what mountain rescue is like in Taiwan if you need it, along with a comparison of what the whole ordeal cost us in Taiwan (less than $100 US including overnight in a hotel in Yilan) vs. what it would have cost with and without insurance in the USA (hint: more than that). Just, you know, in case you still don't think nationalized health coverage is a good thing.

And now we're on Orchid Island - Brendan was healthy enough to make the trip, but he won't be doing any snorkeling or hiking. We almost cancelled after hearing about the typhoon damage, but the Lanyu police station and our reserved homestay both assured us it was fine, so we came anyway. We're happy we did - there's some damage, a few landslides (the road is clear), and the coral took a hit, but it's mostly fine. It's not the desperate wasteland that news reports would have you believe.

More on that later, too. I'm not going to spend a perfectly lovely day on Orchid Island blogging. I love you guys (well, most of you), but no.

So, there are two posts to look forward to, but you'll have to wait until Sunday at the absolute earliest for either of them.

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