Louis Le Poidevin

Joined September 2019
  • Day64

    Raglan, start of North Island. NZ.

    December 2 in New Zealand ⋅ ☁️ 20 °C

    Off and on the road by 9am. Had to try and track down a camera shop as my camera got damaged by a wave. First one reccomended we discuss with Canon directly and luckily they were just down the road. Very nice man with a lord of the rings dwarf beard said he would give me a note for insurance. Whoop.
    Admin done we started driving south towards Bride Veil Falls. A lovely 50m high waterfall, surrounded by lush vegetation. Weirdly, all around this spot the whole area looks like the green grass land from The Shire.
    After that we hit the coast and came across a dirt road going north. I fancied going to Raglan to see if we could hire some surf boards. The dirt road felt like it was going to shake the camper apart. Glad to get off it without a wheel falling off. Views along the cliff were amazing. It's like Cornwall on steroids.
    Found a spot from the local council website that was marked as permitted for camping. Went to the tourist info to confirm it was ok, and she said it was absolutely not ok. She had a meeting with the council the next day, so was glad we highlighted it.
    With a little bit of light remaining we walked along the beach to a fish and chip place. 10 dollars for flounder and chips. Bargain. Never had it before, easy big bones and tasty.
    Back to a different (and confirmed as safe) free camping spot for the night.
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  • Day63

    Auckland, New Zealand

    December 1 in New Zealand ⋅ ☁️ 18 °C

    Landed about 10.30am, declared our muddy shoes to the customs man, who then waved us quickly through. Took a free transfer to get our lucky camper. Home for the next 3 weeks. Self contained with shower, toilet and only 500,000 km on the clock.
    Picked ourselves up some bedding and costed up getting camping kit from a local shop called warehouse. We decided that hiring would be cheaper as and when needed.
    Scoffed a dirty burger and went to a very overdue laundry spot. I think the pants must have made their full way around the back to front, inside out, back to front inside out cycle. T shirts were becoming as my dad describes them 'full'.
    The air con was not working in our not so lucky camper so went back to the rental place to negotiate some money off. Money saved will pay for a few NZ wine tasting tours I'm sure. 🍾🍷
    Knackered, we went to the nearest campsite for showers and route planning. Since Hannah has been to New Zealand before she fell asleep, so I have now planned the whole route for the next 3 weeks. Whoop. Tomorrows first activity, camera shopping 😁.
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  • Day62

    Off to New Zealand

    November 30 in Taiwan ⋅ 🌙 22 °C

    Up for a nice breakfast of salad, sausage, egg and hash brown. They were playing christmas music, so I suppose that made it our Christmas day meal. No where near as full or pissed as usual for Christmas.
    We slimmed down our packs by handing a few Kg to Curly to take home.
    Started our Teddy tour with a car park walk, followed by another car park we couldn't even enter to get access to do a walk. We took the navigational reigns off him and went along to a small pond with a 3 min walking route. Lovely.
    We wanted to get a bit closer to the airport so started the stressful drive through the city. Too many bikes and merging lorries for my liking!
    Got to a rotating restaurant for lunch over looking the beach. Had some chinese tasting food, very nice. Made us all feel pretty dizzy, even though it was only rotating at 1 RPH.
    Made it back to the airport to handover the hire car.
    Few beers with the family to get rid of some coins and we were off to New Zealand!
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  • Day61

    Crayon day

    November 29 in New Zealand ⋅ ☀️ 22 °C

    Breakfast was not on the beach, so took a short walk and flew the drone before setting off towards the crayon factory. Had a brief stop off on the coast to take some photos. The whole East coast is steep sided, rugged and covered in rainforest type vegetation.
    Crayon factory was not quite what we expected with more of a make your own Crayon rather than where they actually manufacture them. We still had fun compression moulding our own crayons into the shape of Taiwan and painting our arms. After much debate we drove all the way to the North of Taipei to a hot spring area. They had a small hot spring in our chalet, so we all had a go in that.
    Then a meal in the empty restaurant. Much like chinese from home.
    They were playing Christmas songs, which didn't feel quite right, given it is so hot.
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  • Day60

    Birthday celebrations and a gorge

    November 28 in Taiwan ⋅ ☀️ 18 °C

    Woke up early to make sure we could get to the Taroko Gorge and access the hikes. Started with some presents for Rog and then a birthday breakfast on the beach!
    Checked out the tourist information centre to find out which walks would be possible. Turns out there were some nice trails with parking so we decided to start with them. Baiyang trail took us through the gorge with great views, dark tunnels and ending up at a water curtain where you could walk through some of the waterfall. Lots of Asian tourists offered us their poncho’s - even though we already had our waterproofs we put on the extra layer.
    Found a spot for a birthday picnic and a rest.
    Then attempted to find a wild hot spring - turned out to be quite a dangerous route down, which had been closed off to the public and we decided it was too risky so were sensible and gave it a miss.
    Instead found a short walk to see more of the Gorge and an opportunity to take some drone footage.
    As it was getting dark we drove back to our accommodation and went to the beach for birthday drinks and nibbles. Then back to the bar for more pizza, wine and beer!
    We then finished the night with drinks, cards and birthday cake on the terrace outside our rooms. Quite a lot of wine was consumed for the birthday celebrations.
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  • Day59

    Heading North up the East coast

    November 27 in Taiwan ⋅ ☁️ 21 °C

    Left our accommodation and headed towards a surf open, in search of some surfer dudes!
    On the way we stopped at a tourist attraction where the water in the stream appeared to flow upwards. Sampled some local fruit and coconut juice. Curly created some excitement by setting off the emergency alarm in the toilet thinking it was the flush.
    Found the surf competition and watched a few heats before heading off.
    Tried to find what we thought might be a sheltered bay for snorkelling but the winds were a little too high. Instead walked out and around the small island.
    We then made the long journey further North so we could wake up close to the Taroko Gorge.
    After some great driving by Louis we arrived at our accommodation at Manbo beach. Our rooms weren’t quite ready so we had a beer at the bar. The hosts provided lots of complimentary tasty snacks. After checking out our rooms we went back to the bar for a pizza and some more beers.
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  • Day58

    The Southern most point of Taiwan

    November 26 in Taiwan ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    Woke up and as breakfast wasn’t included we got a selection of fruit and yogurt from 7/11 - our go to shop! Much healthier than our last few days breakfast.
    Decided to just head off and stop at any attractions along the way with no real plan and no end destination for now.
    First stop - the southern most point of Taiwan and a short walk to a viewing area.
    Second stop - lunch. A local restaurant with tasty rice, noodles, soup and Rog Pretty much had a plate of onions! Curly was adventurous and tried an asparagus juice - not as tasty as the food.
    Third stop - very much off the beaten track with Curly following a well mapped tip to a wild hot spring. We scrambled over some rocks and to the edge of the river to find a pool of hot water!
    Fourth stop - a random hotel with a hot spring. A bit of an eye sore from the outside but nice enough on the inside - especially for the price 8 quid a room. A quick dip in the hot spring and then to a traditional Aboriginal restaurant to try a selection of tasty meals.
    Before heading back to the room a quick stop off at 7/11 to pick up some post dinner sweet treats and tasty wine. Louis nearly stood on a snake on the way home - checked the picture online and turns out it was quite a dangerous one!
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  • Day57

    Leaving Lambai Island

    November 25 in Taiwan ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    Another breakfast of chips but this time with an eggy bread sandwich - unsure of the filling. Then time to check out of the Campzone.
    Before heading to the ferry, we managed to sneak in a final attraction on the island, A boar trench. Then we took the scenic route to the Bike Rental and returned the bikes. Walked the short distance to the ferry terminal and realised there was an hour wait for the next ferry back to the mainland. Just enough time to squeeze in another quick snorkel at the beach next to the port.
    Then a speedy and relatively smooth crossing. Before picking the car up from the 24hr car park we wandered through a cool fish market, with all sorts of fresh and dried fish on offer.
    Finally back at the car and made a plan to head South! Found a place to stay a few towns away from the main tourist area. Checked into our accommodation which was all white and blue - very Mediterranean. Then got some lunch from the 7/11 and headed to the beach. Tried the famous bubble tea which was a bit weird. It turned out to be difficult to find a sheltered spot and we started to get sand blasted. So decided to drive to a nearby recommended deer park. Had a walk around the area and through the minor and major gorge and got a good view of the coast.
    On the way back we stopped for dinner at Smokey Joe’s, a chain of Asian tex-mex restaurants. Very tasty and a good atmosphere.
    Then back to the room for a beer and film! Great to have a comfy sofa in the room.
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  • Day56

    Lambai Island. South Side.

    November 24 in Taiwan ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

    Started with a breakfast of chips and pancake with meat and veg. Curly couldn't hack it so made it her mission of the day to find fruit and flavoured ice.
    We set off toward a walking path with caves made of coral. Pleasant walk but with sharp pointy rocks. Drove to the East coast for more swimming with turtles. Quite strong tide, so we swam against it and drifted back. Dad found an 'octopus', was in fact a rock...
    Cycled to Black Devils Cave, where some Dutch were killed and their slaves freed to live amongst the rocks.
    Fantastic ice smoothy, and amazingly intricate wooden carvings. From there went to get some salad lunch and onward to the beach below our accommodation. Big swell coming in. Dad and I went out. I did some body surfing with the camera. You needed to line up with the rows of coral to avoid being sliced on the rocks. Cool and fairly sketchy.
    Back for a quick wash up and out to find some dinner.
    We cycled to a DIY BBQ. Loads of food in freezers, where you help yourself and cook it yourself. Almost certainly all got food poisoning now, but we will find out tomorrow 😝. Nice and tasty though, but all fully stuffed!
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  • Day55

    Lambai island exploring. Turtles galore.

    November 23 in Taiwan ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

    All finished breakfast by 9.10am! Maybe a heavy booze night makes you feel more awake in the morning. Will have to further test this theory.
    Straight to the north west corner to see a big ball rock thing called Vase rock. (Dad called it Chodyknobend rock). Did the usual Le Poidevin move of walking a further 10m to everyone else and having a bit of beach to yourself.
    Straight into the water for a dip. A strong current, lovely and warm water with Turtles everywhere. Great visibility. Lovely!
    Tried to find a cafe for a while along the coast. Eventually found a coffee shop which made an excellent tuna sarnie and latte float.
    Down to another beach for a glorious swim, so warm! Turtles and lion fish. Plus swarms of Chinese people all with life vests on, tied to their leader.
    We cruised down the East coast seeing the harbour and more tropical coast line. Everyone here drives motor bikes.
    Up to the 7-11 to pick up some more red wine and beers and back to the balcony for sunset and drone flying 😁.
    Curly fancied a pizza so we took the bikes along the coast road. Got lost a few times, I asked a random shop were the pizza shop might be and we got some rough directions. Found the Luna pizza van which did fantastic pizza, including a banana and chocolate one for dessert. Yes yes yes!
    She gave us some recommendations of what to do on the way home, including looking at flowers which only open at night and crab crossing. Half way to the flower place, my electric battery on my bike died. The bikes are very heavy, and not really suitable for just pedalling. We were not that far from the rental place, so I rode it back there. They then swapped all our batteries just in case.
    Loads of night time tourist groups on scooters seeing random sights on our way back. Like hells angels does 50cc tourism. Funny to see.
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