Day 231: Puli, Taiwan. After another breakfast of toast and weird stuff, Lil headed out to buy a cake for the guys at Pro Brewery, to say thanks for their hospitality yesterday.
She came back with a chocolate and coffee roulade from a cake shop called Honey O, in a flash box and a very smart carrier bag. Everything comes beautifully packaged here, even if sometimes a little over-packaged.
The brewery invited us back today to meet Ray, their head brewer, who has spent time in Australia. Early afternoon we set off and walked across town, this time down quiet country lanes to avoid the crazy main road.
The walk was stunning and thankfully, even though lots of people seem to keep dogs for security, the less friendly ones were all tied up. We reached the brewery and while we waited for Ray to join us, we said hello to Pulo the dog again, who was happily lolling about in the shade.
Ray’s a really lovely, friendly guy. He trained in brewing at Little Creatures in Perth, Australia and is clearly making some great strides with his beers here in Taiwan. He also gave us some great tips on craft breweries and outlets in other Taiwan cities on our list to visit.
We gave the cake to Lu Hua (our spelling may be a bit ropey), the girl who took good care of us yesterday when we turned up to find the brewery under construction.
We said our goodbyes to the team and headed off to visit a huge temple nearby, called Ling Yan. It’s a very impressive new building which can clearly hold thousands of worshippers. It’s still undergoing a final fit out but it looks like enough of it will be ready for Chinese New Year in 10 days’ time. Interestingly, there are three Ling Yan temples; a second one in California and a third at Shellharbour in Australia.
There were more wonderful views across the local villages and countryside from the temple courtyard.
Then we walked back to town, down some different quiet roads, watching people working in the rice paddies, and enjoying the great views back to the temple on the hill.
We passed a huge bamboo tray of orange slices drying in the sun – a great way to preserve the fruit, which is in full season now.
When we got back to town we stopped for a coffee at a local cafe. While we were sipping our lattes we heard loud miaows coming from somewhere. We tracked down the miaows to the doorway, where a customer had parked their cat in a backpack with a plastic capsule front. The cat looked very cute, but it was pretty grumpy.
Tomorrow we’re planning to visit a Buddhist monastery about 6km away, called Chung Tai Chan, along with its neighbouring museum. And hopefully we can enjoy another snarly-dog-free walk.