Early one Saturday morning we phoned our friend Mark to see if he was interested in watching rugby at the Brass Monkey later in the day. Of course he was interested but at that time he was preparing to go boogie boarding at Jing Shan Beach (金山海灘) on the North Coast of Taiwan. Its been a while since we went to the beach in Taiwan and an even longer time since either of us boogie boarded so we decided to go.
Getting there was easy. Mark has a car so he drove us. It took us about 40 minutes, not too long. If you tried doing via public transport it would need at least an hour and a half, maybe more. The drive up there was beautiful and the weather was perfect for the beach, i.e. hot and sunny.
We arrived at the beach and went to rent some boogie boards, only NTD250 per board for the day. Not bad at all. Mark and Queenie have never boogie boarded before so they received a quick lesson on the ground and then we had to choose the boards. We chose small ones to start with as I had never used a large one and I think Queenie and Mark decided just to try and see how it went. After all, we could always come back and change the board.
The beach itself was a surfing beach with a surfing club. There were quite a lot of surfers in the water already and there seemed to be some decent waves. So the sun was out, the sand hot (and burning our feet) and we were all equipped with boogie boards. There was nothing left to do but jump into the water.
The sea was fairly rough and proved to be difficult to negotiate on the boards. Queenie decided to stay in the shallow water while Mark and I tried to get out past the break line to where we could catch some decent waves. However, every time we tried we were pushed back making the task of getting out a ver tiring one. The surface of the ocean was covered in rocks too so even though the water was shallow, it was painful to walk through the Ocean.
After being bashed around a bit, and Mark losing his board (the wrist leash snapped), I managed to catch a small wave, but that was about it. It was at the point, when I was standing in the shallow water, that I felt something crash into my shins. I looked down and there was a huge piece of driftwood in the water. And then I noticed the driftwood was everywhere. The driftwood comprised of huge pieces of wood and there were even some trees floating around the water. We were really impressed. Added to this was the need to dodge surfers, cutting our feet on the rocks on the surface we decided the pain was too much and we should move further down the beach.
Mark and I first went and exchanged our boards for bigger ones and then we went to a different spot that Mark said didn't have rocks on the surface, only sand. We went over to try it but honestly the big boards were just way too clumsy. I soon gave up on the effort. The good part about this part of the beach was that there was very little driftwood although we did notice a tree in the water.
After giving up on the boogie boards we all decided to just swim in the water. It seemed far more sensibled. I body surfed on a few waves and that was enough fun for me. We did spend sometime just lounging about on the beach (we were tired from all the swimming, walking, lumberjacking and the sapping heat of the sun). We carried on for another hour or so but then decided enough was enough.
We left the ocean, cleaned ourselves up and went in search of food. So although we had cut feet and dented shins from the driftwood, we had had a lot of fun in the water. Honestly cannot wait to get back.
You can see more pictures @ Jing Shan Beach (金山海灘)