As I left the hotel this morning heading for Touwu, Maoli; an older gentleman rode up beside me on a scooter and what I understood from the conversation we had was for me to ride 10 km down route 3, and make a left at the T intersection. I also understood the universal mime communication gestures of thumbs up and palms inward, arms stretched out meaning large. I believed he suggested that down that road would be something big.
I don’t know if it was exactly 10 k’s, but something big was indeed there:
The Taiwanese locals are really cool people. A lot of times when they see you on a bike carrying all that crap, they will ask if you’re doing a “wan dao”; which translates to circling the island, I believe. There are tons of cyclists out here, but only a few times have I seen touring cyclists. I asked an English speaking gentleman at a cafe if wan dao is popular in Taiwan, and he said no. He continued by saying that riding to the supermarket is popular, but not what you are doing.
The route cycled this day wasn’t flat. There were a few climbs that you should have no trouble doing on your road double and 2 gels in your jersey pocket.
The route cycled produced these scenes:
After riding for 3 and a half hours, climbing 2405 feet (733 meters) for a distance of 27 miles (43 km); I make it to a campsite.
I arrived at the campsite on a weekday, and it was dead. The staff first told me I would not be able to camp there. They went on and continued to tell me that they only open for camping on the weekends. The kind ladies that work there offered me some tea and contacted the boss at a nearby campsite to see if I could camp there. Being a boss, he didn’t answer his phone for about twenty minutes. But when the boss did pick up the phone of course the boss says yes camping because that’s a boss-like manuever and only the boss can say yes.
One of the kind ladies led me to the camp-able site on a scooter and I paid 900 NTD’s (WTF) to sleep on a sheltered concrete floor. There’s showers and electricity and all that if your inner voice was asking.
The scenery is beautiful. I did not sleep well, however. Because of airline weight limits, I left my sleeping pad behind. Don’t be a noob. Bring the sleeping pad if it means leaving behind the video game console.
The view from the next morning. Actually, the view was also there the late afternoon I arrived:
If you read this post, thank you. Take care, and please come read again or just scroll around.