Riding on route 69 and 21 towards Sun Moon Lake from Caotun was basically entirely uphill minus a few brief descents. This route also had me riding through around 5 or so tunnels; gave up on keeping track. Thankfully, none were very long.
Route 21 is extremely busy, with a tiny shoulder to ride on. I did learn many days later that there is a way to avoid route 21. I hope you, dear reader, can find it because it was never revealed to me. Sun Moon Lake is rather famous, so be prepared to share the road with many buses and other tourists on all manner of transportation when approaching the areas near the lake.
I ended up taking a back road that took me to the top of some hill that descended down the 21 towards Sun Moon Lake. The climb on this back road was treacherous on the Brompton. While climbing this hill, I met a family of three on a day ride. The parents were on folding bikes, and the son was on a mountain bike. Watching the young man spin up the hill with his tiny little chainring left me with envy. He would occasionally stop and wait for the rest of us to catch up with him. Chatting with the couple, they told me that the worst has yet to come on my journey around this pretty island. I plead to you again, Brompton rider, don’t bring a Brompton for a trip around Taiwan unless you are very well prepared in your routing technique.
Eventually, I would make it to Sun Moon Lake. It is quite a beautiful place and definitely worth a visit. Plenty of things to see, and food to eat. Taiwan is beautiful. The following photos are deliberately poor, as to not spoil the beauty that awaits you at Sun Moon Lake.
Sun Moon Lake is great; many sights and activities for all to enjoy. Plan your trip today. Operators are standing by.
Thank you to those that made it this far.