Tuesday, May 20, 2014

East Coast Adventures

I went off to the east coast this weekend, which is why I haven't been blogging. Did a loop: Saturday from Hualien to Chenggong (~120 kms), Sunday Chenggong back to Hualien (~140 kms) via the 30 over to the Rift Valley and the 193 back to Hualien city. Monday we tried to do Mugumuyu but the rain defeated us. For more pics click on READ MORE:

Leaving Hualien on saturday morning it was obvious that it was going to be a really nice day.

Good weather or bad, the garbage must be raked over for recyclables that can be sold.

Traveling alone, I got up early and saw the fishing boats coming back in after working all night.

Taiwan, kingdom of kitsch

Yep, turned into a nice day.

A fishing boat crawls home to Shiti Port.

A fisherman fishes near fish farms in the water off the coast.

Looking back near Wushibi port.

Sunset at Chenggong Fishing Port.

The wall of mountains behind Chenggong produces spectacular sunsets.

You can skip the climb north out of Chenggong by taking Zhongshan East Road out of town to Sanxiantai and then rejoining the 11 there. It's quite pretty...

The road has a tiny peak here with good views back over Chenggong.

Leaving the little aboriginal village near Sanxiantai.

I took the 30. The grade is easy, but it just goes on and on. You pass through all five stages of riding: Hope, Will this never end?, Resignation, Boredom, and At Least There's a Place to Pee.

The first couple of kms offer a few views.

But quickly you climb...

...into vegetation. And nothing else.

Finally, you reach the tunnel.

Looking back into Jurassic Park-style greenery. Sadly, no velociraptors.

Once you emerge from the tunnel, you're in the rift valley, with stunning views and a long downhill in front of you.

The road cuts through farms and hills. Very pretty.

The 30 meets the 9 outside of Yuli and near the junction of the 193. Here is the rift near Yuli. It's lovely in any weather.

I headed north, towards Ruisui and the rain.

Drying flowers.

The 193 between Yuli and Ruisui. A pleasant and easy stretch of flat road on a shelf next to the rift valley. Very enjoyable.

Going into Ruisui you pass the rafters heading out to the river and Dagangkou on the coast.

The 193. One of the prettiest and most enjoyable roads in Taiwan. It was crowded with monkeys and partridges that day.

The 193.

Monday I went out to Mugumuyu (慕谷慕魚) outside Hualien with my friend Sylvia. Unfortunately we saw only a little of this staggeringly beautiful area as the afternoon rains arrived with a vengeance. To get in you will need a permit, otherwise you have to ask at the police station and they may be full already when you get in. To get a permit to Mugumuyu, go to this page here. In the summer apply at least a month in advance and avoid weekends. The website prepared with typical local government competence; does not work in Chrome (only in IE) and uses a crazy font that sometimes doesn't appear properly in any browser. To get it to work, switch to IE (I know, it's against my religion too), select BIG5 under encoding and reload the page. I have no idea why Taiwan, a world leader in computer tech, produces such ugly, clunky software.
Don't miss the comments below! And check out my blog and its sidebars for events, links to previous posts and picture posts, and scores of links to other Taiwan blogs and forums!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

For a country that has sacrificed so much education in the name of math, science and technology, I can't believe how IT schools are still stuck teaching nothing but Internet Explorer.

There must really be a nostalgia for all things 90's.