Sunday, May 06, 2012

Riding Sun Moon Lake

Great day Saturday. In the morning some old students of mine put together a ride around Sun Moon Lake. In the afternoon I drove up to Hsinchu for an impromptu farewell party for Jim Boyden of Sponge Bear as he is leaving Taiwan. Nothing like spending the whole day with wonderful people having a great time.

We stayed in the Taipower dorm 388.30 meters above Shuili town in ErPing Bing Dian, just outside of Sun Moon Lake.

In the morning we all breathed a sigh of relief as we had fog and clouds but no rain. Looked like it was going to be a beautiful day. Click on READ MORE to continue....

In town everyone was just waking up.

Waiting to get breakfast.

Homes built for refugees from the 921 quake.

Stopping on 21 up to the lake for water.

Peter, one of my old students, worked at the generator plant at Sun Moon Lake, so we parked our vehicles at his office. Here he and Theresa assemble her folding bike. The intake gate for the generators provides an awesome backdrop.

It is ridiculously easy to take romantic pictures at Sun Moon Lake.

On our way. I hadn't been to Sun Moon Lake in quite a while, generally I avoid it as too crowded and dangerous with vehicles on the weekends. So some changes like this sturdy bike path were good to see. The bike path swings around the lake for some distance. Here it passes the visitor center. As you can see it is in excellent condition and very nicely done. Bonus luck: a brown rat snake slithered across our path as we left the generating station. I knew it was going to be a good day when I saw the bike gods had sent a snake to us.

Peter and his wife, Furou.

Watching fishers in the early morning. The weather was obviously going to stay good all day.

Fishing boats out on the lake.

Catching fish for food and profit.

The influx of sheep to be sheared Chinese tourists has led to an explosion of boat traffic on the lake.

Much of the path is shaded. The surface was excellent. The problem was there wasn't enough of it, and in other places the government had put in paths around the lake edge but restricted them to pedestrians only.

Sun Moon Lake may be dull and kitschy, but it shore is purty.

Riding on a boardwalk across one of the embankments.

The path winds around to this little village....

...where the fishermen were bringing in live fish for the local market. UPDATE: I think this is the same boat in the foreground in the pic above "Catching fish for fun and profit." The second crewman is already on the dock, out of the photo.

The ad says that if you visit Taiwan, you should not miss Sun Moon Lake, Alishan, and this company's medicine.

Public bathrooms can be found in several places.

I know, threatening overload of romantic lake shots.

A tough rider, Rica finishes a hill.

Furou and Peter follow her up.

Theresa at Wenwu temple. It was too early for the tourist crowds, and the roads remained empty the whole morning.

Counting coup with the bike.

The gondola center there. Gondolas have become a minor craze in Taiwan, still in its infancy.

Theresa makes the Asian sign of picture taking.

In Ita Thao/De Hwa Village, we stopped at the place of a relative of Theresa's.

Mountain boar meat, I was assured, BBQing alongside sticky rice cakes, also BBQed.

Theresa and Rica with a group of Chinese tourists.

The obligatory group shot.

Posing in front of the museum.

Fishing boat.

Taking a break, I imaged some ants.

Stopping for another break at an overlook by the Syunguang Temple.


Locals enjoy an early morning party.

Lots of installations on the lake.

Generator intakes from the other side.

No one else really on the road.

We stopped to shoot the lovely valley along 21.

Pointing out the scenery.

On the last leg of the trip, Theresa powers forward. This was the longest ride she had done so far, and she stayed fun and positive the whole time even though she was totally beat.

Before the 21A rejoins the 21 it goes through the valley, lovely with farms.

On 21 returning, I stopped to catch this spider.

Hey! We were just down there! The spider above actually overlooked this place, though you can't tell from the bokeh.

Rica gets the gold.

Theresa passes an accident. Apparently some Chinese tourists lost a member of their crew somehow -- there were four bikes present but only three civilians -- and the police had come to see what had happened.

One last romantic shot as we arrived back at Peter's office.

Fishing by the generator plant. Peter said a big lakefish can sell for more than NT$1000.

After that, it was back to Shuili and ErPing Bing Dian, with great views....

...and ice cream bars and popsicles. Hope to see you on the next ride!

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! Delenda est, baby.


Anonymous said...

Great photo journalism! Thanks for sharing your recent trip to Sun Moon Lake. It's been six years since I've been back there.

Angel said...

beautiful pictures, sun moon lake is definitely one, if not, most beautiful lakes in the world

pro-liteboss said...

Just waiting for a certain someone to get manned up and take me there

kelly said...

Funny and entertaining post (especially how you deleted the "sheep to be sheared" part)! Lots of good pics too! If you were just to walk and have 3 hours to spare, which part of the lake would you pick to walk...say...under 2km? THANK YOU! :)