Sunday, February 19, 2017

Taiwan News #10 + East Coast pix

Morning on the coast.

I went out to Chris Gunson from Dubai, whom I met through our respective blogs. Chris turned out to be excellent company. This trip inspired my latest piece for Taiwan News.
The owner of the hostel explained that they weren't entirely legal. "It's difficult to get a license here, the government is reluctant to give them out. So I just say I am having a few friends stay." Why was there a problem? He said that the big hotels are putting pressure on the government to limit Bed and breakfasts.
...enjoy some pics below.

Taking off from Fangliao. I often do this route, which I really love. Starting from Fangliao, I follow the coast to the 199 near Checheng, then follow the 199 over hills to the coast, and overnight in Tawu. From Tawu I work my way up the coast.

In Fangliao the aquaculture farmers are hard at work.

My man Kenji surges forward.

Stopping at 7-11 for a rest and drinks. Alas, the good weather wouldn't last.

Onions, a common crop in the Hengchun Peninsula.

Rain clouds gather in the mountains we must cross.

Fish farming at sea?

The climb above Mudan town and the reservoir. The wind was brutal and cold wet weather was moving in. My bike was broken and I had no access to my easier gears.

The 199A goes down to the coast at this point. Since it began to rain and got cold, I took few pictures.

The next morning I took the train up to Taitung to see if I could get my bike fixed. At Tawu station the TRA had an announcement: you could put a bike on the train anywhere on the line south of Taitung EXCEPT Tawu. The guy in charge adamantly refused to permit us to put a bike on without a bag. He explained to us that this was because there was no elevator to put the bike onto the platform. We were flabbergasted by this stupidity. We have ridden our bikes over Wuling at 3200 meters, but apparently a train platform is too high for us to carry them up...

Even worse, couldn't get the bike fixed in Taitung. So we decided to overnight in Dulan, which has become a banana pancake circuit stop, filled with scruffy backpacker foreigners. I met a pair who walked back and forth up and down the main road. "Why are you doing that?" I asked. "What else is there to do in Dulan?" They answered. "There's nothing to do here!" So true. Dulan has become famous for being... famous. This suggests that its fame will one day vanish as quickly as it came.

The ride from Taitung city to Dulan is easy and lovely.

My friend completes a climb.

A morning market in Dulan. We left Dulan for Chenggong the following morning.

Morning over the Pacific.

Jeff and Kenji rock the road.

Surfers gather at a rivermouth.

Jeff led us to the farm of a friend who related his woes in trying to get gov't approval for his house. The regulations are numerous and inflexible, perfect if you're a bureaucrat who wants to collect bribes, stupid if you want to manage the situation effectively from a public policy and innovation point of view.

This turkey loved humans and followed us around.

The local fields.

Kenji and Jeff make their way through the back roads to Chenggong.

Riding to Chenggong. We went to Yuli to get a train home to Taichung in the afternoon. The coast has no mountain biking, and there was no mountain bike derailer for my bike anywhere, so I could only get it fixed in Taichung.

Hope to have you on my next coast ride.
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Anonymous said...

chris gunson from dubai or dulan? spelling checker?

Glen said...

Where is that spot in the photo? That barrel looks pretty damned awesome!!

Glen said...

Where is the spot in that pic, Michael? That barrel looks pretty damned awesome!!