Saturday, August 17, 2013
Bike trip - Day 3
Today had us ride about 60 miles from Hualian to Changbin. The general route can be seen below
We were expecting it to be relatively flat...unfortunately we were severely mistaken. There were several climbs along the way with the biggest being about 200 meters. I don't think either of us were ready for that. It probably wouldn't have been so bad but our legs had taken one heck of a beating in the previous couple days. That being said, we were able to take in some amazing scenery.
We traveled for about 3 miles through the tunnel below. It was relatively well lit and we had a separate bike lane the entire way. We also noticed that traffic was getting relatively sparse the further south we traveled.
This was actually the first of any livestock that I saw along the road. We knew we were entering a different world because most land in Northern Taiwan is way too expensive to use for livestock.
As we traveled further south, we found plenty of wonderful beaches. However, they were primarily empty. The train does not follow the coast at this point, so very few people come out here. That was perfect for us.
We found many temples along the way.
We ate lunch in the small village of Fengbin. At this point we were both extremely tired and a little dehydrated. However, we stopped at a little restaurant and ordered lunch. They did not speak any English, and the menu was full of seafood-type characters (of which we were unfamiliar) so our lunch was a little bit of a crap-shoot. It actually turned out fairly well.
After lunch the road flattened out a bit (still lots of rolling hills) and we picked up speed.
As beautiful as everything was we got used to the ocean on the left and mountains on the right. Because of this, I am afraid I did not capture all the amazing sites I should have. Sorry, but here is one of the many waterfalls we passed along the way.
We hit the Tropic of Cancer a little later in the day. I'm not sure if you can tell, but I am actually leaning against the stone for support...
Here is the actual marker. It is divided in 2, so it straddles the line.
Here is one of the many Christian churches we passed.
It began to get dark and drizzle as we closed in on Changbin. We stopped off at the Baxian caves and asked the lady at the information desk if she knew of a place to stay. Luckily, she was friends with an innkeeper and called ahead to book us an extremely cheap room. When we arrived, the innkeeper was ready for us, washed our clothes AND gave us bananas from her farm so we wouldn't cramp up during the ride. If you are looking for a place to stay, I have included her card.
We rode in to town and grabbed dinner after that. I honestly cannot remember what we ate because we were so tired. I believe we slept something like 11 hours after that.