Alishan, April 12 - 13, 2010. Click pic for album

Taroko to Kending

Taroko Gorge to Kending, Feb 14 - 19, 2010.

Northern Cross Island Highway

Northern Cross Island Highway, May 19 - 21, 2008. Click pic for album
3rd October, 2007

Taking the bike to Wulai


A bend in the river close to the Feitsui reservoir

After having the Central Weather Bureau forecast rain every day for a week without getting it right, we decided yesterday to ignore the weather report and get up early for a tour to Tonghou. And the weather turned out to be super good. To get to Tonghou, you go to Wulai and then continue along the Tonghou River past the tourist madness. It’s a fairly long trip with a 35-40km roundtrip from Xindian to Wulai, and another 40km or so roundtrip from Wulai to Tonghou plus whatever distance you have to do to get to Xindian, in our case another 11km in each direction. The slopes are not too steep, though. We had planned to save time and muscle power by taking the bikes on the MRT down to Xindian, but found that it is only possible on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.

A well earned morning coffee in Wulai at 9:30am

We got up at six and left at seven. Next time we’ll leave at six and bring breakfast with us. By seven, every parent in Taipei is driving their kids to school and traffic comes to a standstill as they double and triple park outside schools and even kick the kids out of the car without slowing down because they can’t park anywhere.
After an hour, we had reached Xindian, and another 1.5h later we were having a cappuccino in Wulai. Having had to do the extra ride down to Xindian, we felt it might be a tad hard to go all the way to Tonghou in 33-34 degree heat, but after a while we decided to go part of the way to see what it looked like. It was beautiful, but then I had problems with the chain, a link got stuck and wouldn’t budge so the whole bike shook when that link went across the cogs. So we went back. The problem came and went, but we made it back without the chain breaking. After 60km, we finished the day off with a plate of shaved ice and fresh strawberries and mango down in Gongguan. Refreshing and even better than ice cream.

Another bend in the river

It seems you’re joining a secret society when you put on your bike helmet, as if it were a secret sign like the fabled secret handshake of teh Freemasons. Everyone on a bike and wearing a helmet starts to smile knowingly, wave or even shoot greetings at you. Reply in kind and everyone looks even happier and seem to feel that you’re sharing something no one else understands. And maybe they’re right.

Facts From Xindian MRT station, follow road 9, Beiyi Highway (北宜公路) for about a km or so past the bridge. After the bridge, turn right at the Wulai sign and continue till the road ends in Wulai. Cross the small bridge, and take an immediate left to continue toward Tonghou. It’s about 20km and 1.5h from Xindian MRT to Wulai, and supposedly another 20km or so to Tonghou.

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