It’s a Tad Windy - Taiwan - CycleBlaze

January 8, 2020

It’s a Tad Windy

Heading north into a roaring southerly

It was idyllic start today, with a downhill roll from the Zhiben hot springs, through a verdant valley not far from a babbling brook back to the outer edge of Taitung. Then we turned north past an airforce base.

Far out! The southerly wind felt like a steady 60km/hr with gale-like gusts of 90km/hr +. At times it forced us to walk, or be tipped over. Even the ever present motor scooter riders were struggling to advance.

Other than the wind, todays’ ride was another thoroughly enjoyable one. The scenery was varied, traffic was light and the local people were chatty and interested in who we were and what we were doing. And we ate lots. Too much. The whole roast chicken was a translation error.  More of the chicken story in the following pic captions.

We’ve called it a day in a small village called Dulan, and lucked on to a room in a near new, crispy clean homestay next door to unattractively named Jail Hostel. It’s the one with the bars on the windows. Ours is called the Dulan Pearl Hill Hostel. It doesn’t have bars, and does have a balcony with sea views. 

Splendid morning view from the hot springs.
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The only reliable way to dry thick wool socks on tour.
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Curious ...
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then cranky.
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We rode to the hot springs via the southern edge of the valley, and departed on the northern side thanks to this bridge.
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Morning views as we head north a bit inland to avoid going back into central Taitung
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Lots of farms and plantations in this area.
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Beehive at our morning tea cafe stop
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Typical roadside cafe.
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From the outside
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Custard apple plantation. There are many of these in this area.
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Unusual crop. Appears to be a succulent.
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Bill ShaneyfeltDragon fruit.

https://www.gardenloversclub.com/ornamental/cacti-succulents/dragon-fruit/dragon-fruit-plant-care/
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7 months ago
Graham SmithTo Bill ShaneyfeltThanks Bill. Mystery solved.
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7 months ago
Display inside a visitor information centre. This is the beginning of The Rift Valley route north. We chose to go via the coast rather than the valley.
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The Visitor Information Centre
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The Green Tunnel bike way.
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Not sure what this was or why it was there
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Small farm. Intensive agriculture. Very rich soil and good water supply here.
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Our lack of Chinese language hasn’t been a problem. But in this case we thought we ordered a modest chicken and noodle dish. Instead we got a whole roast chicken (complete with head and feet) plus rice plus a huge plate of delicious green vegetables.
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Preparing to eat the chicken was more like a surgical procedure. I was issued double sets of gloves, cloth and rubber, to pull the chicken apart. Both Joe and other restaurant customers were very amused by this preparation step.
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This might explain the generous size of the chicken dish
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Typical road scene along the coast
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Beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean.
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Fishing fleet in harbour
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Did I mention the wind?
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Looking north
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Sea cliff art. It has to be heavy and aerodynamic
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Ah yes... custard apples. They seem to be a staple crop in these region.
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A sightseeing attraction. The water which runs uphill. Well it certainly appeared to be running up hill. One of those geographic illusions. Water can’t run against gravity can it?
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Today's ride: 41 km (25 miles)
Total: 326 km (202 miles)

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