The End - Taiwan - CycleBlaze

January 15, 2020

The End

Back in Taipei

Well done Joe. You not only did remarkably well on your first ever cycle tour, but you capably and patiently coaxed your slightly eccentric cycling dad around Taiwan.
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We are back in Taipei after a remarkably quick and hassle free morning ride to the Luodong bus station, then an hour long bus trip from Luodong to Taipei. The bus system in Taiwan seems to be exceptionally efficient and combines well with our folding bikes. So easy to use.

We had lunch in Little Indonesia not far from the main bus station and had a lovely chat with an Indonesian aeronautical engineer from Bandung in Java. He’s here on a three year contract. We’ve been pleasantly surprised at how many Indonesians, Australia’s closest northern neighbours, are working here in Taiwan. It’s like meeting old friends when I come across Indonesians.

Then we did a final ride of this tour across bustling Central Taipei to the Grand Hotel to rendezvous with our bike bags and suitcase.

The bikes are now packed and flight ready, and we are resting and having a tidy up in preparation for tomorrow’s flights home to Canberra.

Taiwan has been a very enjoyable, easy and welcoming country to cycle tour. There are many areas we didn’t see but we felt we experienced enough variety at a comfortable pace of travel. If I’m able to return with a touring bike, I’d like to explore the far south and  the central mountains and some of the islands. 

Thanks for reading my journal. And thanks to the founders of CycleBlaze for providing such an easy site to use by Smartphone. Even a 60-something techno klutz like me can easily use it. I look forward to doing more journals here.

Today's ride: 7 km (4 miles)
Total: 565 km (351 miles)

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Comment on this entry Comment 8
Angela NaefThanks for sharing you journey, I really enjoyed following along!
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6 months ago
Graham SmithYou are welcome Angela. I had fun doing the journal so I hope a few people enjoy reading it.
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6 months ago
Kathleen ClassenThank you so much for your journal. I loved reading it and appreciate the effort it takes to write each day. Best wishes on your return to Australia. We have been following the situation there closely-we have a beloved Australian daughter in law. We are on the west coast of Canada and wished often we could send some of our rain (which is currently snow) your way. Happy trails!
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6 months ago
Graham SmithKathleen thanks for the comment. I appreciate it.

We’ve just arrived home and the fire and smoke situation here is much better here, but the bushfire emergency isn’t over yet. There are still uncontrolled fires gradually moving toward Canberra. May be rain will arrive in time. May be not.

We are entering uncharted times as climate change causes the weather swings to get wilder, and the atmospheric/ocean systems recalibrate to different averages and extremes. All we can do is expect the unexpected, and expect the weather to be wilder than it used to be.

Canadians and Australians share many similar cultural histories, and we obviously share experiences of weather extremes; but at different ends of the temperature spectrum. Your extreme cold weather is unimaginable to me.

If nothing else, these extreme weather events are character building, and good preparation for cycle touring which always has a few surprises.
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6 months ago
Gregory GarceauGood job with the tour and the journal, Graham. I enjoy reading about father/son trips. They remind me of the time my own son rode with me for the first week of my Seattle to Minneapolis trip. He had been living 2,000 miles away for a few years so we didn't get to see him all that often. That week of touring together provided some very memorable bonding time.

By the way, Joe sure looks like you. He might even look more like you than YOU look like you . . . if that's even possible.

-Greg
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6 months ago
Graham SmithTo Gregory GarceauThanks Greg for the comment. It’s a while since I’ve done a cycle tour journal so it’s been good revision. I hope the pics and writing convey that Taiwan is an excellent country to cycle tour in.

And yes Joe does look like my younger self before I faded. He’s far more sensible than I was at his age though.
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6 months ago
Scott AndersonThanks for taking us along with you and your son, Graham. It reminds us that we hope to make it packto this special place again some year. Sorry you didn’t have better luck with weather at Taroko Gorge, but it’s still there waiting for you for next time.

Best of luck with the fire situation. We’ve got you all in our thoughts.
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6 months ago
Graham SmithTo Scott AndersonThanks Scott. Yes I feel we sampled what Taiwan offers for cycle tourists but also left plenty to go back for another tour. I was careful not to push Joe too hard on his first tour. He’s keen to do another tour, and he is now talking about doing a ride in Europe with a friend.

Ah yes. The fires. They are still burning but the weather has provided some respite here in the south. Further north, the opposite is happening. Extreme rain. The weather swings are definitely getting wilder.
https://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2020-01-18/flash-flooding-on-gold-coast-brisbane-weather-warnings/11879432
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6 months ago