See also other parts of the report:

Bikepacking Taiwan part II: Taiwan KOM Challenge ... almost
Bikepacking Taiwan part III: logistics, prices and planning

 

First fall

Sir, I have a very good connection from Warsaw to Taiwan. I buy the ticket cheaply, because Air France and Air China fly at great prices. I buy additional luggage for my ticket to go with hand luggage and checked baggage (i.e. one where the only limitation is 23kg). Two days before departure, a colleague calls me that this is not true and when you load it, it turns out that it does not work as in LOT and you have to buy the bike separately. Buying a bicycle for one person is only 100 euros one way. This must be reported by phone, not possible via website as anyone would guess then that the bike is paid extra. A nice gentleman on the hotline informs me that they will demand a bicycle and they will let me know if it will work. I can pay either at the airport or I can dictate my credit card details by phone. We all fly in this beautiful way with unnecessarily bought checked baggage and poorer by 200 euros per head. Adventure: start time.

We leave Warsaw at 1pm, change trains in Paris, where we discover that there were more return flights on the day we planned and we go back separately. This is a certain risk, when the total time of determining the details of the trip, takes about 3 minutes. Two buddies only asked when we were flying and when we were coming back and they just joined the trip. We leave Paris at 19, fly over Warsaw and in Taipei we report at 14:28.

 

Airport prisoners.

The statement "in Taipei" is a bit exaggerated. The Taipei international airport is the same in Taipei as the Modlin airport is the airport in Warsaw. From the airport to the first accommodation we booked, we have about 50 kilometers and it is hard for me to say at what time of planning it seemed a good idea to ride them instead of a direct train.

Taipei airport bike

Taipei airport bikeAround 15:15 we notice our cardboard boxes standing between luggage straps at the airport stand perfectly placed in a square with the inscriptionoversizeand surrounded by tape for the first time I see something like this. Without thinking for a long time, we start, hiding somewhere in the corner, twisting everything together. It takes as usual with the hour a bit of stress is generated by the fact that Panda's electric derailleurs do not want to work, but a few connections and disconnections later, everything returns to normal. At that time, we didn't know that it was the beginning of a big misfortune.

Taipei airport bikeAfter getting along with sign language with a nice lady from the cleaning service, we leave cartons somewhere in the corner, undergo the first security check and cause panic in people guarding exits from the arrivals hall to the hall where people are waiting.

It turns out that this is not the case. You can only transport between halls with your luggage bike out of the box, luggage is not. We do not particularly see the return to cartons and the repackaging / unpacking process. We agree with a nice lady that we can succeed if we just take the luggage off the bike and try it this way, but another person from security explains that it will not pass. A few panic conversations between the airport staff and we get a workaround. We have to remove the seatboards and subframes and pack the whole thing, together with bicycles, on the airport trolley in this way, by transporting 4 folded bikes on one cart, they become luggage and do not attract attention. To everyone's delight in the arrivals hall we go to the exit.

In front of the airport, we look at the map for the last time, start the navigation, roll my leg over the frame and hear a whistle and a policeman running towards me. A policeman runs over and screams that you can't go here because the highway is - I can't see her on the map, but he probably knows better. So we ask: "it's how to leave@ and in his eyes I see panic. It turns out that it is impossible to leave the airport by bicycle. In total, it is not possible by train, because we threw away cardboard boxes. End, broken system, we're trapped.

Security comes, airport staff, another policeman, meetings begin. All of course, terrified among themselves, but for us super nice and smiling. They make us follow the protection man. He leads us to the elevator, passes us to another man, who leads us to the queue, for which a policeman takes us over, we ride another elevator, a long corridor, another man from security, a hall, an elevator, we are waiting for someone, two policemen appear (some policemen were women, but I don't remember who and when), and they lead us to the bus stop.

At the stop, they check the timetable and inform that in half an hour there will be a bus going on cargo, and there you can get on your bikes. About 1.5 hours passed, and we moved a total of about 400 meters from the exit from the airport for the first time. To make it happier, it starts to rain and it is quite dark outside. Policemen wait half an hour with us and when the bus arrives, they warn the driver that we will get on with the bikes. We pass the place where we left at the beginning and get off the bus. We can start the adventure.

 

Day 0: Taoyuan Taipei International Airport -> Taipei

Taipei bicycle

Covering 50km from the airport takes us over 4 hours, of which the first 25km lasts nearly 2.5 hours. The reason is simple - the west coast is one big city stretching out for about 300km - seriously, 300km of the city non-stop. We stand at the traffic lights every now and then and I will not hesitate to say that I have never, never been a bicycle so often. It also takes us a moment to discover that a left-handed track for two-wheelers is not working here. Each left turn at an intersection means a right turn at a green light and then waiting for the traffic lights to change - just like all scooters.

The initial kilometers are a serious shock - we're riding in an avalanche of scooters. I estimate the ratio of two-wheelers to cars at 15: 1. On average, every fifth of them watches on the phone a report from some E-gaming or plays the game while driving. We're going to die here, that's for sure.

Taipei bicycle
Taipei bicycle
Taipei bicycle

Somewhere in the middle of our route we reach a bike path along the river. The path is an understatement, it is a bicycle highway with perfect asphalt, which, as it turns out later, stretches dozens of kilometers throughout the city. It is excellent, although with our level of fatigue and not necessarily optimal weather, it drags us a bit long.

mono hostel

[social_icon bg_color = "#ffffff" color = "#ff00cc" icon = "icon-building-o" type = "type1 ″ href =" "] [/ social_icon] Our first night is: Mono Hostel - 325 PLN / per night for 4 people

We spend exceptionally two nights in it. First of all, it's close to the beginning of one of the island's most iconic routes, secondly - is against Shilin Night Market (士林 夜市) - one of the largest and most famous night markets in the capital of Taiwan. For clarification, by night market here we understand something like our marketplace, but mainly with food. So there are mainly classic booths that offer various dishes made on site.

I have a theory that for some age man has not distinguished between new flavors. Trying the next delicacies, unknown to us until that day, we have a face like those children on YouTube who eat something for the first time, only without conclusions in the form of curvature or joy. I take a bite of something, freeze, wait and I don't know what to think. Especially that the 95% new things we try here taste simply fried oil, and the rest jelly or tofu.

 

It may not be very tasty, but it is greasy and weird.

 

Maybe I'm an ignorant nutritionist, but I can't understand what these delights are about. Apart from a few desserts and the famous bubble tea & located everywhere, nothing particularly impresses me. Smell stinky tofu (according to the internet: tofu is soaked for weeks in liquid fermented milk, meat, vegetables and seafood) will not leave us alone until the end of the trip. Much more than eating at the night market, we enjoy ready meals from 7-Eleven.

BHP and Sanepid do not venture here.

Of course, my favorite is bubble tea (and tea with milk in plastic). Not only is it tasty, tapioca balls drunk through a straw pose a clear threat to life and health every time they suck in and shoot into the esophagus.

 

Drinking bubble tea through a straw is like playing Russian roulette

 

Shilin Night Market
Shilin Night Market
Shilin Night Market
Shilin Night Market

The hostel is perfect and in the morning we get up ready for one of the harder days of departure... at least according to plan. We also discover that the lack of windows works great for fighting with jet lag. We can't get to our floor for a long time. It helps us to solve the puzzle in the elevator, in which the buttons are marked B3, B2 ,... ; 0,1,2... Quite late we realize that our level B3 would be called -3 and it is 3 floors underground - this explains the lack of windows.

 


Day 1: God's hand, a classic in Taipei

Apparently the most iconic, epic and well-known route on the island, right after the Taroko climb to Wuling, the famous Taiwan Kom Challenge. Probably even more popular, because it starts in the capital and is definitely more accessible, as you don't go above the clouds. I will not cheat - we had huge expectations.

I would describe the weather on this day as "moderate" - for short sleeves, but rather sultry and foggy. As it turned out later, at extremely high altitudes even extremely foggy. The route, which doesn't look surprising, is called the Hand of God or the Hand of Buddha and is rather difficult & #8230; he he he ;-) Fortunately, we do it with full premeditation lightly - that's why we spend two nights in the first hotel. Our luggage stays there.

At 130 kilometers, we make over 3200m vertically. Good.

The route consists of 6 uphills - one for each finger and one bead on the wrist. It is hard at times, because the average slope over a kilometer or two can reach double-digit percentages. After a not very short journey, adventures at the airport and night exploration of the market, combined with nutritional experiments, we are to say the least second freshness. I am to blame for leaving the hotel at 8.30 in the morning, and yet we fail to make it before dark, I just blame it.

Taipei bicycle
taiwan bicycle
taiwan bicycle
hand of god taiwan

Almost all the way we are accompanied by hands painted on asphalt, which guide us exactly on the outline of the hand - there is even a 131-kilometer segment with a beautiful name: 如 來 神掌 逆 騎 之 不想 回 起點 (crowd: If you come to God, you don't want to go back to the starting point), which exactly coincides with our route. So we just go and admire.

Only with this admiration is a problem. We start from a height of just over 100m above sea level, and the first hill rises to over 800m above sea level. On this day we learn that the local hills are not necessarily stable - the driveway can sometimes have a few percent slope, and sometimes a dozen, with slight breaks on serpents from gang to gang. Views would be nice, but I don't know - before the summit we enter the cloud and the whole remains only for our imagination.

hand of god taiwan

Then 4 fingers await us - each of them slightly different: some crops, temples, pieces of coastal road. Somewhere on the main road along the ocean I catch the only slipper on the whole trip. We also meet a huge statue of a dog, many funny cartoon characters and for the first time we eat dinner at 7-eleven. Like classic Polish riders - we order food and sit on the curb, not knowing yet that each of the stores is located restaurant area. The lady from the stand next door (the best cakes we eat during the whole trip - such pancakes with red beans) seeing this, she falls into hysterical laughter and runs with her stool: she doesn't let us sit on the ground. This confirms our belief that the Taiwanese are one of the friendliest nations we have met.

A little further, somewhere along the way Michał flies the eagle in a ditch and the first losses are recorded - only physical this time. A real professional knows that on the test bike, full impetus is taken on.

hand of god taiwan
taiwan coast bike
taiwan fields

The ascent to the last, biggest mountain begins at sunset, in the 9th hour of driving. It is certain that we will not make it to the panorama of Taipei bathed in golden-orange color. To our surprise, the downhill turns out to be a bit harder than we expected - the first 6.5km is a delicate, 3% preview of what awaits us next, i.e. over 10km with an average of 6%.

 

The route may not be the best, especially with this visibility, but it is hard and gives a lot likes for the trail.

 

At the top there is an optional ramp to the highest peak of the area with (supposedly) a great view: Datunshan - at least that's what Google says. Here, for the first time, we deviate from our plan, because visibility limited to a few meters, very high humidity, not very pleasant cool (although computers say about 20 ° C) do not encourage such risk. Especially that we are in a hurry to the most important point of the whole trip for us: Modern Toilet Restaurant.

At the exit for a moment dawns somewhere colorful and shining panorama of the city with Taipei 101 towering over everything, unfortunately carried by a crowd of scooters, we can't stop. It tires me for the next few days, because with high probability it was the only opportunity to see this view -; as it turned out 10 days later, fortunately not.

Call us whatever you want, a visit to a toilet-styled restaurant is one of the funniest things we've done. Pile-shaped food, served to customers sitting on loo next to shit pillows and accessories, in plates that look like small urinals and toilet bowls is super funny. Contrary to our fears, the food not only looks but is also very good, and the soup served to us is one of the best we have ever had... although it may be the fault of the preceding several hours of driving. Subjectively- it's much better, tastier (and a little more expensive) than at the night market, which is so crowded on Saturday evening that you can only go when the crowd is walking around.

modern toilet restaurant

modern toilet restaurant
taiwan night market
modern toilet restaurant

In the evening we don't talk about the route for too long... it can be said almost never. As it turns out later, none of us wanted to show a delicate... profession. Yes, the route was even nice, but if people refer to it as epic, that doesn't bode well for the rest of our trip. Maybe it's the weather, maybe foggy gray, or maybe our tiredness. Each of us expected something unforgettable, and we got such a slightly worse, though exotic counterpart to the Canaries. On this day, the delicate shadow of the profession is suffocating.

[social_icon bg_color = "#ffffff" color = "#ff00cc" icon = "icon-building-o" type = "type1 ″ href =" "] [/ social_icon] The second night is again: Mono Hostel - 325 PLN / per night for 4 people

 


Day 2: Oh, my eye! Taipei is so cool, the weather is so good & #8230;

The second day welcomed us with moderately cloudy weather. The plan for this day was simple - get to the town of Jiufen. The internet claimed it was some well-known tourist destination. I don't know why, the idea of getting to the tourist center on Saturday seemed good to us. We could get there in two ways: simple - riding along the river flat and ambitious - drifting to the surrounding hills. To our surprise, we chose easy, but lets start from...

Breakfast at 7-eleven and on the way. Wood-cement legs after the previous day, but we assumed that they will remain until the end of the trip and you have to deal with it. For good morning we jumped to the very center of Taipei to visit Rapha. The goal may not be very ambitious, but since we already have a fairly large list of stores visited in the world, why not - it's finally another place where we probably won't be able to buy a hat with the name of the city. Rapha is the only place in Taiwan where no one has spoken to us or even smiled. The service only followed us through the eyes.

 

Rapha my ass

 

Let it be funny - twice, as it turned out, the store may be open from the morning, but only part of the cafe - some with clothes operate from around the south. After three hours, we return to this place to see the smallest range in the history of cycling stores and buy a hat, which you think unexpectedly had in the cafe. Well, hats may and are, but they just ended and are gone.

As a consolation, we stop at the bicycle service, where we screw in untightened things, inflate the wheels (because it turns out that we did the route on the first day on ~ 5 bars) and Dominik leaves the guest in thanks coffee from LUXA - I feel something that a new, lucrative cooperation has been established in this way.

Taipei bicycle
Taipei 101

We decide to spend our bonus 3 hours of waiting for the opening watching the Taipei 101 up close, which is almost a 510-meter building, which was once the tallest in the world. Well, the building is indeed tall, but because of the lack of meaningful reference points it is difficult to say whether it is SO BIG. Given the clouds. floating above the hills, we also give up the ambitious ride plan and replace it with a walk for probably the most famous tourist hill on the island: Elephant Mountain. We leave the bicycles hidden somewhere at the entrance, behind the sculpture - we don't yet know that equipment can be left on the island virtually anywhere on the island. We put the bikes together and take only passports, all the rest stays in mounted bags.

Taipei panorama

Elephant Mountain view
Taipei 101

Elephant Mountain is based on the fact that you can see the whole city from it, and on the top it has a rock in the shape of an elephant head, which according to signs can not sit, but the queue of tourists waiting for their turn is quite large. I can say that diplomatically: a view from a hill during a cloudy day may be cool, but it also shows that Taipei can compete with Naples for the name of the ugliest cities in the world. The difference is that, unlike Naples, there is no trash in them.

taipei bicycle
Taipei Blocks
Taipei Blocks

During the first few dozen kilometers, which we need to leave the city, we reinforce this belief very much. It is so disgustingly bad that it begins to have its charm. Maybe it is these rains and typhoons that destroy buildings so much, but the whole thing looks like the enlarged the worst Silesian housing estates many times over - it's impressive and terrible. When we finally leave the city, it starts raining and according to forecasts, it will stop only in a week or two. The road itself is not very pleasant because it is wet, slippery and heavy traffic.

Houtong Cat Village
Houtong Cat Village
Houtong Cat Village
Houtong Cat Village
Houtong Cat Village

In order to keep strange ideas, the trail directs us to 猴 硐 貓 村 (Houtong Cat Village). It used to be a typical mining village, today it is known for being a cat village. Just as in the restroom restaurant everything was related to the pile, so here everything is about cats. It may be a matter of rain, but I dare say that there are more cat-like attractions here than cats themselves: shops, signs, pictures...I take the panda by force along with the things she bought and which she will carry with her in the next 10 days.

We have 4-5 kilometers to reach our destination... with an average of 6%. As if that was not enough, as expected, the traffic becomes dramatically large and we drive a little, and we stand a bit in the driveway in traffic. The crowd in Jiufen is huge. Here, for the first time, I also learn that the bus has priority over the overtaken cyclist and I'm about 10 centimeters from being crushed. From that moment, seeing a large vehicle behind me, I always let it through. Here is also a good moment to mark a very important thing:

 

Due to heavy rainfall in Taiwan, drainage ditches run along most roads. Such as ours, only concrete, unsecured and vertical downwards for about half a meter - right on the edge of the road. If you shoot a corner, I bet on the lack of a jaw at best. There is no such thing as an emergency escape from the road.

 

As it turns out later, the cork is mainly caused by the fact that a garbage truck is ahead of us, playing the melody of "For Eliza" the most paradoxical thing I've ever seen. In this way, people know that it is necessary to take out the garbage. Here is a curiosity: the second popular melody is Virgin's Prayer Polish pianist: Tekla Badarzewska-Baranowska.

We reach the top in heavy rain and start searching for accommodation. We find him a little, and he finds us a little when, seeing lost cyclists under the house, a man comes out to us and points to an apartment in which a Chinese family of a dozen or so sits, in which nobody speaks a word in English. It doesn't bother us at all, and we even manage to ask to use the washing machine. When we start washing, this family is a bit lacking, because there are a lot of buttons, and each with the stamp... but what is Google Translate for?

Jiufen
Jiufen
Jiufen
Jiufen
Jiufen

In the evening we hit Jiufen Old Street, where we have about 30 seconds from the accommodation and we agree that it is the prettiest and most beautiful night market we have seen. Maybe typical tourist, but very pleasant and beautifully located. From our windows apartment you can see the vast hills and the ocean.

My camera finally dies that day - on the following days I carry with me an unnecessary half kilo.

[social_icon bg_color = "#ffffff" color = "#ff00cc" icon = "icon-building-o" type = "type1 ″ href =" "] [/ social_icon] We sleep in: Long Men Ke Zhan - PLN 311 per night for 4 people

 


Day 3: Very wet and painful

It rains all night. From this place, I would like to congratulate the man who placed the gutter next to our window. This is not the usual rain we know. This is a pool or lake falling from the sky. The forecast leaves no illusions, it will not change. To this day, we do not know whether our decision on the total tipping of the plan was right. We decide instead to head first to the surrounding hills, and then from the sea level directly to around 3000m above sea level reverse / modify our loop. This means going down to the nearest station and finding a train that will take us somewhere south - to the east or west of the island. Apparently, the farther south, the better the chance for nice weather.

We are coming back to the exit we already know to Ruifang and straight to the station. We are very lucky, because at the station we are greeted by a smiling lady with you in a room called "Tourist information". We ask about any train going somewhere towards the sun and get a list of places that are worth visiting in Taiwan. We reformulate the question to "how to ride a bicycle and about which train is"; and again we get the answer "what to visit in Taiwan"... All clear :-)

By trial, error and translator, we finally manage to check-in with the guest and buy tickets for the local train to Taizhong - 4 hours of driving, but it suits us very well, because one of the alternative routes planned by me runs right there, so we can continue it. The guest says that departure in 10 minutes, so we do everything super-fast, we go to the platform entrance and bounce off it, because the ticket man shows us that it was not 10 minutes, only 15: 10... we have 5 hours off.

Jiufen bicycle

A consolation comes to us at the Polka station, which is just finishing its bicycle adventure around the island, and a moment later three cyclists from Taipei come to the station who, surprised by the weather, also decide to evacuate. We take photos together, a man explains something about the weather and shows the forecast in the south of the island, which is exactly the opposite to the place where we are at the moment (i.e. warm and dry instead of wet and cold). Man also reaches the apogee of cycling excitement by shouting in Asian style every now and then "uoooooh! Sooo seeeexyyyy" pointing with his finger at the blue Rondo bicycle that came here with us.

 

Charles explains to us that driving here in the rain in the mountains is dangerous and that it is better to escape to the sunny south - funny guy. These words remind me 3 hours later when I see him scrubbing his knee and elbow on asphalt.

 

We decide to spend our few hours on wandering around the area - first, we jump the nearby hill to the coast, and then taking advantage of the fact that the clothes are wet through, we decide to go through a piece of the loop planned for that day. Coast like coast, wide road along the ocean - it's one of the local cycling routes, so it keeps the right level of boredom and width. As a consolation, we begin the first 5-kilometer driveway after 6% serpentine to return to the place where we slept. For the first time, we can honestly say that it's very nice - such typical Tenerife - ocean, green hills, streamers.

不厭 亭

Delighted, we decide to climb further - still 250 meters to get to one of the most shown roads in the pictures. We even saw her on one of the company's posters. As you can easily guess, some 50 meters from the summit, fog attacks us, which completely cancels any visibility. We reach the top, people applaud, ask questions, and we look at the place where the road should be, from the place where it can be seen best. Here becomes a miracle - the clouds part for a moment, for a moment we see everything. Happy people, the little dog carried on their hands is happy, we are taking pictures and I suffer that the main camera is not working for me.

This point above is called 不厭 亭 (crowd: Not tired of the pavilion) and is super known - it even appears on posters advertising films. Google says that when the weather is good, it should look like this Oh yesbut in the fog has its charm.

不厭 亭
不厭 亭
taiwan bike

The exit is still Tenerife only somehow so steeper, especially when we start the return driveway. Panda drives so much from gang to gang that it can't be more. This is our last, I hope, vacation in life without shields, without wider tires and without a comfortable retirement ratio. Then the exit again, this time along a side road at the end of which some views appear - thanks to the low clouds, quite climatic. It also turns out that the jungle has its own rules and the fact that the roads are perfectly level all the time doesn't give you a sense of security.

On one of the corners, the rain mixed with something that resembles mud, but is invisible, makes it like ice. I see Michał miraculously passing it, and Dominik behaves as if someone kicked him with Lewandowski's strength in the crank and folded to the side. For the sake of maintaining good relations between the boys and equipment supplier I will not write what has broken, but the last 10 kilometers down we go an hour, constantly driving the carousel of laughter at how his bike now rides. Our main goals in Taizhong are to find a good bicycle service and camera store. It's Sunday, it won't be easy.

It quickly turns out that Sunday is a day here like any other and most stores and services work a minimum of 21. It is harder to find a random search service that repairs things other than by hitting them. On this day, the bike receives the condition "somehow you can ride" and when I compare the prices of LX100 II, each version of RX100 and GX5 II, I discover that the prices of electronics do not differ much from ours. I decide on Canon (for sale cheap), which is the only one that is clearly cheaper than ours, but I have no guarantee for it in Europe. When shopping, I also discover that I can't pay with any of the 3 cards - so I use the money of my talented girl who reported her visit to Taiwan in the bank.

taiwan train bike

In the evening we go to a random tourist spot nearby: Painted Animation Lane, which turns out to be several murals in a side street.

[social_icon bg_color = "#ffffff" color = "#ff00cc" icon = "icon-building-o" type = "type1 ″ href =" "] [/ social_icon] We sleep in TG Hostel- stay together - 196zł. As our 4-person room turned out to be unavailable, we were given a 10-person room for consolation.

 


Day 4: We have what we wanted and regret it a little

The fourth day of adventure, which still leaves a lot to be desired, begins with a annoying departure from the city. Not that you drive somehow badly, but the constant lights, high temperature and continuous noise of scooters slightly destroy your head. In the third of the websites we visited, he manages to find a mechanic who can fix not only hitting, but also bouncing, so he repairs the bike, lubricates our drives, we pay him a little for it, because he doesn't want money and we hit the mountains.

We have to the first peak like 15km with an average of 4%, but we already know that it does not work like that and we are ahead of us, for example, 500 meters with an average of 17% - very nice, especially when the temperature exceeds 30 ° C. That's why we came here! There are hills, palm trees, empty roads, blue sky, it is hot and humid, and when we go between the hills, real giants begin to appear in the distance. Yes, three thousandths growing practically from the ocean level is as impressive as the abstract view... especially when you consider that you plan to enter it.

On the way, we mainly pass by palm trees, but there is also a giant tree, a miniature of the block hidden in the forest, hanging bridges, temples and other wonders.

We ride the end of the world a bit with a funny feeling that if we fall molten somewhere on the road, they'll find us in a week. It's quite hard but nice - at least until we reach a somewhat doubtful moment of our track. I remember setting the route there and wondering if these narrow paths were asphalt... and it was supposed to be asphalt, but it was rather useless. We covered this 2.5-kilometer shortcut for 40 minutes, slowly pushing bikes every now and then. I have not seen such a steep road for such a long distance. Since then, for a long time we have not used the term "steeply" to describe any ramp.

We reach Sun Moon Lake - probably the most famous lake on the island. Not only that, the bicycle route around this lake was chosen by CNN as one of the 10 best bike paths in the world.

Dsoup

Maybe it's a matter of weather, maybe our attitude, but a lake like a lake. Perhaps when the sky is perfectly blue, and the mountains in the distance perfectly visible, the whole looks a bit different. In these conditions, however, we would have crossed the lake almost without stops, were it not that they wrote so beautifully everywhere. The 30-kilometer path alone is even cool when you rent a bike on a half-day trip. Somehow, it did not captivate us, and even waiting for the sunset did not change much.

In my humble opinion, Sun Moon Lake can be completely forgiven when planning a visit to Taiwan. Really.

sun moon lake
sun moon lake path

We take the long highway exit to Shuili - there a bed, a 7-eleven and a canteen await us there, which looks like a prison one (the food is transferred directly to the metal tray, and the lady at the cash register pricing everything more or less).

[social_icon bg_color = "#ffffff" color = "#ff00cc" icon = "icon-building-o" type = "type1 ″ href =" "] [/ social_icon] We sleep in Travel Life B&B - 281 PLN / day

When the host hears where we are going and where we are going, he falls into hysterical laughter. The next day will be heavy ones...

 


Day 5: This is Taiwaaaaaan!

It was a day that could finally be called epic. We start from a level of about 300m above sea level and in the plan we have a slow but regular uphill ride around 2700m above sea level. This is probably the biggest uphill I've ever done in my life, because it's bigger than Teide. To make it not easy, around 20km we decide to hook on a hanging bridge, which on Google looked very nice. We beat several extremely steep serpentine through the forest and discover that it is closed... It blends well with the fact that we had to cover a long section with a nice bike path by the river - the problem is that it is currently under construction. Slightly disappointed and definitely more tired, we are coming back to our driveway. It is turbo warm and the driveway goes on forever - no matter how you look at it, it's over 80km of continuous climbs.

From Shuila (not counting the reflection on the bridge) we go along the main, but not very busy road. The situation is so difficult that it is unbelievably warm, and driving in a huge canyon on asphalt, instead of a nice shadow by the river warms us even more. Somehow in front of the 40th kilometer we stand in 7-eleven, not knowing yet that the next store will be in about 5 hours.

A piece behind the shop we reflect on abbreviation, which I can't explain in retrospect. How did I think that shortcut driving would be more convenient if we plan to cover the same distance up a short distance in the level? This shortcut, fortunately, was only ~ 7km, but it finished us a bit, but we were already at 1000m above sea level. Since then, things got better and better and better. The mountains are getting higher, the road is getting higher, the clouds are getting closer, the traffic is completely zero and only from time to time a team of workers rebuilds damaged parts of the road. This is definitely one of the best climbs we have overcome in Taiwan, and maybe one of the best in life. You will be surely - everything here is huge and green.

Here is Alishan National Park.

 

The Neverstop Tataka driveway is 70.7km with an average of 3%.

Alishan

alishan park
Alishan
alishan park
Alishan
Alishan

The closer to the summit, the more everything is enveloped in fog, which on the one hand takes us from the views that we see only on the plates with the markings of the peaks, which we should see, on the other creates a somewhat threatening, fairytale atmosphere. Few moments when a gap appears between the clouds, in which the outlines of the surrounding mountains can be seen is 10/10.

Alishan

On the way we pass a large parking lot, from which it is the entrance to basic park. For the lazy there is a queue that will take us to the most important points of the park. If anyone likes trees, he'll like it - the 1000-year-old set is large, and there will be even those with more than 3000 years of age.

 

The Internet says that in Alishan during the year 209 days are rainy, 244 foggy and the average temperature is slightly above 10 ° C. I can believe it. Hitting only foggy, we are very lucky.

 

I recommend to see (only with street view) how the park looks in the morning Zhushan Sunrise Observation Deck.

Alishan
Alishan
Alishan

Alishan

From the top, the temperature drops to clearly one-digit values and it gets quite cold. By the way, there is also the aftermath of riding in heavy rain and my drum begins to die (the one in the bike, not the food one) - after exceeding a certain speed, when I am not pedaling, it begins to make very unpleasant sounds - sawn metal. Well, after all, people ride sharp and live.

A stable 50 km of gentle descent awaits us, counting on the way for any clearances through the fog. We are not disappointed, at one of the vantage points we get to such a clearance and this is one of the most beautiful views I see ever. Even few local guys stop on pics. This is a bullshit, very bullshit.


taiwan tea

We eat dinner at 7-eleven, and then visit another 7-eleven to buy Chinese soups at the hotel.

[social_icon bg_color = "#ffffff" color = "#ff00cc" icon = "icon-building-o" type = "type1 ″ href =" "] [/ social_icon] We sleep in Fenchihu Street Hotel - 276 PLN / day

See also other parts of the report:

Bikepacking Taiwan part II: Taiwan KOM Challenge ... almost
Bikepacking Taiwan part III: logistics, prices and planning