Saturday, 23 February 2019

Taiwan - Return to Taipei

20th January Being Outdoor, Fulong Beach – Hotel G7, Taipei  76kms

Big day! Left Being Outdoor after coffee, waffles and a big chat with the owner.  Got away into the lovely foothills – gently rolling – and very pleasant progress through lovely green low hills. Ended abruptly after about 15kms when the climb began in earnest to Pinglin – very steep and strenuous. We stopped near the top and afterwards biked around the corner and were delighted to find a tunnel! Still uphill but descended straight afterwards which raised morale considerably. Over Pinglin we saw a few paper lanterns flying but it had begun raining steadily and quite cold so we pressed on.Another rise and then again – a great surprise to find another tunnel – great! And yes – a descent afterwards. Superb. Big descent and very steep in deteriorating weather to the town of Keelung where the rain caught up with us again. Sheltered thankfully and hungrily in the 7-11 where the hotdogs were very welcome after the energy we’d spent. Met some young guys outside who we chatted with.

Carried on the Cycleway No. 1 but lost it somewhere near Xizhi and ended up on Highway 5 up a hill in rain and descended again and later sheltered in a bakery when we found the bikeway. Got on the bikeway again and it had lots of barriers and road crossings. Crossed the Keelung River again and got on the other bikeway only to have it end abruptly and have to backtrack andget back across the road. Abandonned that and got back on the road again. Made quick but trafficky progress and at one intersection a car didn’t give way and it nearly hit us. Very big shot of adrenaline and felt a bit shaky after that. Found the actual Keelung River cycleway proper after that and that was great. Amazing views of city.

Detoured to Decathlon as we passed it – not very far – but it was crazy so got in and out fast. Had trouble rejoining the cycleway again and all a bit frazzled by the traffic and routefinding and weather so took a bit to get back on track. All very time-consuming. Made great progressand navigation around the Keelung River cycleway and on twilight at 5pm when exited the cycleway and crossed the Chongyang Bridge – crazy traffic but very relieved to find a cycle lane up onto it. Great to cycle into Luzhou down Jixian Rd right to the hotel, arriving about 5.30pm exhausted!

Relaxed, had beer, chips and lemonade and watched tv before going out for fried dumplings. All very tired and relieved to be here.