Monday, December 11, 2017

Cycle Taiwan Day 15 Yuli to Hualien

We had our breakfast in a shop at Guangfu Road GPS : 23.331448, 121.312556 beside the hotel.  
Another typical Taiwanese breakfast with fried stuffed pancake, bao, glutinous rice roll and soy bean drink.
Passing by a market area in Yuli and slowly we exited the town.
We found a dedicated bicycle path and happily we went onto it.
It lead us to a long bridge 歐亞板塊與菲律賓海板塊交界處 solely for bicycle at GPS : 23.321114, 121.330567
And also a marker indicating the fault line that divides Eurasian-Philippines Sea Tectonic plates at the bridge. It is believe that the earth movement has allow minerals to ooze out to the surface to improve the soil condition hence producing the tasty and aromatic Chishang rice.
We have overshot the route to Hualien and at this point we weren't aware of the mistake and continued enjoying the beautiful trail and company. By right we should be turning off after crossing the bridge.
Yufu Lake Bikeway converted from an old railway line.
The old Dongli Station is now defunct and is part of the beautiful Fuyu Lake Bikeway. The railway line has stopped operating because of the uneven strata caused by the fault line compressed between the Eurasian plate and the Philippine Sea plate. We have overshot by 7km.
Anyway one for the album for remenbrance at Donglitiemayi Station 東里鐵馬驛站. At the place we met a retired Architect, Mr. Chang who wanted to spend more time with us on his work but unfortunately we had to rush and turn back. 
We also met a solo tourer by the name David Flatley from Australia who was travelling on the opposite direction. Photo credit Anne Cheong.
At last we got ourselves re-orientated and were back on track at Route 30 then Route 193.
And the ride continued on route 193, flat and easy for the moment.
Crossing back to Route 9 using Gaoliao Bridge at GPS : 23.385559, 121.343345
At this spot on Route 9, GPS : 23.404506, 121.338324 I managed to capture a train passing through the red bridge.
After Sanmin 三民, a small town of Yuli we were greeted with a climb which we cannot escape anymore.
A rest after the climb by the road side.
There are a few tea stores around this area, whenever there are tea stores there is a highland.
A cluster of shops just before arriving at the Tropic of Cancer Marker Park.
Tropic of Cancer Marker Park
北回歸線標誌公園 in the vicinity of  Ruisui Township GPS : 23.465836, 121.357566
Jo indulged in a tea purchase at one of the stalls at Tropic of Cancer Marker Park.
We have visited the two markers in Taiwan, the first was at Chiayi and now at Ruisui. During summer the sun will travel directly overhead along this line from Chiayi to Ruisui.
Still at the top of the elevated road of Route 9 we could see a 5 green segmented railway bridge.
There you are the 5 green cages which we saw it when we were high up on the road. GPS : 23.476371, 121.357948
We stumbled into this crowded shop 瑞穗綠茶肉圓
 selling a meat dumpling specialty, we tried and it was good and yummy. Located at Zhongzheng North Road GPS : 23.498034, 121.377477
We had a good chat with the operator on their specialty and he recommended us to visit Danongdafu Forest Park.
The food that we ate at this popular shop at Ruisui.
Another long bridge at GPS : 23.505535, 121.386837 on Route 193 asmentioned by the meat dumpling shop operator.
Out of nowhere in a secluded corner along Route 193 we saw a prison apparently of minimum security (Rehabitation Centre) and a park with interesting sculptures of animal.
We surely had tough moment at Route 193 it is hilly at the last stage. Fenn was enjoying a downhill roll ahead of us and only realised she had to turn back for about 1.5km to regroup with the rest.
At last everyone was at the junction with these striking frames to welcome us. The forest park is about another 4km away. The location of this place is GPS : 23.610281, 121.4360724
Danongdafu Forest Park 大農大富平地森林園區 at Guangfu Township GPS : 23.610356, 121.424922 with a size of 11-hectares of reforested ground that was once used as sugar fields. A park that you would love to come  and take lots of picture.
Among the many features found in the park we just wish that we had more time to spend here. It was getting dark, we have to leave and continue our journey to Hualien.
It took us another 8km to reached Guangfu Station and the time was 10 minutes to 7pm.
At last we have finished with our cycling for the day and a tough day indeed using Route 193 cycling a distance of 77km.
The train fare to Hualien. NTD63.00
After checking to Chan Tai Hotel for NTD1,000 per room per night, we walked to a shop beside the hotel to try the delicious fish milk soup with minced pork rice. Tomorrow we will explore Hualien City.
Day 15 - Yuli to Hualien was a strenuous ride from Yuli to Guangfu Station after that a train ride to Hualien.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Cycle Taiwan Day 14 Taitung to Yuli

Breakfast was provided by Long Xing Hotel, it was a pre-packed simple breakfast and we ate it outside the hotel. The weather was slightly cold but nice.
Off we went to Taitung Train Station and was greeted by an astonishing statue at the entrance. Our plan was to get into the inner side of Eastern Taiwan rather than on the coastline facing Pacific ocean.
We were happy to see an escalator in the station.
The train fare to Luye Station is NTD21 per person (approximately 25km away from Taitung).
In front of Luye Station, Luye 鹿野 is a tea producing area which is under the county of Taitung. And we have successfully bypassed the hilly climb and were set to cycle again.
The weather and road condition remained good and perfect for cycling.
We passed by many single storey houses by the roadside with interesting and bright painting of mostly depicting the culture of the natives.
And more painting along the way.
Continuing heading towards the north where we were expecting to visit Guanshan and Chishang.
A few stalls selling sugar juice by the road side.
The golden field of Taitung producing the best rice in Taiwan and the scene is awesome.
The rice field is everywhere and we hope to get closer or maybe visit one of them.
Arriving at the town of Guanshan, the time was about 12.20pm we might as well take our lunch here. 
Our meaty lunch at a shop known as 香港良記燒臘店 at Heping Road near the train station (GPS :  23.045763, 121.163302) which was serving Hong Kong roasted chicken, roasted duck, siew yok and vegetables with plain rice.
From the Hong Kong BBQ shop we used a road beside it to go into the inner part of Guanshan which we hope to locate the first bicycle trail in Taiwan. Upon getting closer to the field we just could not resist us to get inside.
We went round and round the area slowly positioning ourselves towards north.
The inner Guanshan is quiet and serene with village houses and their small gardens beside the vast pady fields.
Meeting one of the folks on his motorised trolley in Guanshan village.
We were glad to find Taiwan first bicycle trail.
Guanshan bicycle trail was the first bicycle path in Taiwan and it is well maintained, we spend some time on the trail. The setting with matured trees, mountains behind and paddy field is such a fabulous scene.
This part of route 9 of the cycling trail runs along the Taiwan Railway line as and when you feel like taking train you can just find the nearest station and alight on one.
After crossing Chishang Bridge on Route 9 of the cycling trail we noted several signs indicating places of interest in the paddy field. We saw one written in English "Mr. Brown's Avenue" and that lead us into another golden field for more fabulous time.
Our timing was perfect we came at when the field was gold in colour.
I wish I own this paradise.
With the mountains at the backdrop is such a marvel.
Let's dance to the rhythm of this beautiful place.
This time we were looking for the slanting white picture frames in the paddy field as posted by a friend, so where is it.....
The field is really big, the hunt continued and as if we have conquered the territory.
A cafe in the middle of the padi field known as 21 Life House which can be found at GPS : 23.092128, 121.211879.
We stopped by for a tea at this cosy cafe. Photo credit : Anne Cheong.
There you are! Let's be framed.
Let me introduce you, this is Mr. Brown and his coffee. He and Mr. Takeshi Kaneshiro (金城 武) whom have made this place so popular that everyone wants to come and visit it.
We have spent hours at the paddy field and time was running late, we had to move on. After much consideration we decided to take a train to Yuli for the night.
We read about a popular lunch box in relation to the railway line and it could be found in this town. Hence we went asking for it and found the shop.
 The lunch box at 家鄉池上飯包 shop near Chishang train station selling at NTD80 per box. The box is made of thin plywood and is located at  Zhongzheng Road GPS : 23.125691, 121.219872
Chishang Train Station is newly renovated and is one of the most beautiful stations we have visited.
The train fare from Chishang to Yuli is NTD38 per person. The distance apart is about 30km.
The interior of the station is clad with timber finish looking more like an old church.
We arrived at Yuli Station around 7.30pm and the hotel we were eyeing was less than 100metres away from the station.
We checked into a 瓦拉米客棧 Hotel at Datong Road, Yuli Township GPS : 23.331661, 121.312428. The room rate was NTD1,000.
After visiting a night market at Yuli we decided to eat in a shop instead of at the roadside and we found the famous Yuli noodles at 玉里麵馬蓋先美食Guangfu Road GPS : 23.331433, 121.314514
Day 14 where we took a train to Luye and cycled to Chishang for a distance of 47km