Saturday, November 14, 2015

Taiwan - Day 5 - Hualien Cycling

Saturday 14 November 2015

[Spending a little over two weeks traveling with Dad to Taiwan and the Philippines.]

Today was our last day in Taiwan, and we finished our visit most enjoyably by riding the Hualien City Coastal Bikeway.

We rented bikes from Giant Bikes.  They have a shop just to the left of the train station, where you can rent a bike for a whole day for NT $300.  From there you have a short ride through the city, maybe 20 minutes, until you reach the Coastal Bikeway (ask at the Information Center near the train station or Giant Bikes for a map / directions).

The ride through the city streets was extremely enjoyable, a sort of symphony of scents. I don't mean this in a bad way.  There is car and scooter exhaust, sure, but it is more all the little hole-in-the-wall restaurants and food stalls your ride past, each with an unique, wafting aroma of a different meal.  And today was grey skied, so there was the scent of rain in the air as well.  This part of the ride makes you feel a bit of a local - you join into the flow of scooterists and other cyclists and become part of the urban dance of commuting.  

Once on the trail, the ride is mostly flat with a few, mild, uphill slopes.  One way is about 15 km.  The trail is well marked with bike signs on posts and bike directional arrows on the really can't get lost, and if you stop and look lost, some local cyclist will kindly point you on your way without you even asking.

Bikeway sign with kilometer marker

The ride reminds somewhat of riding on Pacific Coast Highway in California except no car traffic, and has the feel much more of riding on a beach-walk promenade.  Some sections go right along the sand while others over bridges and under a canopy of trees.  Some truly stunning views of the Pacific Ocean.

Deterrent against a D-day type invasion from the sea
Felt with the fingertips, the water was quite warm.  The "sand" was course, more like finely ground pebbles with lots of stones of all shapes and sizes, incredibly smooth.  I may or may not have gotten rather swept up in stone hunting...because yes I am a well-adjusted adult, and yes this seemed the best use of time on our last day in Taiwan.

Skipping Stones
Stone Hunting

We road from about 1100 - 1415, with a short break for lunch along the we looked across the ocean we realized that just a few thousand miles across the water, we were looking right at home.

Just a few thousand miles across the ocean...looking right at home
We got the 1528 train (around NT $440) back to Taipei, arriving around 1737.  We checked into our hostel and then got a bite to eat at a noodle house before turning in for the night.

We are off to a new local tomorrow, part of which is rather remote, so might be radio silent for a few days and will be blogging in hindsight later on...just because I know I have so many readers (Mom) who will be eagerly awaiting the posts ;)

1 comment:

  1. Wow! Again, stunning photos.. the ocean looks so tropical :)