After a tiring first day, we decided to relax a little on day 2 by heading out and hitting the road at 7.45am. After cycling for about 15mins, it started drizzling and strong winds coming our direction (as we were riding along the coastal and higher above ground). We found a shelter (grocery shop) to put on our rain gears – raincoat, windbreaker, rain cover for bags and even a shower cap!
NOTE : expect rain when in Taiwan no matter what season!
We had breakfast at Shitiping, also a little fishing village then continue our ride in the rain. Next pit stop was at Fengbin (10.20am) for some “fuel” at 7-11, water and rice balls. We knew whats coming ahead – starting from Jiqi beach onwards, where will be a hill climb.
we continued our journey and yes, the climb was crazy, finally we arrived at Baci Lookout point at 12.45pm, but that was not the end of it all, there were small uphills.
at this point of time, some of us were really tired from all that uphill plus the rain that hasnt stop since morning. We arrived at Shulian at 1.45pm and arrived at Hualien Visitor Centre at 4pm! Looking at our map, our accomodation is in Hualien town, little did we know that from the visitor centre to town, is easily another 10km or more? Plus the rain was getting heavier as we were entering Hualien town.
When we arrived into Hualien town, we were so frustrated with the rain that we just want to get to our accomodation ASAP. What we should HAVE done was to head to Hualien train station to return the bikes and get a cab to our hotel. When we arrived at the hotel with our bikes, we realized the mistake. We were too tired to cycle to GIANT to return the bikes. We called GIANT to see if we can return the bikes the next day, but found out that they are close on next day (Thursday)! and that they will be closing in a hour. We found ourselves in a bit of a situation as we are scheduled to head back to Taipei by train the next day.
Thank God, our hotel host manage to talk to GIANT to come pick the bikes up that rainy evening itself and we had to top up additional 200TWD each bike which isnt so bad after all 🙂
This Taiwan East Coast ride is our very first cycling tour and here are some notes to share:
- we packed a little too much, lessen your load
- 7-11 is your best friend (toilet break, water, food)
- bring along Vitamin C – great for muscle recovery
- study your route and know your cyclist and their capability, we had to detour because we just couldnt go thru Highway30
- prepare for all kind of weather
- if possible, avoid Highway 11 after Fengbin. From Baqi to Hualien onwards, there were many busses and trucks going into Hualien. A little too busy for our comfort.
Will i cycle tour again after this experience? YES
Will i visit and cycle Taiwan again? YES