A Dream Come True

Circumnavigating Taiwan via Bicycle

by Dudley Henderson (Aug 4-11, 2012)

Day 6 Tamsui ~ Dajai

Day 6 from Tamsui to Dajai was a tough day and the longest ride of the trip, 154 kilometers or 95 miles. I started from Tamsui around 6:00am and had to ride east along the Tamsui River until I reached a bridge to cross the river. Then I rode back west along the river to the coast. Reaching the coast I turned south and was headed home! I found some bike trails along the coast but after a while I opted to stay on Highway 15 that would take me to Highway 61. The bicycle trails would have been great, but there was still debris on the trails from the typhoon of the week before, so I elected to stick to the highways. My wife reported that the Taichung airport was reporting wind out of the south at 9 miles an hour. I saw a lot of wind generators along the coast and they were turning at full speed and I know the wind in my face had to be gusting between 10 and 15 miles per hour. Bikers hate headwinds. Feels like riding into a wall.

Around 100 kilometers out, I was tired and started looking for a place to stay, but I was too stubborn to go west or inland to find a place and I was not having any luck finding anything on the coast. I was so tired I stopped taking pictures, a mistake. Finally I stopped at a McDonalds somewhere before Tongsiao (I think) and was told by the manager that in 10 kilometers I would see a motel. After 15 or more kilometers still no sign of a motel or hotel. I went on to Dajai. Not seeing anything along the main highway, I stopped at a fire station and asked the EMS people where I could find a hotel. There were 6 of them and one young lady who spoke a little English. They began to argue among themselves. Seems like it went on for hours since I was dead tired. Finally I asked what the problem was. There was a split decision on whether I should turn left at the 4th or 5th red light and neither side would give in. I told them I was going to push my bike into the street, get hit by a car and they would then take me to the hospital where I would spend the night. They did not understand my humor. I started to walk away and the young lady told me to wait. She promptly appeared on a scooter and said follow me. I don't have any idea whether we turned left at the 4th or the 5th red light, but I was overjoyed to see a sign that said hotel about 10 blocks into the city. I presume if that hotel was to catch on fire, they would get there quickly, but they couldn't tell me how to get there. To make matters worse, my wife was crying when I finally called her and she was not crying because she was glad to hear from me. I recognized it right away as a mad cry. I had not checked in for over 4 hours.

The Route

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..crossing the Tamsui River..

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..riding along the south side of the river looking at Tamsui across the river..

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..remember this hotel from the day before?..I did not stay there..

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..the park and walking bridge in Tamsui..

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..happy to see many wind generators on the west coast..

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..trying to ride the bike trail to the left

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..fishing must begin at high tide..notice wind generators down the coast..

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..looking back north on the bike lane..

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This picture needs a bit more explanation. It was taken from the inside of a beetle nut shop on the side of Highway 61 or could have been Highway 1. I have already mentioned that I did not see many places to stop on my first day south. I know that these little stands sell not only beetle nut, but drinks, etc. An older man ran this shop and I was surprised that most of his customers were not buying beetle nut but drinks and cigarettes etc. I was hot and thirsty. So I stopped, opened the door and asked if I could come in. Bought some plum tea and a large water and noticed that there was a chair and small table at one end of the shop. I asked if I could sit inside and he seemed happy to let me relax there for a while. The nice part was that it was air-conditioned and I needed a rest and the water and tea was cheaper than 7-11. The surroundings were just not as nice. I should have called my wife while relaxing there!

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..another 7-11 stop..and the last picture of the day..I got caught up in trying to find a hotel and the camera was the last thing on my mind..

I have already told the rest of the story in the introduction. I went on to Dajai where a young lady EMT got on a scooter and I followed her to a hotel. I gave thought to asking them if I could spend the night in the fire station. No doubt they had plenty of bunks. I am glad my wife forgave me for not calling or I may have needed the EMS when I reached home!

My brother sent me a text while I was on the trip and told me to slow down and smell the roses. I could have replied that there were no roses to be seen. I did not see or smell any roses, but my eyes beheld the beauty of God's creation while my destination was the ride.

 

Experience Day 6 ~ Tamsui to Dajai by pictures ~ HERE

Day 1 Home to Manjhou

Day 2 ~ Manjhou - Taimali

Day 3 ~ Taimali - Fongbin

Day 4 ~ Fongbin - Fulong

Day 5 ~ Fulong - Tamsui

Day 6 ~ Tamsui - Dajai

Day 7 ~ Dajai - Budai

Day 8 ~ Budai - Home

Comments questions to: dudley@moreearnestheed.org