A Dream Come True

Circumnavigating Taiwan via Bicycle

by Dudley Henderson (Aug 4-11, 2012)

Day 7 Dajai ~ Budai

Day 7 from Dajai to Budai would be another long day into the south wind. Early in the morning while the streets were empty, I left the hotel the EMS had led me to and gave some thought to returning to the fire station to thank them for their help. However, I couldn't remember if I needed to go through 4 or 5 red lights to get there, so I turned south on 17 and was soon passing to the west of the Taichung airport. The ride started out well but would soon get complicated. For some reason I seemed to have a problem understanding Highway 17 and Expressway 61. Bicycles are definitely not allowed on expressways. But, there are times when 17 runs beside or underneath 61. When you come to a river or a train track and the highways are together, it is up and over so you feel like you are in the scooter or bicycle lane of 61. Then there are times when 17 leaves 61 completely taking a different route. Now you, the reader, are no doubt confused and I am completely confused trying to write this. I didn't know how confused I was while on the ride until later.

Things seemed to be going well and I started looking for a place for breakfast. I was in a small town and what I thought was Highway 17 was taking me though an area that must have a breakfast shop. I quickly found a neat little breakfast shop and ordered breakfast. While the food was being prepared, I decided to step out into the street and look at my phone's GPS to check my progress. I was nowhere near 17! I had somehow missed a turn and had headed southeast ending up in Hemei. After breakfast the trusty GPS found a highway that went southwest and back to 17, so I didn't loose too much time, just a slight detour. Of course I rationalized that there wouldn't have been a place to eat breakfast had I stayed on 17. Glad my wife was not with me or I would have had to pretend to look at pictures on my cell phone while using the GPS. Men are never lost!

I continued south on 17 and before long Highway 17 rejoined Expressway 61. I must have reached one of those areas where it was up and over and this time I noticed that I was staying up for a long time. It was pleasant because there did not seem to be any scooters buzzing by me. I was making pretty good time. I happened to look down to my right as a highway went under me and to my surprise I saw a sign that gave me a shock. It read, Highway 17 South! Oh no, was I on the expressway? There was an on ramp just ahead and I went down it backwards, actually the wrong way, I can't ride backwards. Thankfully there were no cars entering the expressway. As I reached the bottom, I looked back and saw a sign, which meant only cars and motorcycles over 650cc, allowed to enter. I have no idea how long I rode on the shoulder of the expressway. Highway 17 took me through a small town then back to the edge of the 61 where I noticed a police car sitting at an exit ramp watching cars come off the expressway. I wonder what they would have done if they had seen me ride by on my bicycle?

From there it was on to my destination, Budai, a fishing port with a Fisherman's Warf. After 142 kilometers into a south wind, it was a welcome sight. I think I stayed on Highway 17 most of the time, but I can't be sure.

The Route

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..early morning ride out of Dajai..

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..breakfast shop in Hemei where I was lost, correction, just taking a slight detour for breakfast..

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..break time..

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..I watched this fisherman come ashore because the wind was too strong for his styrofoam craft..

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..it had not been long since I had taken the written test to get a Taiwanese driver's license and I knew the sign on the left meant cars and motorcycles over 650cc ONLY allowed to enter..thankfully I saw the SOUTH 17 sign..

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..looking out the window at a 7-11 while having tea eggs (protein) to help fight the south wind..

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..entering Budai..

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..entrance to Budai's Fisherman's Warf..

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..fresh seafood..

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..I had seen oyster shells all along the road, my choice for supper, fried oysters!..

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..Taiwanese love to practice English whenever they can. These two sisters were with their family at a table near me and talked to me as I enjoyed my oysters. When you're alone a conversation is welcome. They left before I had finished and then promptly returned to tell me that their family had taken care of my bill. I thanked them and asked if I could take their picture. They love pictures too..

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..seafood market where you can buy fresh seafood or step into their little stall to have a cooked seafood meal..

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..after supper I still wanted liquid because of the hard ride, so I stopped at a tea shop for a tall cold milk tea, which is a favorite in Taiwan..

 

Experience Day 7 ~ Dajai to Budai 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