A Dream Come True

Circumnavigating Taiwan via Bicycle

by Dudley Henderson (Aug 4-11, 2012)

Day 8 Budai ~ Home

Day 8, if all went well, would be the day I arrive home. As I prepared to leave I had thoughts of my bed, my pillow, and I thought I could smell home. I have to admit, I was growing a bit weary, but home was only 100 kilometers away and I was anxious to be there. The ride out of Budai was greeted with black clouds and I was soon in a heavy downpour. I did not stop to get out of the rain; I only stopped to put the rain cover on my bags. The rain was on and off until I was just outside of Tainan. Riding through Tainan was a treat. I had been in Tainan before, but never along 17. It is a beautiful city. I stopped at a park and removed my rain covers and put on sun block as the sun was now out full force and bright. I thought the rest of the ride would be nice and dry. Before I could get out of Tainan, I had to stop quickly and put the rain covers back on. How does the weather change so fast? I stopped to have a brunch of dumplings and tea eggs and then pushed on. It is easy to fit in more than 3 meals a day when riding. Somewhere south of Tainan I left the rain behind, but I was not going to stop and take the rain covers off. It wasn't long before I reached Lover's Warf where Highway 28 meets Highway 17. It is part of a loop that I ride occasionally, so I almost felt like I was home, but there was still about 35-40 kilometers to go. I had to stop for water a couple of times, but other than that, I was going home! The 100 kilometer ride ended with me having to climb back into the hills east of Nanzi. The climbing was easy because home was at the end of the climb. As I rounded the last switchback the first thing I saw was my wife standing in the road taking pictures. Then around the curve she was on and I was greeted by 4 of my 7 grandkids, my daughter and her husband. I was a little embarrassed, as they had made signs and were holding up the signs and shouting "winner of the Tour de Taiwan." They are not aware that there is a Tour de Taiwan and their Papa is not even capable of participating in it, much less winning it. But hey, my grandkids love their Papa and Nano and we love them, and they had spent a lot of time making the signs and getting ready for me to come home. Made me proud.

There is no place like home and being with the family you love and then came the joy of sharing my experience with them. My favorite pie is chocolate and you can bet there was a freshly baked warm one waiting.

A week passed before I even looked at my bicycle, but exactly a week later, my son-in-law and I did the 70 kilometer loop that goes through Lover's Warf and while we were riding, we were making plans to ride around the island next summer if the Lord permits. Will I do it again? When do you want to leave?

The Route

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..a mean sky greets me as I ride out of Budai..

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..the rain had almost stopped as I reached Tainan, but the roads were still wet..

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..pause for a quick rest and have some water..

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..stopped in Tainan to take a break and put on suntain lotion..sun was out, it's going to be nice..

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..Highway 17 through Tainan..

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..I don't make it out of Tainan before the sun is gone, the rain is back and the rain covers have to go back on..

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..brunch time, tea eggs and dumplings..putting the rain cover on, taking it off, putting it back on is hard work..

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..the coast just south of Tainan..

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..three of the four grandkids welcoming their Papa home..the little one must have been too shy and did not get in the pictures

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..I was tired,but happy, the grandkids had even made me a special metal..well it was paper, but I'm going to keep it..

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..after a nice piece of warm chocolate pie and a glass of milk..

..the end of the trail..

Epilogue

At my age, I will admit that I probably should have taken a day of rest somewhere along the ride, maybe two. But I was enjoying the ride and the anticipation of the next beautiful scene somewhere up the road made me want to continue. I think back to what my younger brother told me, "slow down and smell the roses", I know what he meant and he was probably right, but the scenery was awesome and I was going slow enough on a bicycle to enjoy every minute. Maybe I rode faster than I should have, but that is the way I like to ride. It reminds me of an incident that happened years ago when we lived near Houston, Texas. I needed a ditch dug for a water line and hired a Mexican laborer to dig it for me. I told him I would pay him for the job, not by the hour. I checked on him after a while and noticed that he looked like he was about to croak and was digging like a mad man. I quickly called a friend of mine that spoke Spanish and asked her to tell him to slow down, there was no hurry and the money would be the same. He gave the phone back to me and she told me she tried to get him to slow down but he said, "I only know one way to dig." I guess I only know one way to ride.

My mom passed when she was 96 and she lived with us for a little over two years towards the end of her life. I was riding almost every day and I can't count the number of times she said, "Son, you need to grow up." The last time I heard her say that I was at least 68, but I ain't gonna grow up.

I highly recommend the ride. I was out on a ride a week after completing ride around Taiwan and met 3 young ladies from Taipei at a 7-11. They were riding around the island. Good for them. I hope to hear how their ride went. And thanks again to Paul at www.durbanbay.com for writing the blog that gave me the courage to make the ride.

Finally, I continually thank my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, who has not only blessed me with the strength to ride and enjoy His creation, but most of all I thank Him for providing a sacrifice for my sins. He paid a debt that I could never pay; I am just a sinner saved by His grace.

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..the 3 young ladies I met who were riding around the island..

加油 ladies! Enjoy!..

 

Experience Day 8 Budai - Home 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