May 7, 2006 - Sunday
Kenting, TW to Taitung, TW

Ceremony, mountain roads, city dog
MPG, 7.6 MB, 1 min 48 sec

A bike sitting outside of the hostel

Main drag in the daytime - Kenting

Well, the products might have similar shapes as at home - but 99% of the writing I can't understand. Picking something from the shelf sometimes gives a surprise when I taste it.

An old town "gate"

Entering the park - heading North along the eastern coast of Taiwan

I have NO IDEA what nutrition that could be finding!

ATV rentals - ride around in the field. But then - why rent an ATV when you could rent your own tank! Paint ball wars notched up a bit?

Some religious ceremony. Several people stopped along the road to watch. The guys in the bottom left were lighting off boxes of fire works.


OK, first we have the signs. The top one means - NO PASSING - WE REALLY MEAN IT THIS TIME (and is always where a double yellow line is on the roadway - but apparently there are gallons of double yellow paint where it's OK to pass). The bottom one is what two-wheeled vehicles desire: Caution, winding road.

Now for the last item in the picture. Look down the road, what do you see? To me it's a roadWAY stand. They must be hard up for customers so they put the stand OUT IN THE ROAD. When I went by the thing it looked like it had been there for quite some time - not a "weekend thing". [edit - I've seen two of these so far].

Hwy 200 - that's me! But first - why not take a right and see what this Nanren Mountain thing is. Off I head to the right.

A short bit later a fork in the road presented itself - Park Office to the left so let's try the right tine.

...I stopped at this intersection. To my right was what I'd call a "power line" road and ahead didn't look inviting either - not to mention the last bit of gravel two-track I came in on.

Looking ahead - at least it's paved for a bit.

Looking back

A quick backtrack and a jaunt up the left road I was quickly at a tour bus turn around / park entrance. It had a group of people sitting about and looked to be something that you had to walk around to see - not my cup of tea right now so I U-turned it and stopped on the way down to snap this pic.

A line of vehicles and a bus - do I pass?

If I'm stopping for photos the bus WILL be faster than me - so why pass. If I was just making way - I'd certainly work my way around. Today is a picture day.

"Jeep Tours" They were positioned every so many kilometers and when I approached some of them would "call out" for me to stop and buy a trip.


The road came down a hillside behind me, will travel a bit up the valley to the left and then snake along the hillside in the photo. You can see the roadway in the bare spot / slide area. The road turns left in the gap that is in the right of the photo. It's a Sunday and a couple construction workers were working at the site in the slide area - new concrete retaining wall.

From the construction site looking back at the spot from the above picture. I ended up turning around here, headed back down to those houses and took a small road off to the left - out to the ocean - some good pix out there.

The construction work.

Ohhh - good sights.

No, the road wasn't dirt two-track....

At the end of the road - looking back at the harbor. I'll go to the harbor next for pictures back towards this spot.

There was a picknic going on - people grilling out, kids swimming, guys fishing.

The whole community was probably there

I've not done anything to "enhance" the color of the water - it is stunning.

Heading down to the harbor. I'll drive out past that car and stop at the end.

Another performance exhaust.

Hmmm.... My guess is solar powered flashing light beacons - to guide / mark the edge of the harbor.

Looking back towards the "end of the road"

The eastern coast of Taiwan has a good amount of mountains that drop right to the waters edge.

It has a few nice beaches - they aren't extremely abundant but they do exist. There is enough surf to make the surfers pop out.
I went to the site a bit ago - looks to be some kids games thing. I left a card and a surfboard key chain under their windshield wiper.

Animals in the roadway. They started to eat whatever plant was near them then some lady to the left of the photo started yelling at them and they dropped down into the field to the right.

Some twists and turns

The roadway surface is generally good to very good. The major complaint is the "patching crews". One the road is laid down they come back and cut it up for some utility service. Every so many meters there's a man hole cover - round or rectangular. On a good road you'll have _just_ the covers. On a poorer road you'll also have the cut line that is about two feet wide running along in the roadway between the covers. They don't use any sort of rolling machine to press down and flaten the patch asphalt. It's always bumpy and often raised above the surface of the machine laid asphalt. About 85% of the manhole covers are raised as well. Swerving to avoid the bump of them is common.

These "oncoming traffic" mirrors are GREAT. Not only can you see if there's traffic ahead but they give a decent idea on how tight the curve is. I've adapted to using them.

Sand hill - 4 wheelers / Jeeps sitting atop it.

These signs - top right green - signify entrance to the town (town name)

This is a single lane (1.5 vehicle wide lane) road - no center yellow line. Since it has white side lines it is the through-way road for the area.

Hwy 26, kilometer marker 72. The yellow sign says, courtesy of Translator Tom: "Many turns ahead - be careful"

This outpost looked to be unused.

There was something up on the mountain top too.

I kept trying to follow up the coast - right along the coast - nope - end of the road. I'll turn back and take the last turn inland (not but about 1 minute back)

The largest military item so far. At the base of the hill, when I passed by on the road, there were entrance gates and tunnels.

[Typing note 05/12 Friday 11pm: I'm on the ferry for Makung. I figured the ferry would be empty as it is a 4 hour ride - who would be riding out to the islands at this time of day? Granted it is a weekend and the destination is a tourist spot - but a four hour ride starting at 11 pm? When I boarded (at 10 pm) there were maybe five people in the room - so I grabbed a seat next to an outlet to plug in. Then about 15 minutes before departure the place filled up with kids and what I'd say are parents "guarding" the troup. The place is noisy and I got kicked out of my preferred, AC voltage nearby seat. There is one seat open that is nearby an outlet and I'm keeping an eye on that one - the ferry should be leaving now].

The heartily appreciated "impromptu lunch"

I stopped at a store for a snack. I was looking for a bottle of water and some wrapped snack, something simple as I don't know the language. I haven't had much to eat today and am somewhat hungry - willing to eat more than a muffin or candy bar.

This lady saw me looking through the store and she either sensed I was hungry or she simply knew how to sell. She went over to a freezer and pulled out a bag of frozen dumplings (in the blue bowl, below). I nodded affirmative and she went digging in the freezer again, this time pulling out another bag. One was green (vegitarian?) and the other brown (beef?). I went for the green label and she headed to the back to the kitchen.

She returned with the plate of food and added to it some soup she had cooking, without asking and likely for no charge. While she was cooking it up her son (husband?) sat and talked with me. He spoke English just a bit. She spoke no English. I, unfortunately, speak no Chinese. We mainly laughed a lot and enjoyed each others company. She looked through my Lonely Planet guide book and I noted that it was upside down. She turned it right side up when she came to pictures. I understand her language about the same.

The kicker is, people are wired the same no matter where. I pulled out the camera and motioned to taking a picture with her in it, if it would be OK. She immediately became bashful and her hands flew up to make sure her hair was just right.

I arrived hungry and was fed beyond anything anticipated. Gracious, sincere hospitality. Xie-Xie (Thank You)

Her and her son at the store. Narrow isles in the front of the store - you could find just about anything you need. Next rearward were a couple pool tables.

Reasonably close GPS coordinates:  [22.196200253, 120.8789713910]

I'd recommend stopping in and showing her this picture. She gave me her card so I'll try to send her a note. I gave her my card but she handed it back (several have done the same, they likely can't understand it like I can't understand theirs).

Mountain road, twisties, decent asphalt, 30 kph speed limit - fun (realistic speeds are 45 to 60 kph)

Looking down on the town where the lady and son are - they are just behind the trees at the left edge of town.

On the hill to the right / south of town - the large military post.

The speed limits are also written on the roadway.

At a three-way intersection

Hillside cemetary

A clock that is precise (or is it accurate) twice a day at about 2:21.

At a brown "recreation area" sign I took a turn - after all a couple guys were walking on the road - must be something there - not really. I saw these two bikes in the lot, parked nearby, and took some photos before walking up the stairs to see whatever is there.

A 2 year old? Honda CB 1300. Beautiful condition - very clean.

Up the stairs I go.

After passing through an invisible strand of spider web I knew the people from the parking lot weren't "up here". When I got "up here" I knew why - it was a broken down "resort" or camp. I walked around just a bit - not venturing inside or off the thin path. Just a few pix and back down I went.

Back down at the bikes - their owners were there. I spoke with them as the gent in orange knew some English (I was to call him tonight - when I arrived back in Kaohsiung - but my stay here just became a "came and went" event - I was expecting on taking the 9:15 AM Saturday ferry instead of the 11 PM Friday ferry).

We chatted for a bit and I admired his nice, clean bike.

The road, around the next corner or two, will expand into 4-lane. I had been on the tail of this car as it had been moving down the hill. It's brakes were HOT and smelling up the air.

When two lanes in your direction just aren't enough - pass over the double yellow. Speed limit sign to the right - 70 kph (43 mph)

Road cut visible on the hillside

The different water colors keep catching my eye.

One of the first views of the rail line along the east coast

Train tunnel - a southbound train will pass into it in about 6 minutes - and I'll miss it.

I went following a side road back up a valley. It passed by some rice? fields then turned south. I didn't want to head south so I turned back. A moment or two later a police car came down the road towards me - lights on - which is common. I waved and they waved and smiled back.


Looking over the town - the train is passing south just beyond the houses.

From the nuke plant at the southwest corner of Taiwan a legion of power line soldiers march up and down the mountains heading north.

There's a "hot springs" somewhere down here.

This kid had a job pushing the bike up this long, steep hill.

Erosion is everywhere. Half of this road was taken out. In the river valley itself there was a water diversion project going on.

End of the road for me - it goes on further but I don't care to take it (at least with Felipe's bike). You'll see why

It decends to the river base and treks along the right side of the river for a bit. It wasn't until many minutes after being at this stop that I noticed there was a bike "down there". If you follow the road down the hill - where the road hits river level - parked just to the side of the road is a black dot.

Some of the construction is visible. A person is fishing in the bottom right of the pic - scooter nearby. I wonder what this river looks like during the rainy season.

Detailed tile work along the roadside

Hydraulic lifts. I think the U.S. mainly uses screw type - and perhaps for this reason - hydraulics can leak and sink over time. Care to have your car parked next to it?

Small town and the TV crews were out over some event.

Rain is just over there

Railroad crossing

In the town of Hualine - I'm getting near the "old" train station. When I find it I can use it as a navigation base to find a hotel.

Bingo - there it is! The hotel is just a couple blocks over to the left.

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