Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Bike to Baolai and back: Part 1

Last week I enjoyed a blissful reprieve from the hard grind of the kindergarten (oh, how hard we work in kindergarten) and spring afforded me a vacation. Unfortunately the teachers at Andrea's school do not enjoy the same benefit so it was business as usual for her. So I was free to employ myself in whatever schemes or machinations I so desired. I actually had a very productive time, knocking off chores and miscellaneous jobs that had been sitting on my "To Do" list for ages. But I did manage to ride my bicycle to Baolai and back. On Wednesday I rode about 97 kilometers to Baolai and on Thursday I managed 98.1 kilometers before I parked my bike back at home in the parking lot under our apartment block. So here is a photologue of my journey to Baolai and back by bicycle.

My bicycle, sitting in our apartment immediately prior to departure. Behind the seat are my panniers and rack into and onto which I have loaded my tent, inflatable bed-roll, sleeping bag, map, fruit, change of clothes, camping pillow, insect-repellent, suncream, and other essentials.

Out of the city, passing through small towns, keeping an eye out for signs that I'm still on road number 180. In this case the green sign tacked on under the route number tells me that I have now travelled ten kilometers from the origin of the 180. There are usually distance markers every half-a-kilometer or so. And of course you can see the ubiquitous 7-11 up ahead.

I took the opportunity to take a shot of myself on the road. Taking photos with you in them is, of course, a problem when you are travelling solo.

A mango orchard. We are at the start of mango season and the mangoes are plentiful. And cheap.
Chickens. But they're all black. A black chicken is not abnormal but an absence of any other colours? I don't know. Maybe it is normal. I'm no expert on fowl.

I don't know if you can describe a field of pineapples as an orchard; the term doesn't seem to fit too well. How about "plantation"? The pineapple in the foreground possesses a particularly magnificent crown. It always seems to be pineapple season in Taiwan.

Off the main roads. I love the way this road leads down the hill and disappears in the trees. Note the church rising up above the rest of the horizon.

On this mango orchard the mangoes have all been bagged. I guess it protects the fruit but it must be a lot of work putting all those bags on all those fruit.

A huge temple. To get to this temple you must pass through a huge arch set within a front wall and proceed down the avenue of palms. The temple itself rises up from the surrounding grounds and is topped off with a large white cloud.

A traffic tunnel. It's kind of cool to ride from the open air into and through one of these.


Juanito said...

I have been to that huge temple, it is probably the biggest in height that I have seen. And yet strangely absent of people. It is probably busy only in festival days.

Adrian Brown said...

Thanks for your comment Juanito. It's always a nice surprise (shock, rather) when someone new has been looking at my blog. I'm flattered.