Thursday, May 14, 2009

Bike to Baolai and back: Part 2

(This being the second part of a most excellent visual account of the highlights of my junket to that most wonderful spa-town, Baolai.)

I think this is Nan Hua reservoir. It was a nice relief from more mountains and more orchards on either side of me.

Aboriginal mother, boy, and giant mango. Mangoes are important in this part of the country.

At the end of the day, after a journey of some 97 kilometres, I negotiated my campsite with the people at the desk of the spa resort. I was allowed to pitch my tent upon the patch next to the restaurant. That night I slept beneath the benevolent glow of the small temple across the road dedicated to I know not which deities. As usual, my inflatable air mattress deflated during the night due to the puncture which I hadn't gotten around to fixing.

The new day began early for me, as is the way when you camp outdoors. This is the view from the entrance of the resort. The sun is about to protrude above the tree line behind the resort.

There was nothing for it but to pack up and start back home again. But I stopped down the hill from the resort in the town of Baolai, famous for its hot springs and white-water rafting. Downtown on the main street (above) I ate at Mei & Mei, a franchised breakfast restaurant found all over Taiwan. A soy milk, coffee, and toasted sandwich later, I was ready to begin the long haul back to Tainan.

This seems to happen a lot up in the mountains. I won't hazard a guess as to the causes.

The Big Taro. Speaks for itself really.

A couple of towns away from Baolai: This is the spot where I danced in the rain with John on my last trip to Baolai. Things are changing and there are a lot of roadworks taking place in this town.
Anyone fancy a bit of fishing? Not a popular spot but boasts some beautiful scenery.

One of the last pauses on my journey home, just outside Tainan city, the ubiquitous, convenient, ever-ready, reliable, one-stop-shop: 7-11. This one had some tables and chairs outside in the shade of some trees. Nice.

By the time I got home my left knee wasn't functioning without pain and I couldn't have gone much further. But it was wonderful having done something with my week off, something that I could be proud of, and good practice for a possible bicycling tour at the end of the month. Good work Brown.

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