Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Cycling around Taiwan: Day 2: Chaojhou to Kenting

Start day 2: February 10. Location: Chaojhou Township (潮州鄉), Pingdong county (屏東縣). Remarks: Woke up at 7:10am. Ate a breakfast consisting of our trail mix and a few things from 7-11.

The sun rising over the central mountain range as viewed from atop our hotel in Chaojhou.

We breakfasted at a local establishment called 7-Eleven.  This photo illustrates a typical breakfast on our cycling trip: fresh local fruit purchased the previous evening, yoghurt, our gorp or trail mix, and some milk into which the gorp can be added.  The carrot in the photo is a bit random and was something I brought with me from home.  I intended to munch as we rode down the highway but unfortunately [I think] I sat it on my bike rack from where it promptly fell off as soon as we started cycling.  Poor carrot.

Getting closer to Pingdong.  It was a beautiful day with a clear blue sky from where the sun beat down mercilessly upon us.  It was a relief to find this shelter overlooking a beautiful little cove where we sat and consolidated some of our stamina.

We rolled into Kenting Township and were stopped at a set of traffic lights when a woman approached us to solicit our patronage at her establishment, some kind of hotel or homestay.  Doubtfully, we followed her back to the hotel.  We were a little taken aback to discover that what she was offering us was actually a lot nicer than what we would have considered probable.  Clean, airy, and stylish, the place definitely had a touch of the Mediterranean about it.  It only cost us NT$400 per person for the night and they even did our laundry for free.  What you cannot see in the photo is the water machine, the refrigerator, the bathroom, or the huge flat-screen TV.

Kenting nightlife along the main street through town.

At night the place really comes alive and the main street is lined with little stalls selling all kinds of things or offering all kinds of services like massages and games.

Out in front of a seafood restaurant, this man knows how to make a dead fish look good.  He uses skewers to prop up their fins.  He's obviously had a lot of practice at this.  However, his mastery with the skewer wasn't enough to entice us inside and instead we ate at a Thai restaurant on the main street after which we slept soundly.

End of day 2: February 10. Location: Kenting Township (崁頂鄉), Pingdong County (屏東縣). Distance on my electronic odometer: 177km. Accommodation: cheap but very nice hotel down a little alleyway off the main road of Kenting Township; NT$400 pp. Remarks: We slept well after a feast at the Thai restaurant on the main street.

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