The End of the road and Vampires

Posted by on 5, Mar 2020 in 2020 - Winter in Taiwan, Taiwan, Tilly the Tandem

The End of the road and Vampires

We were on the final stretch now southward to the most southerly point in Taiwan and the tropical playground of the country, commonly referred to as Kenting.

The road down was pleasant with large numbers of fish farms and small villages and we made good progress. The hotels here are quite cheap and very good but we decided to up our game and stay at the H Hotel resort for one night and have the Resort Experience! That and the afternoon tea they advertised in their 360 degree restaurant!

We booked the honeymoon suite (it is our 25th anniversary this year!!) And had a fabulous room overlooking the sea. The only downside is that the hotel was on a hill and we had rather steep and unpleasant cycle up to it. The staff were immediately in attendance when we rolled into the check in and helped get Tilly parked under the main stairs and us to our room.

The afternoon tea was bit stumped by us being veggies so we ended up with cakes and waffles which were very nice whilst watching the sea for the afternoon.

Moving on from our luxury pad we checked into a small boutique hotel for a couple of nights to complete our southerly journey. The hotel was in a surfers bay with bars and restaurants on the sand and was really nice. We even had the best Pizza chain in Taiwan located right next door to the hotel so enjoyed a couple of beers on the beach for sunset then a great pizza for tea with the staff trying to teach us Taiwanese rather than Chinese. We gave it our best shot but judging by the laughter didn’t do too well but we had a really fun evening with the staff there anyway.

The next day we cycled into the strongest winds yet to get to the southern most point in Taiwan. Some 3.5% hills we actually had to pedal down in a low gear as the wind was so strong only to find, without even changing direction we’d get blown up the other side. It was really weird as you had no idea where the wind was coming from and when it hit you sideways Tilly felt like she’d been kicked by something. I was glad there was little traffic.

Having finished the west coast and our southward journey our progress around the island was somewhat hindered by the road from the west to east coast. The road goes over the mountains that separate the east from the west and the weather for the next few days was horrendous, plenty of rain and a very strong wind (gusts of up to 60kph) naturally coming straight at us.

The road itself is unlike most and has no shoulder and is the main connection in the south from coast to coast.

We hummed and haaahed about attempting it and then decided that wimping out was definitely the easier option so headed to the Police Station for help! The Police told us to wait at the police station and the officer went off in search of a taxi that could take Tilly and us over the pass.

A few minutes later we were with a group of Taxi drivers measuring the van and Tilly and all talking at once. There was fortunately a lady who spoke good English and the men being men just talked at us in Taiwanese and didn’t bother trying to get her to translate. She eventually established order and we booked our ride for the morning with one of the drivers who had teeth (like all the other drivers) that looked like he hadn’t cleaned his teeth since the fifth century and had blood around his lips. He’d certainly nailed the Vampire look!

The blood turned out to be some kind of chewing tobacco we think but it’s a bit off putting talking to someone who looks like they’ve just finished eating the last passenger.

We rolled up the next day to what appeared to be the entire towns taxi drivers cheering and having as we pulled up on Tilly. Immediately we Got off Tilly everyone tried to lift the bike with panniers attached into the van and we had to shout to get them to stop so we could remove our panniers. Once loaded we set off and passed a number of cyclists on the road, wizzing by within inches on very narrow and windy roads and were relieved we had chosen to cheat.

We were dropped off at the other coast, reassembled Tilly and went for a coffee amidst lots of oohs and aahhs as people thought we’d just cycled over the pass! Oh well…