Start: 11:30 / 70 km / 740 hm
First day of cycling – late start at 11:30 due to some GPS problems, but fixed them, with grinding teeth by logging my phone on to Google. Goodbye privacy.
Met Spencer from Trek bicycles and had a nice small chat before heading of onto the bicycle speedway beside Tamsui river. Turned then to the long cycle speedway along Keelung river to ride to the east coast.
Must admit that these two bicycle paths are an absolutely amazing piece of infrastructure. Good decision, Taiwan! Dedicated purely to bicycles (only some runners here and there) they give a very smooth ride over a long distance – roughly 50 km….scenery is also very varied, so you end up going along one of the best cyclepaths in the world.
Then said shortly hello to the coast, before taking the climb up to Jiufen. Clouds had cleared up, leaving me climbing up to 300m in just 3 km. Absolutely doable, but the tropical heat made this quite a challenge. Thanks Pocari Sweat!
At the end I messed up also my route, so I had to carry the loaded bike up some very steep steps. Quite glad to arrive at my b&b host.
Actually wanted some rest after this, but got told that all the “restaurants” close at 20:00. In some way this was good – because Kuan-You was right: Jiufen is way too touristic during the main time.
But as soon as all tourist got onto their busses back home, the place transformed heavily. Hayao Miyazaki must have stayed there overnight. Suddenly the streets turned from an overcrowded culinary mile into some strange haunted place with incredible lighting.
If you don’t know what I’m talking about: Jiufen is the inspiration for the Studio Ghibli movie “Spirited away”.
So had a nice walk up and down old street in the dark, taking loads of pictures before finally heading to a deserved sleep.