Day 06 – Xenchen to Hualien – Taroko gorge


Start: 11:00 / ~68 km / ~1000 hm?

In the morning the weather was sunny with high humid heat. I wanted to take a daytrip to the Taroko national park, with quite some meters of height – so got myself a big bottle of Pocari Sweat just to be sure, as I knew there wouldn’t be any convenience stores along the way.

The ride up to Tianxiang through the gorge was unbelievable – it can’t be described neither in words or pictures. The cliffs where so steep and high it made you speechless. Even my GPS signal was freaking out, as you couldn’t get a connection to the satellites. In some of the pictures you can see busses as a scale comparison.

Climbing was super easy, there were many tunnels and the road was just slowly getting higher. Nevertheless the grit from the concrete factory the day before proved to be really tenacious which lead to ugly noises in the drivetrain. This will need be sorted out on the next rest day. Poor Chas! Eh yes, thats my bike, its a british custom made Chas Roberts from 1991…

4km before my destination there was a blocked road. While waiting, some taiwanese Rockers on Harleys stopped as well, with loud T-Pop (does this exist?) coming from their bikes. Wasn’t too sure about them, but actually it was them who approached me super friendly. They told me I had to wait 30 min, hmm – all those closed roads really ruin your timetable.

There I also met Pierre from France, had a nice chat so I decided to wait and cycled the last bit up with him. Finally the Tianxiang recreation area was really worth the waiting.

On the way down had to wait again, but spent the time taking pictures with some funny koreans. Final ride to Hualien was smooth, long straight road and finished it in short time.


In Hualien I went to the nightmarket, which was a little disappointing, as I had already seen the biggest one in Teipei. Nevertheless got some Takoyaki for ~1€….

Finished the day at the bar “Bistro 193” – arrived late, so ended up talking to the owner. Well, KK (that’s his name) proved to be really kind. We drank up to 3AM, listening to nice old taiwanese music from the 60s (which was heavily influenced by japanese Enka). Talked about everything in the world, realised that we’ve got a similar view on it, so had a very nice evening together.

Thank you KK!

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