Day 13 – Kenting to Kaohsiung – Escape from Yutu


Start: 10:30 / 113 km / 660 hm

When I woke up, storm was still ultra heavy. Thought about staying one more night, but this would set me back too way back on the timetable.

Looking at the maps and the forecast, I could see it would get better in the north. So bit into the sour apple and thought I would give it a try.

Storm was heavy, but in the beginning it was in a way still ok to cycle. And this was just the beginning: storm got worse and worse. It wasn’t a constant force from one direction, it could change from one second coming ‘just’ from the front to some nasty sidewinds. Always look aheadbof me how the trees would be bending to be prepared.

Especially worse, the more you where getting to the sea, in open fields or when gaining heights. Bridges where catastrophic. Even had to push the bicycle over one, stopping from time to time, laying down on the ground, to keep the loaded bicycle and me from flying away. Stopped completely frustrated at a convenience store. The silent inside was golden, as my ears had been full of white noise from the winds all the time.

Came across some military truck, thought shortly about asking them for a lift. As they were giving me thumbs up, I gained confidence. I just knew, I had to get 30-40 kms north from Kenting and then the winds would get less.

In overall it was 35 kilometres, with often laying down on the ground playing duck and cover. Never had such strong winds while cycling and it even was somehow dangerous.

Also for the first time I had dogs coming after me while cycling. Especially nice if you’re in the lowest gear with strong head winds.

For the 35 km I took 4 hours, but after the winds layed down, the relief was unbelievable. I had done it!

Following section was also quite nice, me smiling that nothing serious had happened and ever changing scenery. Passed huge fields of aqua cultures, not necessarily positive, but interesting to see. Rode through some heavy industry, but also had beautiful bikelanes across some inner sea. There was also a town where I was sneaking through small streets and discovering many temples. The temples are somehow strange, featuring LED lights announcing stuff in Mandarin, having camping stools in them or some kawai mascots.


Approaching Kaohsiung wasn’t that nice. It’s a big city, so I was riding big streets with the lights constantly stopping me. Found a sneaky bicycle path with at least no lights, so I could keep on pedalling.

When I came nearer into the city, rush hour hour started. Was surrounded by uncountable scooters on the destinated lane. Not as bad as Vietnam, but you got to have some confidence on the bike.

I had some problems findings the hotel, as it was situated in a huge skyscraper. Finally found out, that it’s on the 34th floor, taking 3 elevators to get there. At the entry I was told to take the bike with me. So much fun going up this big building with the bike.

The hotel crew looked at little bit astonished upon my arrival, but Taiwan is a service based society – so what they did instead of telling me to bring it down was….to upgrade my room! Got a bigger room, for the same price, so I could store it there. So cool.

In Germany this would have led to endlessly frustrating discussions…

By the way, people here really appreciate you riding a bicycle and they know it’s valuable to you. For them, it’s nothing dirty or related to poverty, more the opposite. If they can, they often tell you to leave it at the lobby or even better, take it with you in your room. Never ever had to leave the bicycle outside – this is so incredible, I will dedicate a separate post to it in the future.

Glad about surviving the day I went for something to eat. Had a very tasty ramen with fish for 90 NTD. After this I thought about going to a bar to celebrate me being stell well. Went to a japanese one, because I thought I could hear some Tatsu Yamashita there, but this proofed to be a bit shady location. Expensive flat rate drinking with what looked to be some hired girls to give you company. No, thanks!

So finished the day with some beer from the convenience store and watched for the first time taiwanese TV before felling to sleep.

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