Start: 10:00 / Arrival: 19:00
Distance: 81km / Gained height 1300 hm
After breakfast at the hotel in the “Sunset Restaurant” (with an nice overview on Su’An harbour) we started the section, that years ago many people had warned me about. I found it at that time quite bearable, so we were excited what this day will bring.
This part involves a lot of climbing and it starts immediately on departure, with the steepest and longest section in the beginning.
It was hot again, but at least the wind had turned. Nevertheless, the first climb was quite challenging. Due to the heat we had to stop from time to time to cool down. But the ride was also rewarding: beautiful views on the mountains, almost no traffic, sounds of the wilderness and slight signs of monkeys in the woods.
In the end you get an astonishing view on the pacific and the steep cliffs, all in the warm sunlight. Pacific at its best.
Unfortunately, while going up, I was sweating so hard, that one drop of it disabled the charging port of my mobile, which I use for navigating. This was giving us later the whole day some extra burden to handle.
After the descent we stopped at a convenience store in Dongao to strengthen up. The second climb is not quite so hard as the first one, but due to traffic routing and narrow mountain streets with loads of traffic (including busses and lorries) this can be quite frightening. I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone travelling with kids or sensitive minds, as you not only get overtaken with little distance (but still safe) – but there is quite some noise. There are some tunnels in which this can be extra frightening. The descent was nevertheless quite nice.
After Nan’Ao the third climb starts. Due to the new bypass road, there is now almost no traffic. Actually, this is some super silent and beautiful section, going up the hills and then along ultra steep cliffs on the pacific. Highly recommended!
In our case, it started to fizzle with a little bit of rain, but with the temperature high, this was even a little bit refreshing. The ride along the cliffs was dipped in cloudy mist, making it super mythical.
On the descent it got dark and now some quite demanding section started in combination with the rain. The route is from time to time on busy streets and than on dark curvy silent cliff paths. We are having good lights on our bikes, so this was making it easier. On some section we rode behind a trash collector truck, so interersting to see people waiting on the streets to hand over their garbage to it 😉
Finally we made it to the little town of Xincheng, checked in at our super nice local hostel, searched for the last open food stalls (and we found a good one with tasty fried stuff) and had a beer at the 7/11 writing the blog.
After chilling out at our balcony and making plans on how to handle the upcoming weather, we went glad and tired to bed.
(and also within this time, my phone seemed to be working again, phew)