Biking in TaiChung

Today in Taichung it was 32C and clear

My $6 CAD rental. Neale would be so proud, I checked the brakes and tire pressure before renting.

Coming up on close to a year in Asia, I am all templed out. Museumed out too. I have seen numerous temples in India, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan and in over 5 differnet cities in China. And I haven’t even started on the museums etc. Yes, I am complaining and I know I shouldn’t be. The strangest temple was the tiger temple, which had actual tigers and the most disappointing temple was the “Jew” temple in India, which ended up being a “Zoo”, all our Indian guides having trouble with the letter Z.An old train tunnel through the mountain. It took about 4 minutes to ride through it.

So yesterday, I went biking. It cost me $50 CAD in taxi fair and $6 CAD for the bike but it was well worth it. I went along a bike trail that used to be a railway track. The trail was excellent and a great way to spend the day. I covered 24 km in total, from one end of the track and back again. I felt closer to a spiritual well being than I did in all the temples combined.

Out of the tunnel and onto the bridge over the river.

The view from the bridge.

Once out of the tunnel I came upon a rest area. School kids and families were BBQing and there were picnic tables for everyone. I was hoping to get invited for lunch but only the kids would talk to me.

The class clown, the worker, the facebooker, “who? me?” and friends. Just like back home.

Pork chops, spicy sausage, mushrooms and corn on the cob.

A section of the bike path. Twice as wide as the paths in Ottawa.

This section went over the highway.

View from another bridge over the river

The day was expensive but it was well worth it to be out in the sun getting some good old fashioned exercise. The best part was that there weren’t any temples or museums along the path.

Our hotel in Taichung, Taiwan

Today in Taichung it was 28°C and clear

Today is our first day in Taiwan. My biggest anxiety when traveling is getting a taxi from our arrival point to our hotel. The drivers are like killer whales circling a pack of seals on an ice flow. They all want you and you have no other choice than diving into the waters if you want to get anywhere.

The bus from the airport to the high speed train. All the exit doors are blocked by luggage.

We are getting really good at it now, refusing the drivers chasing us down and getting a metered taxi. But when your driver has no idea where your hotel is you start to wonder. Is he going to take me for a ride or is my hotel such a dump that no one really knows where it is? I find it is an inverse ratio. For the mathematically challenged, this means the less you paid for your hotel, the more likely the driver doesn’t know where it is.

The front of our hotel at 7pm. Enter using your electronic micro chip at the keypad.

That was the case today. Our driver spent 10 minutes at the station just trying to figure out where our hotel was. He found out and brought us there on what I believe was a direct and honest route.

Our hotel room done in purples. Notice the writing on the wall.

The hotel is very clean and up to date in technology. We have an electronic key to open the main door and the door to the elevator hall. After that we have another electronic key for our room.When we got up from our nap, we found this note on our door.

A strange hotel this “Miss Z” but one we will be happy in. The staff my not be here 24/7, but they certainly have a personalized touch.