Hard to believe I am already on day 10, how time flys…
Today was intended to be a relatively short day, only covering 65KM but due to the grades it ended up taking nearly as long as my 80KM ride the day before. The coast lines really starts to change as you leave Taitung, north of Taitung the mountains are in the distance for the most part. By the time you reach Dawu, the mountains are right up on the coast line. Meaning you end up with a steeper highway that has been blasted out of the side of the mountain.
Leaving Taitung you realize how large an area it covers, it took about 25KM down highway 9 before I was finally in what I would call a rural area again. On Highway 11 there was nearly always a dedicated scooter/bike lane, unfortunately with highway 9 being narrower in many places it’s single lane each direction with a rather narrow shoulder. Most drivers are reasonable though, and the traffic wasn’t terribly heavy on the highway. As often happens on single lane roads, the traffic becomes convoys of a large number of vehicles stuck behind a slow one, usually a tour bus or a truck. Once these convoys pass through, the highway is quite for a while.
On this part of the route, the Taiwanese railway joins the coast line as you can see with the photo above. Traffic unfortunately didn’t seem to be very frequent on it, as I didn’t spot a train all day.
Unfortunately it was also harder to take pictures today, there were fewer viewpoints and the lack of a good shoulder made pulling off for a photo a bit more difficult in some spots. The scenery was very good today, but you certainly had to work for the good views.
Since I’ve been spending so many days near the sea, it was finally time to try some local seafood. The place across from my hotel luckily had a basic english menu on the wall, dating from 2008 (!).
I went with some mussels which were prepared Thai style, with Thai basil. They were excellent.
Tomorrow is my last day of cycling in Taiwan, with 77KM to cover.