Saturday Cycling – To Guguan

Ninety-Nine Peaks Panorama
Ninety-Nine Peaks [九九峰)], view the large.

On Saturday, I went with Da-xiang, a family friend to the hot springs of Taichung County’s Guguan [谷關].  The first part of our journey was spent on HWY 14, which will probably be much more pleasurable to cycle on once the monstrous HWY 6 is completed giving motorists a faster option to Sun Moon Lake.

Strawberries

I don’t know how all the strawberry fields, betelnut stands, and cafes will cope with less traffic coming through.
HWY 14
We continued on HWY 14 until turning off to head towards central Guoxing [國姓].
Guoxing
It was shortly after taking the picture below that we had entered Taichung County:
Going up!
If you look very closely, about a third from the left, near the top of the mountain, you may be able see a white house:  That’s the goal, after that it’s mostly downhill until the relaxing ascent to Guguan.
Going up!
Here’s a picture taken near the top, the road below is the one we traveled up.  It was starting to get hot during this unseasonably warm February.
View
This was the only picture I stopped to take during the journey down.  I took it because you can see Shuei Mountain[雪山] in the background.
Heading down

After stopping for lunch at a restaurant that had more flies than customers [and that’s not counting the two sheets of fly paper on the table behind us with no extra space for flies to stick on], we were back on the road heading towards Guguan along part of the Central Cross-Island Highway [中部橫貫公路], passing farms and great scenery along the way:
Farm

Damn
There’s a handful of suspended pedestrian bridges in the area, too.  This is part of the Tri-Mountain National Scenic Area [參山國家風景區].
Bridge
Power Plant
Stopping for a break, before the final stretch to Guguan:
Bikes
After riding for about 75 km, Da-xiang and I met up with his wife, Cathy, her sister, and mother at Guguan.  They drove up there and arrived about an hour earlier than us.  After a brief rest and a couple refreshments it was time to soak in the hot springs.

Hot Spring Resorts

We went to the Yidou Japanese-style Outdoor Hot Springs [伊豆日式露天溫泉].  The resort has seperate baths for men and women, but private baths and rooms are also available.  This was my first hot spring experience [which is outlandish considering I worked in Beitou for 2 years].   After one trip, I’m already sold on hot springs.  While relaxing in the springs I didn’t feel like I had just spent half a day on a bicycle.

Here’s a map of the route we took:

5 thoughts on “Saturday Cycling – To Guguan

  1. hot springs are one of my all-time favorite pastimes to enjoy, Todd (except for bathing caps. however going to hot springs like the one you mention can have it’s embarrassing moments. once i was introduced to a gentleman who was accompanying a group of us to some hot springs in Taipei. 20 minutes after meeting him i was sitting in a pool of hot water with him. just a *tad* awkward to put it politely.

    i’d love to go on a ride with you sometime and end up in one of those hot springs. i’d get a private room and stay the night though. return the next day. 🙂

  2. Pingback: Links 2 March 2008 - David on Formosa

  3. MJ – Luckily it wasn’t busy so there was a lot of space between people. If I drove up there with my wife I would prefer a private room and spend the night. If I ever ride up there again on my bike I would definitely spend the night and ride back the next day. Better wait for the weather to cool before heading back up!

    Craig – Thanks, I’m thinking Jiufen Ershan next time.

    Dennis – I’m not sure how well the trike handles hills, but it’s not too steep if taking the route from Dongshih to Guguan.

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