Early Sunday morning, I decided to head out on my bike in the direction of Jhongliao’s Dragon and Phoenix Waterfalls [龍鳳瀑布]. It had been a long time since I headed out in that direction and my usual route was leaving me wanting more since my last couple of outings.
Rolling through Shuangwen [爽文] I was given some encouragement by some children who were waiting at their elementary school for a van to take them to see a student performance at another school. One of the students didn’t believe I was American because my eyes aren’t blue. An friendly discussion ensued between him and his classmate about the possible eye colors of Westerners.
After grabbing another sports drink in Cingshui Village [清水村], I headed up hill towards the waterfalls. It’s about a 10-15% grade throughout the climb. On the way up, riders can choose to turn off for the wicked awesome climb to Jiufen Ershan. I didn’t think I was quite ready for another trip up there, so I hung my head in shame as I passed the sign indicating its direction.
The Phoenix Waterfall [鳳瀑布]
I stopped at the parking lot for the Dragon and Phoenix Waterfalls. The place was deserted except for a woman selling drinks and bananas and a man at a stall selling tea eggs. After coming back from the short hike to the falls, I bought a few bananas and rested. Within moments a caravan of cars rolled into the parking lot. Since the sounds of nature were replaced by the sounds of people speaking with louder than outdoor speaking voices, I chose to start riding again.
A short climb after the waterfalls brought me to a small forest of Taiwan Incense-cedar trees [Calocedrus formosana]. Just look out for the sign pointing to the Hundred Years Giant Redwood Forest [百年肖楠巨木群] and follow the road about 600 meters. I didn’t spend long there because I wanted to get back on the road. I would love to spend more time photographing the area in the future.
Once at the top, the road splits off in five different directions. I chose the one leading to the Hexing Organic Culture Village [和興有幾文化村] because I knew it would eventually lead me back to Nantou City via County Road 139.
I was having so much fun downhill that I only stopped for one picture:
The Hexing Organic Culture Park seemed like it started off with good intentions but ran out of energy or money: Its garden was pretty lackluster, its landscaping could use an overhaul, and it has a lot of underutilized space which could be used as an outdoor sculpture park for local artists to showcase their work.
Before I knew it, I was back to the familiar sights of Jhongsing Village:
You can check out a map of the ride on Bikemap.net.