I’ve been salivating to cycle up the Nantou 149 since reading ride reports from Taiwan in Cycles and The View from Taiwan. During the long weekend, I found time to explore this area. I started off rolling through Nantou City and Mingjian along Provincial HWY 3 and by the time I reached Zhuoshui Train Station I was thoroughly warmed up for a proper stretching session. Zhuoshui Station sits on the Jiji Branch Line which runs from Ershui in Changhua County to Checheng in Nantou County and was built to facilitate the construction of hydroelectric power plants at Sun Moon Lake.
Monday was a national holiday, so predictably the traffic picked up in Zhushan with families heading towards destinations such as Lugu, Xitou, and Sanlinxi. Once I passed the roads leading to these places the traffic thinned out considerably. I found the 149 and headed up. Most of the farms along this road are devoted to tea cultivation.
Tea plants blanket the land in Zhushan
I did not take too many pictures because the Panasonic DMC-LX-3 I was borrowing was giving me low battery warnings after only a few shots despite the full charge. I later found out that after leaving it off for a while it magically jumped up to a full charge again. Normally, I cycle with my D90. However, I’ve found that riding on a road bike with my DSLR is far too awkward with my current shoulder bag.
I rode up the 149 to an elevation of over 500 meters. I couldn’t tell if the view was that great because I was riding in hazy weather. I turned off on the 149甲 and rode it into Douliou, where I stopped at the first restaurant I could find after passing the cafes of Gukeng that looked overpriced from the outside.
I rode back home from Douliou at a snail’s pace. On the way, I saw a troop of monkeys hanging out next to HWY 3 in Linnei:
A hundred and seven kilometers conquered in what turned out to be the best Children’s Day ever. An interactive map of the ride can be found at Bikemap.net.