Due an unexpected set of circumstances I ended up with an afternoon off yesterday. The photographs [clockwise from the upper-left hand corner] are of: Fengshan Temple, a hazy view of Yuanlin Township, the outside of a design center in Yuanlin, an iced coffee in Jhongsing Village, and mural painted on a concrete wall outside someone’s house.
I had a few unused vacation days left so I enjoyed a rare midweek ride last week. I originally planned a shorter route closer to home but the all-you-can-eat kimchee hot pot had worked its way through my digestive system much better than I had anticipated. It was a nice, clear day and I rode along Provincial HWY 14 at a leisurely pace toward Local HWY 136 which bridges Nantou’s Guoxing [國姓] with Taichung’s Taiping [太平].
A couple weeks back Cathy and I checked out the Hejia Ranch [禾家牧場] on Yinghangshan [銀行山]. The ranch was established twenty years ago and specializes in dairy products such as milk, ice cream, yogurt, and popsicles. Yinghangshan is located on Baguashan [八卦山], making this a popular spot for families and cyclists.
I had the great pleasure of heading up to Baguashan [八卦山] this morning to check out the Tung Blossoms on the Wolongpo [臥龍坡步道] and Tengshan Trails [藤山步道]. These trails are two of several scenic areas visitors can flock to for the 2009 Hakka Tung Blossom Festival [2009客家桐花祭]. There were several booths as well as a stage set up in front of Fengtian Temple [鳳天宮] for the event. I arrived before any of the vendors, so there was nothing distracting me from starting my walk down the Wolongpo Trail [臥龍坡步道].
Usually before I go cycling I’ve already decided several days ahead of time where I’ll be going. Today was different. I hadn’t decided where I would be going as I finished breakfast this morning. I got on my bike and headed in the direction of the Pingding Sacred Tree, as there are many choices of routes available once there. I felt a rumbling in my stomach, so turned around to go to the big 7-11 on Zhongzheng Rd. This particular 7-11 rates high in terms of clean restrooms. Had it not been for the unexpected bout of abdominal bloating, I probably would have gone to the Pingding Sacred Tree and come back through Jhongliao like I usually do.
After leaving 7-11 I decided to head in the direction of Baguashan [八卦山]. I entertained the idea of cycling to Changhua and ascending Baguashan from the Giant Buddha Statue one of my six year old students can’t stop talking about.