What goes up must come down
Taiwan • 23 January, 2019 • by Jacky Lee
After a long climb from the previous day, a long descent down to Checheng was on the itinerary.
We got up for breakfast at around 6:30am, but decided to wait until 8:30am for my departure because I didn’t want to risk cornering while the tarmac was still frosty.
Similar to yesterday, we planned to make multiple pit stops along the way. The first stop was at , the highest point of the day. Getting there required a bit of climbing, about 600m elevation gain, but knowing it’s all down hill on the other side made the ascent an enjoyable one.
We drank coffee, ate biscuits and had a yarn. The temperature dropped at that point, so I decided to put on 2 layers of socks before my toes became completely numb.
Starting from the top of the descent, I strapped on the GoPro and took some footage of the thrilling descent. I am pretty sure this was the longest descent I have ever done (70 km). Thank goodness we made multiples stops along the way because my arms & back were aching and my eyes got really dry.
Tataka Couple Trees
Along Highway 21, we came across the .
the Couple Trees were actually two dead Formosan cypresses that had been standing for more than a thousand years before they were killed in the forest fire back in 1963. Due to the high altitude of the location, the trees are not rotten and remain as two white trunks as they are today.
Unfortunately in 2017, one of trunks have fallen, so I suppose ‘Widow Tree’ would be a more fitting name today.
60 km into the ride, we took a pitstop at . This place is a tea garden but during the winter lots of people visit for the cherry blossoms.
After the tea garden, I decided to meet up with my family at the end stop, Checheng, 50 km away. The descent tapered off after . There were windows of strong headwind whilst caught out in the open, but I kept my head down and pedaled through.
Checheng Railway Station
70 km of descent later, I rolled into , marked as the prettiest station in Taiwan. The surrouding area was transformed into a park, a popular destination for day excursions.
We chilled around the area and went into one of the restaurants in the area. Checheng was only a short drive away from our accomodation at Sun Moon Lake.
These two days were an eye opener. I am glad to be able to discover more of Taiwan on two wheels, and I urge you to do the same next time you visit!
Journal by Jacky Lee