Our Day 2 route took us northeast out of Taitung across the Beinan River and along the coast for the first 35km.
Our first stop was at the Jialulan Recreation Area. Not even 10km under our wheels and we were already stopping for photographs. You must admit that the views are stunning.
The site was formerly the waste soil dumping area when the Taiwanese Air Force was constructing the Jhihhang airbase. It has since been converted into an art and recreation area.
This is one of the kinetic sculptures at Jialulan. Look closely and you can spot a fighter jet on training manoeuvers.
We made our first water bottle refill stop at the rural township of Donghe. It turned out that Donghe is the site of many international surfing competitions. Which explains the statue outside the 7-Eleven.
Donghe marked the point where we crossed the bridge over the Mawuku River and turned left to start the long climb along Route 23, over the mountain to Fuli.
It is a long climb with a number of false summits. In other words, the road tips downward and you start to pick up speed. But only until the next corner reveals the road heading upwards again.
There is virtually nothing between Donghe and Fuli. Except for the beautiful view.
And these two cool tunnels.
The last 5km into Fuli was through paddy fields. Of which there were many more to come.
It started raining while we regrouped in Fuli. We had a very wet 9km ride from Fuli to the “green road of paradise,” which runs through vast rice paddy fields set against a mountain backdrop. In recent years, the road has become better known as “Mr Brown Avenue / Mr Brown Road / Mr Brown Boulevard” after the area was used in a commercial for Mr Brown Coffee.
It was still raining when we got to the green road. This pavilion overlooking the paddy fields provided cover while we ate our boxed lunches.
The rain stopped while we were eating and the sun peeked out over the mountains.
EVA Air filmed a commercial here in 2013. In the commercial, a traveller relaxes beneath a tree, quietly savouring a free cup of tea. To capture the timeless spirit of that popular advertising campaign, EVA Air invited contemporary artist Yang Mao-lin to create a work of art representative of the compelling scene.
We stayed off Route 9 on our way out of Chinshang township. Riding instead for 25km along a quiet country road and then a bike path.
Our destination that evening was the An-Tong Hot Spring Hotel. We washed our bikes and parked them in the inner courtyard.
The An-Tong Hotel hot springs are natural, with a faint but distinct sulphur smell. The pool in the rear is hotter than the one in the front.