The plan for Day 3 had been a 125km / 78mi ride from An-Tong to Hualien. With 1,139 metres / 3,737 feet of elevation thrown in just for fun. That plan was modified into something less ambitious. We would instead drive part of the way and then ride.
So we lounged in the hotel while the vans were loaded.
We left the An-Tong Hot Spring Hotel fairly late. When we reached Hualien City 90km / 56mi away it was time for lunch. This was the front window display at our chosen restaurant.
The entrance to Taroko National Park is thirty minutes from Hualien City. The Arch of Taroko at the Taroko Gorge marks the start of the climb up Wuling Mountain. With 3,500 metres / 11,483 feet of vertical gain in less than 80km / 50mi, it is one tough climb.
You can look up the Tarako Gorge.
Or down at the tiles is the pavement.
We hopped back into our vans and drove to the coast. 10km later we were looking at this on one side.
And this on the other.
There was one “must visit” destination in the area for some of the R@SKLs. The Kavalan distillery in Yuanshan. Taiwan’s first whiskey maker. The Kavalan distillery was 95km to the north.
Heavy traffic and roadworks on Route 9 made the drive to the distillery a very slow one. Long before we reached the distillery we had resigned ourselves to not riding on this day.
We decided to eat dinner near the distillery to avoid the Friday evening rush hour in Taipei. Funnily enough, we were starving, despite just sitting in a van for most of the day.
Our first task after checking in at the Golden China Hotel in Taipei was to retrieve our bike cases from the hotel’s basement storage. The bike cases had been delivered to the hotel direct from Taoyuan Airport on the day we had arrived in Taipei.
After a shower, the more energetic in the group went to the Shilin Night Market. One of the largest and most popular night markets in Taiwan, especially when it comes to food.
I didn’t ask these four what they thought of the WOW Frog eggs!