The first effort of Day 2 was a gentle stroll to find breakfast.
This was the route for the day. Southeast to Tangweigou Hot Spring Park.
We were ready to start riding at about 8.30 am. It was a very short distance to the bike path along the left bank of the Tamsui River. We rode a very windy 20km / 12mi on the bike path along the left bank of the Tamsui River to Bitan.
We had a short stop under the Formosa Freeway at Bitan.
And another at a 7-Eleven to refill bottles.
Then we were on the Beiyi Road headed east toward our first climb of the day.
We had three climbs to get over.
In the valley after the first climb was the Tea Aroma Restaurant in Pinglin. Our lunch stop. Pinglin is noted for producing Pouchong tea. One of our lunch dishes was tea-smoked chicken.
I’m not sure that this statue outside the restaurant signifies.
The Jingualiao River runs behind the restaurant. That is the Pinglin suspension footbridge in the background.
The second climb was the baby of the three hills. After an 80 metre / 262 foot descent, it was straight up to the next summit, on the boundary between New Taipei City and Yilan County.
From the summit of the last climb to Taipei-Yilan Boundary Park, it was downhill all the way. Including this 8km / 5mi multiple hairpin descent which drops 327 metres / 1,072 feet.
The view was stunning. Which made it difficult to stay focused on the sharp turns ahead. And we needed to stay alert. Some of us almost ran into the back of a street-cleaning truck as we exited one sharp curve.
That descent was the perfect adrenaline rush to end the day! I think most of us were still buzzing over the last 4km / 2.5 mi to the Just Sleep Hotel in Jiaoxi.
Jiaoxi is famous for its hot springs. As expected the Just Sleep Hotel has hot pools. What I didn’t expect was that each room has a hot tub as well. I opted for a soak in the tub in my room.
After we had all soaked and napped, it was dinner time in a local restaurant.
The proceedings were livened up by a bottle of kaoliang, a strong liquor made from fermented sorghum. Anyone who had some of this 58-proof firewater slept well that night!
But before any thoughts of sleep were entertained, we stopped at Yih Shun Shiuan, a very popular bakery, to buy Panna cotta rolls. Dessert and conversation on the terrace. A very pleasant way to end the evening.