Thursday, April 28, 2011

Taichung, Taipei and Back

I'm cheating again. In Taichung, I found a place that would rent scooters to foreigners, and the best thing is that I got a 100cc scooter, not a green-plated 50cc which would be shit if I were to do 400km. The ride was awesomely long - I went from Taichung to Taipei, then back. Setting off from Taichung at about 1.30pm, I reached Taipei at 6.30pm, via the Provicial Highway 3.

Met up with Lady Charchar in her ulu house at Baoyi road, in the Southwestern limits of Taipei, along the 110. The PH3 was pretty nice, with a reasonable amount of traffic lights at important places. Unlike the f***ing PH1, which I should talk about later.

The view was great, the sun was shining and the sky was blue. The land basked in gold, but it was hot. Taichung was Singapore hot.


On the Provincial Highway 3
Because of time constrains - I was slated to meet Lady Charchar at 5pm, I was twisting the throttle TTM most of the time. But the 100cc engine was quite weak. It could do 70km/h max. Well, better than doing 15km/h average.


MGA-956 has a spoilt speedo
 When I reached Taipei, it got really much colder. Actually, outside the city, it was already becoming cold. It was almost like back in March when I came to Taipei.

No, I wasn't arrested for wearing a bicycle helmet.
So I reached Lady Charchar's house at around 6.30 to see her abangs, Char told me that I could crash at her house if I wanted to. Initially I wanted to go directly back to Taichung, but decided to hang around and went to my favourite Ximending. My belief is becoming increasingly solid - the more north you head, the better the ladies look. Even here in Taichung, ladies don't really look so awesome, but the Ximending people... better hit-to-miss ratio.


That's 3 hours of riding in the COLD

My route back was through the PH1. Initially, I wanted to do the eastern and mountainous region. Glad I didn't. Riding a motorcycle at high speeds and having inadequate clothing is truly tortourous. It was 20 - 24C, but it felt like 10C or so with the windchill. Sometimes I felt myself shivering.


Nobody was on this stretch for miles and miles.

Left Taipei at 1.30am, reached Taichung at around 8.30am. It was freaky. It was so cold and I was so shagged out. I stopped at a bus stop, lied down, and fell asleep, but was awoken by the increasing number of vehicles on the road. But I'm glad I finished my 24 Hours of Taiwan.


I was almost set to tears when I saw this. After 6+ hours of freaking cold, tiring and unpleasant riding, I finally saw the silver lining when I saw this sign pointing to Taichung. The PH1 was a truly fu--ed up road whereby no man should ever go. It is a highly inefficient road with too many traffic lights and scenically it is as good as the stuff that goes into your toilet bowl.

The draw, initially, was that it would provide me a compromise the long mountainous way through the east and central Taiwan and allow me to see whether "the west is grime".

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