Monday, 24 June 2013

Around the Island - 環島 (huán dǎo) - Part 2

The around the island ride continues southwards from the Tropic of Cancer. I understand that some people would criticize the trip organizer of bringing us to ride on the national highway number 1. It is a busy road and goes through cities and industrial areas that are not the best places for cyclists in Taiwan. It can be dangerous, too. But if we want to ride around the island in 9 days only, that is the only viable option. I know Taiwan has many more beautiful places, but these busy roads, big cities and industry is also part of Taiwan, that I am happy to see. One day I hope to do some more sophisticated bike rides. Maybe in the near future.

I am not falmiliar with all the culinary specialities, but I know this. This field, sort of, or pond, is the place for growing Water Caltrops or Chinese water chestnuts, Latin: Trapa Bicornis, Chinese: 菱角 ling jiao).The fruit looks like a head of a bull with two hors. Inside the hard cover there is a starchy seed, a bit like chestnut. Not very tasty. During the stone age a similar plant called vesipähkinä or Trapa Natans (latin) was used as food also in Finland. It was much warmer then. More info and photos of Trapa bicornis.


This lady with black mask sell black water caltrops.The Chinese name is língjiǎo (菱角), líng meaning "caltrop" and jiǎo meaning "horn."

Between industry and urban environment we could peep into the beauty of the countryside.

Our hotel in Tainan had 5 stars. I think I have never spent night in a 5 star hotel before. I cannot afford it in Europe.

We didn't eat at the 5 star hotel, but in a small resto nearby. Lovely food as always. Fish belongs to a good meal. In Taiwan you cannot turn the fish that is on the table. It brings bad luck, and it is a bad omen for fishermen who catch the fish. It symbolises their boat. We dont want the fisherman's boat to turn upside down.

In the morning we take off at 6.30.

Before the rubber hits the road we do some physical and mental streching.


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