TOUR JOURNAL: DAY 10, TAIMALI – KENTING
We made it! After almost 800km of cycling, ten days in the saddle, 25000 calories burned, thirty fantastic meals, six punctures and too many bananas to even begin counting, the Pedal Taiwan team arrived into the seaside resort of Kenting after a huge 132km day to end what has been an epic cycle tour.
Chris MJ – November 1st – 6.41pm
The final day started with one final early alarm – at 5.45 for Rob and I – as we wandered along from our B&B to a local food stall for a delicious and most importantly filling breakfast. The egg and bacon sarnies were a definite highlight but everything was great and once again our host George was incredibly helpful and welcoming.Now to the riding. Initially we split into two groups to cover the first 55km of the day. I headed off with Robin and Phil at 7am, with the rest following at 7.30am. The ride along the coast was stunning, especially as the sun was slowly rising from the horizon to the east as we motored along at an average of 30kmph. Although the road followed the coast, there were still a few lumps and bumps. The uphills were very much unwelcome, but the downhills were epic – in particular a 1.5km stretch of gently sloping new road on a huge bridge with the glittering Pacific to our left.After a mandatory 7 Eleven stop to refuel and grab an iced coffee, the three of us were making fantastic progress, so we headed for the base of the climb with a good lead ahead of the chasing pack. The climb itself was steady, but at 10km long and rising 500m was certainly a challenge in the heat. We did all make it up ahead of the rest of the pack however – giving us a welcome rest at the top!
Within fifteen minutes we were all at the summit and ready for the rest of the day – this was where I hopped back into the van to resume filming duties. The PT team started with a big, winding descent through the jungle to the beach at Donzi where we crossed the halfway mark for the day and broke for lunch. By this point the sun was blazing down and the shelter of a pagoda was much needed as we hungrily ate a meal of noodles, rice dumplings and bao.After lunch we headed back inland via two climbs through the Manzhou township in Kenting National Park. Once again the scenery was superb and the sun continued to shine as we approached the final major climb of the tour – a 100m ascent of a sea cliff to a spectacular viewpoint, almost at the southern tip of Taiwan. Despite having almost 120km in their legs, everyone powered up the hill (check our the Facebook Live video) and the view was more than worth it at the top.This was our cue to leave the group behind and shoot down to the B&B in Kenting to ensure the beers were cold and that no one had to carry anything up the stairs!
As progress had been so rapid (we’d covered the 132km in under eight hours) it meant there was ample time to head to the beach and have a swim at one of Taiwan’s few sandy beaches. The water was warm, the sea was calm and with a few cold beers in hand we watched the sun dip below the horizon after yet another incredible day in this amazing country.For dinner we’re heading out for some Kenting street food, so people can eat as much as they like – which is certainly earned after such a brutal day in the saddle! A slow start is planned for tomorrow, as is a short cycle to a hidden beach nearby and an epic seafood dinner – the trip is not quite over yet!