Photos by MJ Klein, Hui-chen and David
If I said that I loved Taiwan’s scenic beauty, it would be a classic understatement. So when we had the opportunity to drive Highway 20 and cross from West to East, I couldn’t have been happier.
We set out from Kaohsiung and drove up towards Tainan, cutting east and then onto Highway 20 just outside of Tainan. The weather was absolutely perfect! See those mountains in the distance? We got a lot closer to them!
Please note that I’ve geotagged this article at the point where we picked up Highway 20 outside of Tainan.
There is a huge reservoir east of Tainan and we drove right past it.
This highway is under constant construction as earthquakes and typhoons wipe it out continuously.
In some places the construction was quite manageable….
….and in other places the construction areas were pretty scary….
But driving through these wonderful mountains was well worth the effort.
This shot gives the viewer a little dose of perspective as we stood next to a guardrail. At this point we’re well over 1,000 meters altitude.
These shots were taken at over 2,000 meters high, at a small overlook on the road. It was rather cool up this high, I can assure you. The air was clean and pure. At this point, we had over 4 hours of travel invested in this highway.
Finally we reached the highest point on the highway, and we pulled over at a little rest stop. In Taiwan you’ll hear outdoorspeople talk about “the land above the clouds” and this is because frequently, one may find themselves above the clouds, looking down on them as this photo illustrates.
That little light line is the road we’re going to be driving on shortly.
We passed through this tunnel just before we pulled over to take a few minutes to rest. The sign says “2722 meters” altitude. That’s 8930.419 feet. This is considerably higher than New Hampshire’s Mt. Washington at 6,288 feet.
Several people had stopped to enjoy some hot soup or a beverage.
We saw a couple groups of mountain bikers on the road with us. It’s going to be quite some time before I’m ready to take my new recumbent trike up there! But I would love to try it.
A couple bikers take a break.
Most of the time Hui-chen and I travel alone, so this time we took advantage of our friend David being along with us and asked him to snap a photo of us together.
After more than 5 hours of driving, we finally were on the descent on the other side of the divide.
This is what awaited us – our hotsprings hotel. This is the private bath in our room. After that grueling ride though the mountains, we spent some enjoyable time in the hotsprings bath. Sound good?
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