Day 15 – Road Ride, Return to Jiaoxi

On April 29, 2012 by admin

Not a very good sleep here at the Apollo, slippery pillows meant they slide off the bed, minor pet peeve.  After a quick breakfast we walked over to the Giant shop.  Yesterday the old guy at tourist information told us he was certain the bike shop opens at 9am.  We got there 910am, theyd been open since 7am.  Another miscommunication in tourist central.  Couldve really used those 2 hrs earlier to bike and get on with the long transit to Taipei if we’d have had the right info.

The Taichung info center lady also had assured me that her coupon would be accepted at Giant, even though it said expired in 2011, that would give us the 2nd hour free of rentals.  Giant wouldnt accept it.  To rent a couple bikes first hour is $500, 2nd hour is $200, so $1400 for the 2 hours.  Still worth it for us to get out on bikes and get some escape from the tourist jungle.

The road around Sun Moon Lake is awesome for road biking, good pavement, some hills, some downhills, and great views.  We were in heaven riding *fast* again with no gear weighing us down!  The ride was about an hour and 20mins, returned the bikes, grabbed some lunch, and caught a bus at 1225pm to Taichung by 140.

Another thing to love about an efficient transit system is the fact you can rely on the times and connections.  We got to Taichung High Speed Rail by 150, and were on the 205 bullet train to Taipei!  Riding in style going 300km/hr is something I wish Canada had..

Into Taipei Station at 3, and caught the 315 bus with Kamalan Bus lines straight to Jiaoxi, a 1hr bus ride straight east to the town we were at on Day 2 of this trip.  We decided to go back since we had loved the true Japanese style onsen so much the first time.  We even got the same hotel, but on for only about $33, super good deal!

As we checked in they remembered us from a couple weeks earlier, and he laughed when I told him I had booked on agoda just 2hrs previous.  One reason it may have been cheaper tonight is that the hot spring in this hotel is out of order unfortunately, for cleaning and maintenance.  So he gave us two tickets for free hot springs down the road at a good place.  It didnt really matter to us since we’d be going to the Forest Park hot spring for sure anyways.  As chance would have it, we got the exact same room even, with 2 rooms and dining area.  Rock hard bed but I sleep ok on these for some reason.

We hoofed it to the Forest Park hot spring right away and fully abused the respective hot pools for more than 2 hours.  As I was getting changed some locals (actually from Taipei though) started chatting with me and were interested about the bike trip, and why I’d enjoy this style of hot spring over the other type (with swimsuit).  They were friendly guys, his sun works for BMW and gave me a pen.  I realized I forgot my all important small onsen towel, but they had an extra (new) one and gave it to me too.  It was a perfect end to the trip to be able to chill out and soak as if I was back in Japan again..

We walked the street vendors and then made our way over to the other hot spring hotel.  It was the swimsuit style one of course, we only went there since we had free tickets anyways.  Mediocre pools and the private section upstairs was locked for some reason.  One great thing was the hot stone room, just lay on the hot rocks and sweat!  Nearing the end of our soak an employee who thought he was the king $hit decided to start warning everyone to put hair nets on or leave the hot spring.  This was the first time in all my hot springs this had happened, I pointed down the way at the 6 others without shower caps on.  He huffed off and eventually told them too.  We didnt feel like staying anymore either way so we left but not before telling front desk about him.  Suddenly the front desk girl stopped us and told us to sit and wait in the lobby as its raining.  Its only a ten minute walk to our hotel we said we’d be fine.  She insisted that we wait as the hotel had called looking for us worried about us in the rain and were sending a car over to drive us back!  Amazing..



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