Today we participated in a short ride to promote tourism in rural Taitung County. The countryside of eastern and central Taiwan is populated with indigenous peoples who lived in Taiwan prior to Han Chinese immigration. The economy is primarily agricultural and the people seem more relaxed than their cousins in the big cities of the northwest.
Everything about today was a highlight. We met Bethany, a Chinese Christian who passionately works to encourage the indigenous children to achieve. We watched tribal dances that stir the soul. We met Kevin Lin, an endurance athlete who ran across the Sahara Desert in 2007. He's a super super nice guy. He's mostly a runner but also enjoys bicycling on road and trail and participates in triathlons.
Another highlight was a visit to an ice cream shop in Chihshang Village. "Popeye," a local chamber of commerce volunteer with Betel nut stained teeth, enthusiastically explained "this is most famous ice cream in all Taiwan!" It was yummy indeed.
Finally, in the middle of this sits the incredible Papago Resort. This is the view from my room balcony.
It's well past midnight in Taiwan and I'm hitting the sack just as your day is getting started. Have a wonderful wonderful. I'll point you to Mark V's posts at Bike Hugger: