Day three: Yuanlin to Yongkang, 123km.
Cycling in 30+ degrees Southern Taiwanese June weather has made us scramble for ice at every rest-stop. Passing by the Taiwan Sugar corporation, one of our teammates, a classic Chinese beauty with the warmest smile, treated us all to popsicles to celebrate her fortieth birthday. This trip being my ultimate assignment to “rediscover Taiwan”, I of course chose the most Taiwanese of all popsicle flavours: longan sticky-rice cake.
We stopped in Chiayi on this day, and so it goes without saying that our lunch consisted of that region’s most famous export: Chiayi chicken rice. Resting in the blissful shade, bodies recovering from the morning and recharging from our meals, we listened to our fearless leader recount the reason for Taiwan’s geographical uniqueness: our beloved island is the result of the convergence of the Philippine Plate with the Eurasian Plate, while straddling the Tropic of Cancer, the exact location of which we rested upon that afternoon.