This weekend, me and Yini have done a real land travel journey, the most interesting part of which was the journey itself, not so much the destination. The destination was Erlin and Yini’s parents house. I’ve been there several times before and though it’s nice, I kind of know what to expect by now. Yini’s mom will make lots of food for me, her dad will serve me tea and discuss some topic which is simple enough for my level of Chinese, and her nephews will use me as a sort of toy.
Like I said, getting there was more interesting for instead of taking public transport or driving like we usually do, we rode my motorbike. A few days before I bought a saddle bag for it, and I had ordered a box for the back, but didn’t receive it on time. So, on Saturday morning, we stuffed as much of our baggage as we could in the saddle bag (poor Yini ended up with a fairly big backpack) then rode south out of the city. There was a lot of traffic at first but it cleared as we left the city center. Riding was good a fair bit of the way, not too much traffic. As always when on a motorbike, you get a bit sore from sitting all the time so we had to make several stops along the way. The most interesting was the remains of an old train bridge in Sanyi, and big park in Taizhong city.
From Taizhong to Chuanghua, we got company from a guy on a bright yellow motorbike. Me and him got into a sort of race, or game of leapfrog for several kilometer, one of us passing the other, then ending up waiting at the next traffic light. It was kind of fun for a while. By the time we got to Chuanghua, we had been on the road for about 6 hours, our butts were hurting, and we were generally tired. It took us more than an hour to get all the way to the house, and it was a bit of an ordeal, but felt good in the end.
We only stayed in Erlin for one night then had to turn around and go all the way back the day after. We started a bit later this time, and I feared we would get back really late. However, we decided to go by the coastal road this time, rather than the inland one, which turned out to e a good choice. The whole trip took us about an hour less than the previous day, and with less traffic, it was a more relaxing ride. Naturally we had to stop a few times as well, this time by an old bunker in the mountains and small coastal park. The bunker was interesting, but we sadly got there too late, and could only look around for ten minutes or so before they closed. I want to go back there. The coastal park looked really nice in the setting sun but there are many similar ones all along the coast.
Leaving the coastal park, we blasted all the way home along the outside of the expressway, with only one short stop for stretching our legs. Though less tired than the first day, we still felt pretty exhausted after a further six hours on the bike. However it feels good at the same time, that feeling of “yes, I made it”. Perhaps it doesn’t make any sense, but riding a motorbike like that really turns transport into an activity in its own right. It was a good ride.