Day 4: Sun Jan 4th. Chinsan to Fetsuiwan. 4.5hrs
I set off about noon, on a gray and windy day. Arriving in downtown Chinsan, I soon found my way to the Old Street, which I was interested to see is also a flourishing day market, with lots of hustle and bustle, food and traditional stuff. Behind the market, I found a road to the coast, which soon led to a scenic area, comprised of Huanggang fish port and a nearby park on a large hill overlooking the ocean. I first checked out the port, which had some rather good sights of big waves smashing on the breakwater. Then, it was a mild hike up the hill to where there was a fine view of the Candlestick Rocks, two large rocks jutting out of the waves about 300 meters out to sea.
After hiking around the area until I felt I had done it justice, I moved on, following roads through various small fishing villages until I found a bridge over a stream that took me to another beach. This was a garbage beach, or gar-beach! It was a sad example of environmental neglect, as the otherwise attractive beach was totally covered in trash. After a while, my path led nearer the roadside, but still there were many beach tracks or boardwalks that limited my exposure to the traffic. At times, however, on the road, there is no escape from the noisy rush of motorists. It becomes a blur of vehicles zooming by one meter away, and at every moment you have to be ready to leap out of the way in case a scooter tries to cut inside of a car, or some guy takes a corner too wide.
From Chinsan to Yeliou, the scenery was nice but not spectacular. There were a few small settlements. As I approached Yeliou, I could begin to see an interesting layering in the rocks of the cliffs and hills on the south side of the road. The entrance to Yeliou from the north side is a tunnel through a bit of a hill. It is interesting because it is just road, hill and rocky beach on one side of the tunnel, but when you come out the other side, “boom!” you’re in a crowded, thriving village. I chose, however, to go around the hill by the seashore, skirting around the (dogs-barking) edge of some kind of aquaculture facility to climb onto the main seawall protecting Yeliou harbor. From there, I was treated to a great view of the fishing boats, and some men very carefully packing a huge net. I made my way through the charming sea town, not bothering to stop for the rock park, which I’d seen several times before. Farther on, past the town and through a small gap in the lovely “butterscotch ripple” rocks, lay the road to Fetsuiwan. Right after the butterscotch gap, there were some beautiful rocks on the shore. There was also a small beach with some baby waves where some people were learning to surf. This position also provided me with my first view (on this trip) of Keelung Island, a small, mountainous island just a few kilometers off the coast, opposite Keelung harbor. I followed the road, getting a great view of the bay, until I got to Fetsuiwan, and its deserted looking beach at the Howard Hotel Resort. At this point, as it was getting a bit late, and I was a little uncertain of the road ahead, I opted to grab a bus homeward, and so ended the 4th day.