Cycle Touring and Eating in Taiwan – Day 3. Liyu Lake (Carp Lake) and fresh Hopping Shrimp
South of Hauline the dramatic mountains and towering cliffs morph into a more gentle landscape where rolling hills provide a backdrop to organized fruit plantations of banana and papaya. Hidden amongst verdant countryside the scenic Liyu Lake (Carp Lake) makes for some perfect weekend cycling.
Cycling is one of Taiwan’s’ favorite past-times and a relaxing circuit of this carp-shaped natural lake, the largest in Taiwan is a perfect opportunity to see how Taiwanese unwind at the end of the week. Taking in a slow lap of he lake, I was passed by young couples riding tandems, joggers and mountain bikers while on the calm waters of the lake men powered kayaks and families with small children picnicked in swan shaped pedalos.
Passing the entrepreneurial locals who have set up colorful food stands along lakes eastern road, after my circuit I joined a young man eating fresh Sha bin, crispy fried buns filled with a deliciously stodgy mixture of cabbage, leeks, freshwater shrimp and ginger. But these little shrimp, direct from the lake, are not only served in the Sha bin but also eaten alive. Before getting back on the bike, I did my best to ‘chop stick’ these lively creatures that are served swimming in wonderful concoction of soy sauce, ginger and garlic into my mouth.