Kawasoti to Bhumahi 74km
Bhumahi to Noname 80km
I pulled our washing and the tent off the line minutes before the storm hit. And it was a rip roarer. For two hours lightening and thunder struck simultaneously, and the rain fell in torrents, and I hadn't bought the shoes in..... (Damn Pricey, you're a hard act to follow as a roomie). At times the building shook when the Thunder struck. We were sitting in the heart of the storm. But come morning it had all disappeared, and the temperature soared.
42°C is not a pleasant temperature to be cycling in, and with the sun beating on our backs, I could feel my body temperature rising, and that was before the road started to rise. It wasn't a steep climb, but it was about 7km, and it killed me. Lots of trucks and buses crawling up the slope, bathed us in warm exhaust fumes, raising the temperature another 5°C. Tessa, young, fit and enthusiastic, disappeared above me, but sensibly had found a rest stop under a tree. My heart rate was about 190. I could feel it beating in my chest. Seemed a bit high and verocious. But, Tessa's rest spot was across the road from a small waterfall, bizarrely, surrounded by hundreds of small bottles. We doused ourselves, fully clothed, and then I slept, stretched out on the road side, just like you'd expect in Asia. Tessa stood guard. And we were a third of the way to the summit.......
Somehow, I reached the top. Tessa was very understanding and patient. This hill would have to rate as one of the most difficult, because of the heat, on my trip so far. But for every up......woohoo, what a downhill. But the heat didn't disappear. At 74km I hit the wall, just outside a guesthouse.
I know for sure, Belinda and Ju would have turned away from this guesthouse. Ripped lino, grotty shower and bathroom, mosquitos everywhere, very thin mattresses, (I could play the drums on the bed boards through the mattress) and very hard pillows, and we waited for sometime for food. BUT, hitting a wall, is hitting a wall. No choice really, and Tessa is young and adventurous and the fan worked.
We were hoping for a drop in temperature today, but it didn't happen. We were on the bikes and sweating by 6.30am. Well you only sweat when you stop. It's the old "warm air bubble" that Graham Allan and I learnt about in Indonesia. The bubble sits around you when you stop, or when you're climbing slowly uphill. You escape it by creating a breeze, on the flat or downhill. Tessa has been intrigued by this discovery, and also by the ability to drink litres of fluid, and not need to pee. Travel is so educational.
We managed the ride better today. We had breaks at every 10km....long breaks, but every one was interesting. At 10km we were joined by a very old fella, who shared our mango. At 20km some truck drivers offered us marijana, and warned us not to camp, because of the tigers. At 30km, we had pomegranate, and while I napped, Tessa grew the number of admirers sitting with us from two young guys, to 10 kids, and six adults, including a couple of guys who seemed just a little influenced by alcohol or weed. At 40km a man dressed in white, blessed us, and watched as we drank copious quantities of water. At 50km, on the steps of a small store, we attracted another crowd. Nepali crowds however, are shy and standoffish, which is really nice. Only when you invite them do they communicate. At 60km, Tessa convinced me I needed a tuna and tomato sandwich. We were under a large tree, and although several tractors stopped nearby, no one bothered us. At 70km, another large tree, we were joined by about 10 or 12 young cyclists. Seemed we had chosen their normal resting spot, between villages. It was crazy cycling amongst them after the break. They are pretty random, dodging and swerving, changing speed, and all with seemingly no concern for surrounding traffic. At 80km, we found a hotel. Seemed like a good choice to stop, as we have no idea how far the next village and hotel might be. We grabbed a feed, and slept. It's still very hot.....and the fan doesn't work, until 8pm.
20,000 km today. Wow. I'm impressed with that achievement.