The return of rain!
I was hoping for sunshine when I woke up in the morning and was looking forward to the sun rising over the spectacular mountain behind me. Unfortunately the weather had its own ideas and I awoke to grey clouds and a light cold wind; not bad conditions for riding but not the kind of weather that lifts your spirits.
As a result the mornings ride was pretty slow, factor into this a steady incline and increasing headwind and it was a pretty uneventful morning of grinding it out on the road. The conditions meant it was hard for me to get any sustained momentum going.
I was really surprised to feel small drops of rain on me in the early morning. I had been told that it doesn't rain very often in these parts so I was most surprised. I began to wonder if I hadn't been a touch premature in throwing away my heavy rain poncho. It turned out to be nothing more than a passing shower but only further served to make the days ride gloomier. When the sun shines for me at least, the road seems flatter, the bike lighter and me much stronger.
Every 20 or so kilometres you tend to find a small cluster of car repair shops and small restaurants. As I hadn’t eaten anything of real substance since my usual bowl of porridge in the morning so I decided to check one of them out. I'm not sure this place got too many Westerners frequenting it and I felt much like the bad guy in a Western movie strolling into a salon bar; everyone literally stopped and stared at me. I was taken into a small back room but made sure I was able to keep sight of the bike through a small window.
There were another couple of guys there one of whom started to make conversation with me. For some reason everyone immediately seems to assume I'm American. When I informed this guy I was from England his eyes immediately lit up "England……football....good, Beckham, Rooney” I gave him the thumbs up as he proceeded to list numerous football teams from England.
I had no idea what to eat so it was left to him to basically order for me the same dish that he and his friend were eagerly tucking into. It turned out to be a real winner a kind of fried bread with......you guessed it, lamb filling!
Not the most inspiring pictures of the trip so far I know.
I found a nice culvert, well as nice as culverts go which had a small stream running alongside it. The bike had picked up a fair amount of dirt what with the rain today but I decided on holding off giving it a quick wash down from the stream as the weather also looked ominous for the next days ride.
I'm now within 180km of the border town of Korgos. I very much doubt that I'll make it there in a day as the map shows a mountain that needs to be climbed so it looks like another slow ride tomorrow morning.
I dispensed with getting the tent out tonight, instead just choosing to lay the mattress out on the floor and sleep in the sleeping bag.