Salima Hu -- Mon, Aug 22, 2005
143km of some of the hardest biking of the trip -- 100km uphill and then 30km winds blustering me back for the last 20km. The day started out nice, beautiful scenery, lots of little towns and activity to keep me occupied.
And then the climb began. It was gradual at first -- I had expected it, I had been warned that there was a good climb up to Salima Hu, I just wasn't sure how much of a climb it was. It became hot quick and I started to sweat began pouring, slowly moving the crankset, over and over up the hill.
The towns began to fade and I was left with not much other than the large trucks blaring past me (or struggling past me) up the road. I had a nice lunch of Ban Myen, ready to take on the rest of the hill. And it just kept going and going and going. I was hoping for a nice easy day -- arriving around 3pm, it wasn't going to happen.
I finally reached a plateau and at the top was an incredible blue water lake with mongolian yurts around it. I was elated, I had made it, I hadn't felt the wind yet... I go around the first bend and the winds begin to blow -- a little bit, maybe 10km to my left, to my right, not really deciding where to blow.
Then as if they were heat seeking -- the wind began to center on me and gain strength as I approached the mountain surrounded lake. It was still beautiful but it was no longer fun. The hills were a piece of cake compared to the 30km winds blasting me in my face -- tormenting my every meter.
I finally saw my yurt village 5km away -- it would be 30 minutes until I reached it. Rain drops began to fall -- very fitting, luckily I made it just before it began to pour. I spent the dinner with a great group of Hong Kong travellers and then bundled in to my cold, cold room in which insillation was a foreign concept. One more day to go ;)