Misty Mountain Hop
The only view we have is of the road just beneath our front wheels. The only bench mark we have for how much we are climbing is the gear we are in and the amount of energy being exerted. We are aware when the uphill becomes a down hill only because we cease to consume energy, We are pleased now to have disc brakes in this wet climate as we have to keep our speed to a minimum if we are to avoid leaving the road. Although we cannot see we assume that the drop at the side of the road is significant. As we climb some young lads appear, no more that waist high they cannot be much more than half a dozen years old. They run along side us as we climb at a pedestrian pace. One hangs on my pannier, but soon learns that I am far from impressed with this.
We reach the top of the climb and shout ‘adios’ to the boys, once again we begin a hesitant downhill unable to see more that just a few metres.
Just as I accept that never again will I have clear view of the world there comes a break and we can see, to our left the damp green mountain side climbs away out of view, to our right we can see the long drop into the valley bellow. It is only a small window of visibility that from far bellow would appear as a patch of blue sky, but from our perspective 3 vertical kilometres up in the clouds it is simply a break in the mist.
The day did not begin like this, quite to contrary, the day began with one of the finest stretches of road we have ridden so far on this journey. We climbed up onto a rolling plateau. The road here is lovely and quiet as it rolls and winds it’s way through open moor land. In places planted with copses of conifer trees, else where small patches of crops brake up the tracts of land that appear to have been cleared with fire. Scattered here and there are indigenous people in traditional dress tending there cows and goats or working the land with simple hand tools. These people are of a very open friendly nature, quick to wave a greeting. This is a wonderful land, perfect camping country.
We stop on the road side for some bread and cheese just before the road ahead drops into the valley. It was here that the first of the clouds came rolling up the valley side, shrouding us in a mist that was to last the rest of the day.