Today we have 158 km to ride, with 1630 meters up and 1350 down. Oh yay, a very large hill to start straight out of camp, which took about 45 minutes to get to the top. Then ongoing climbing with a few downhills all the way to lunch.
The local boys love to race us on bikes with direct drive (no gears) and loaded up with 20 litre water bottles and other produce. I feel no need to enter into any race, getting up the hill at my normal slow pace is hard work enough.
All day groups of children were yelling out and running across the fields to wave at you and say “hello, good morning and how are you?” and then shrieking with laughter when you answered.
The 3 km before lunch was a very steep climb and I had cramp so had to get off and walk part of it. I was pleased to arrive at lunch at 80 km and also pleased that we had climbed nearly 1,200 meters leaving just over 400 for the rest of the day.
After lunch we had rolling hills and I kept going for another 15km. However, I then started feeling light headed and nauseous so I sat under a shady tree waiting for the lunch truck, and got a ride the last 45 k to camp.
The town is very busy with people, cars, shops and tuk tuk darting everywhere. The camp site we are staying also has motel rooms for the equivalent of NZ $25. The rooms are very basic but they have a toilet and shower (cold) and it’s nice to be able to stand up to get dressed. There is a fan but the cord is frayed in numerous places with the wires exposed so I am not game to try and plug it in.
The mosquito nets on the windows have holes in them and it is way too hot to sleep with the windows closed so I slept with the mosquito net over the bed. Just had to make sure it was all tucked back in every time I got up during the night.
We have to change to bigger tyres on the bike as the next 6 days we have gravel with no tarmac.
At dinner Tallis (tour leader) told us about the tetsi fly that lives here that bite through clothes and is not deterred by bug spray. They can also carry the sleeping sickness. They are similar to the horse flies from South America.
Dinner is chicken curry with rice and tomato and cucumber salad. The food is very bland as they cater for the lowest level of spice tolerance (which is zero).
It is hard to get to sleep as it is very hot plus a couple of riders have pitched their tent just outside my window and carry on talking loudly and rustling around for a couple of hours. Eventually when they started ramping up and talking loudly I suggested they may like to tone it down a bit so their fellow riders can get to sleep!
I am trying charging the iPod on main power just in case there was a problem with the connection yesterday. Fingers crossed.