Day 7: 91km and the biggest ascent so far.Today we knew we were going to go our furthest distance yet but we hadn’t reckoned on the massive hill in the way. Our guide mentioned it only 10km from the bottom after we had already battled for 60km into the strongest headwind he has known. We briefly considered a lift in the van to the top. Alex a.k.a. “The Mountain Climbing Demon” swiftly dismissed that idea and I was certainly not going in the van on my own!
It took two hours of constant climbing at 7% to 10% before we reached the top. Apparently I am the first woman in ten years of guiding to make it! Just over 2000m climbers overall today. My legs are aching this evening but it was worth every pedal. The beautiful decent we had imagined during the climb didn’t materialise. The weather took a sharp change on the other side of the mountain. We battled through the drizzle and gusting wind to descend through mist, lush jungle and ravines. The fresh, damp smell reminded us of home however we were cold and soaking wet for the first time since arriving in SE Asia. Still, the remote jungle with waterfalls filling in front of us was stunning. I hope a massage in the hotel (£3) will help to mend our legs ready for tomorrow. A few beers might help too.