Friday, 5 August 2011

Halfway Up

Piesendorf  -  halfway up the f……….ing mountain.        53.8 kms    2042’ ascent.
The weatherman said it would rain and thunder maybe! Did we believe him – no. Mmm, just sometimes they get it right. 
It was a morning of glorious sunshine as we left the hostel with some trepidation as to what was to come. However, before all that we had many kilometres of fairly flat countryside surrounded by the high mountains now covered in snow on the summits. It was hot but with a slight breeze; it was thoroughly enjoyable riding, if just a little tainted with the prospect of this huge hill which got huger all the time in my fertile imagination. After a little over 40kilometres, we took advantage of the shade offered by the railway platform to eat lunch and muse over the climb which was now just about to begin. Well nourished and hydrated (it was still very hot) we sallied forth. After two and a half kilometres we passed through Krimmer which appeared to contain nothing except a series of car parks. It transpired that the occupants of the parked vehicles were off visiting some awesome waterfalls. Not for us. We pedalled on. As the road grew quieter, so the slope got steeper. It was now a combination for us of ride/walk as Herman and Sherman took their toll. In surprisingly good spirits, we had completed about half the height when our friends, of the grey cloud variety, began to amass. (All the fault of those weather men!) Thunder cracked and we found ourselves pelted with rain drops the size of marbles. No shelter except trees, and we all know what happens when one shelters under trees – you get wet twice. Ah ha, but we huddled under a karrimat.  Not a great success, as within five minutes we were soaked through to undies. Looming out of the mist was a sign for a café and hostel just 200 metres further on. (That someone is still looking after us). Not the warmest of welcomes for a very wet granny but nonetheless a room was acquired. Just as well, as the storm continued for well over four hours! Yes. We know we are getting soft, but the thought of trying to pitch a tent, assuming there was a spot to pitch it on, and then crawling into wet clothing in the morning, has lost its appeal. So tomorrow we have the rest of the hill to climb. It means we are a bit behind schedule but Alan assures me that when we reach the summit the downhill goes on for miles! We’ll see.

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