Life is still very good. The road continued along the mountainside for a while before descending to a river, wherefrom I tackled a massive climb for a couple of hours. I am generally quite exhausted so it is becoming quite a challenge. Eventually, I popped out from my dirt road adventure onto the bituminised road at Teratun. I immediately purchased some chow mein and bread. There was one store with vegetables but the guy was charging more than I knew was normal (as in AU$1.60 for a kilogram of apples instead of AU$1.25). It’s amazing how hard it is to buy something you know is overpriced even when it doesn’t amount to much money anyway. I refused to be overcharged so came away fruitless. Stupid I know. I ended up buying four tomatoes and two onions from Lasune for AU$0.12.
I thought was going to be enjoying bitumen from Teratun on but it ended up being mostly off road with random patches of bitumen. A fair bit more climbing took me through various villages (including Firks, Lambukhola, Ratopati) until I reached Gumba Chouk. By this time I’d been keeping an eye out for a place to camp for a while, but as I’d been riding along a steep mountain slope, there was absolutely no flat ground anywhere. By the time I got to Gumba Chouk it was nearly 4.30pm, which meant I had less than an hour of daylight. When I spotted what looked like an abandoned building on the side of the road, I stopped to see if I could sneak inside for the night. As I approached the creepy building, I got a good look at a nearby Buddhist temple, which was just up the road. Besides the temple, there were a couple of smaller buildings, one of which was a three-sided shelter that looked like a nice place to camp. There were two young guys sitting outside the temple, so after a quick look around I approached them and asked if I could sleep in the shelter. Yes was the answer. I had just started unpacking my things when one of the guys came over and gestured at me to follow him into another building. I was shown to a bedroom with two beds and was told I could sleep in one while one of them would sleep in the other.
Once I’d shifted my stuff inside and had given myself a wet wipe wash, I set about sorting out some dinner. We worked out that if I cooked my own rice then they would take care of the vegetables (they had enough precooked rice for themselves). And so I shared in a delicious meal with my new friends, whose names are Narangurung and Pema. We could hardly understand each other’s language, but had a nice time together nonetheless. I gathered that they are in their twenties and are the temple’s caretakers. With limited electricity to light up the place, there wasn’t much to do after dinner and it was getting deathly cold, so we retired to bed. I am now super cosy under two very heavy blankets. Pema is in the bed across from me, whereas Narangurung, who said he would return in the morning, must be staying somewhere in the village.
|Distance ridden today||39.92km|
|Average cycling speed||7.6kph|
|Total distance ridden||15,581km|