Fortunately, nature’s call did not pull me out of the tent and down the mountainside during the twelve hours we spent inside sheltering from the elements. However, the constant rain from the moment we stepped in, and the cloud within which we woke up, meant that the ground was a damp mess of mud, of the kind that sticks to your shoes in the heaviest manner! We packed up and continued cycling uphill on what had now become a very unpleasant muddy sticky road and made it to the top with our bikes caked in the brown stuff.
The way down was certainly one of the more unpleasant sections of the trip. With the view sadly hidden behind clouds, and the rain biting at our faces, we kept our heads down as low as we could and weaved around or through the multitude of muddy streams flowing along the road. The drivers we passed had either no experience of riding a bike, or were simply psychopaths, as they accelerated through pools of water and round corners regardless of our position. I got so annoyed of their tactics that I just started riding directly towards them, so that they would be forced to stop and therefore unable to splash me!
We reached a big town after fifteen kilometres of this freezing, soaking descent, and jumped straight into a packed noodle restaurant for two bowls of warming delight, crouched by the central stove. Only slightly warmer, we decided to head back out into the constant drizzle and complete our journey across topographical no man’s land to reach the real road. My chain, for some reason, snapped again, but we made it and crowned our arrival with two platters of ten steamed stuffed buns (包子）for a ridiculous 50p each and plenty of dumplings too!
The owners advised us of a £1.50 hotel next door, and with that probably being less than the price our tent would depreciate over a night in the rain and all of our kit being pretty wet, we were quick to take up the offer!