Thursday 08th February 2018 103,5 km – Total so far: 1008 km
I knew it would be a hard ride today.
As I went down to start at the door of the resort still was locked. I looked around and I noticed that the key was there just stucked inside the lock.
I loaded my panniers and meanwhile some guy appeared to give me the rest of my fried rice that I had for dinner yesterday. So, my breakfast was granted…..
I pedaled on a small beautiful road at first with awesome views of the surrounding landscape.
Then the climbs began, and they were f… ing steep (14%). On some stretches I had to walk some meters and push the bike. As the road went up so steep the front wheel of my poor bike Friday lifted up as if I was doing a wheely, so I couldn’t pedal. It was quite exhausting.
I thought if this will go on all the time like this, I won’t make it to Ella today, because I was going on slow like a snail.
After 20kms the climbs were getting softer and I could pedal on more quickly. Lucky me.At 8:30 I did a break for breakfast. I finished my fried rice from yesterday with some bananas. A friendly guy even offered some water to me when he saw me. Really nice people here.
I pedaled on to the main road. Traffic was not so bad and from time to time cars were stopping to offer some water to me. Lovely Sri Lankan people. Amazing.
At 11:30 heaven suddenly opened its gates. Heavy monsoon rains started. I put my poncho from the army on and kept going.
There was no other option. After 2 hours pouring rain suddenly the sun came out and I stopped to change my wet T-shirt for a dry one. The air felt humid like inside a sauna. Wow!
The road went constantly up and down. Sometimes I climbed up for about 600 height meters and on top the road went down again for another 350 height meters. Like this all the time. I enjoyed the downhills, but also I knew that the following climbs were waiting already……
When I finally reached the small town of Haputale at 1430 meters, the temperature due to the height was only about 18°C. I put all my jackets on. The ride was quite demanding and I felt tired already. Slowly it was getting dark and I put my lights on, too.
Ella is at 1040m. 20kms more to go, but I expected to downhill, so it should be an easy ride from here. It was when I started.
The downhill was awesome, amazing. I didn’t dare to go faster than 55km/h as I didn’t know the road and it was getting darker.
When I got close to Ella another 3,5kms of steep climbs were waiting for me. Finally I arrived but I couldn’t find the guesthouse where I had reserved a room, the “Richard’s Guesthouse”.
I called the owner and he came to meet me to accompany me. The last meters to the guesthouse were steep again. The owner wanted to help me and pushed the bike up the road. At last, he was so exhausted, he couldn’t breathe “😄”
I made 2.200 height meters on this long ride today. Some of the hills were really steep ones, up to 14%.
I ate 1,5kg of bananas and finished yesterday’s fried rice. I drank 4l of water and had a small Pepsi.
Wow, that was a tough ride. I enjoyed my dinner with a cold fresh Sri Lankan Lion beer!