Gordon: Ruth started writing today's blog, producing a single sentence before collapsing on the bed. It is 6:30 pm and she is snoring beside me as I write this. Ruth is justifiably tired after our most challenging ride. On other days we have cycled more than the 82 kms we covered today, but never with as much climbing. There were two major ascents, with a total vertical of more than 1,000 metres.
The first climb was in the cool fog of the early morning. It was very atmospheric cycling through stretches of mature tropical forest in the heavy cloud.
It was warm in the sunshine during our second climb, topping out at 1300 metres. This earned us a spectacular 20 km downhill run. The road is fairly narrow, with green walls of vegetation rising on either side right at the edge of the road. It was like being in a video game as we hurtled down the twisting road. This is a karst landscape, so we occasionally had glimpses of the narrow canyon of the river beside us. Ruth was grinning from ear to ear by the time the road finally flattened out.