DAY FOUR… 49 miles (78.5 km)
Rose at 6am to dawn over the mountains, a wonderful sight. Lovely ride on unmetalled road to the next town. We had no water for washing and we have kept the same clothes on for 3 days. We smell disgusting.
A taxi driver agreed to give us a lift for part of our ride today, to take the edge off some of the cycling. It was due to be a cracking 80km with a massive ascent in the middle. We got a lift to the border and get over the mountain too for only £17. It’s a bargain. Although Tim said it was one of the most frightening rides of his life. I was glad just to be in a car and went to sleep.
The border crossing was slow, like we had all the time in the world, which we don’t! We hid our pepper spray in our toiletries bag, but then the guards asked to scan our luggage, Great! Luckily they must have looked like a deodorant, and all ended well.
We set off on a wonderful ride right through the plateau and up over some massive climbs. The most awe inspiring ride we’ve done yet. Unfortunately, a fierce wind broke out in the afternoon which made progress very difficult, except, on one occasion when it assisted us up a massive hill.
We had a great descent into Gyumri, a busy and nondescript looking town with drivers who apparently have not seen bicycles on the road before, or rather don’t care about anything that isn’t a car. They reverse indiscriminately into you, they open car doors as you pass, they drive toward you from side roads… just to name a few.
We eventually found our B&B tucked away in a quiet secluded spot. Very quiet and lovely people who have let us use the kitchen and washing machine too.