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19/02/2011 (julıan solo)– 80kms outside Tall Tamr to Tall Tamr – Blown away

March 6, 2011

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The wind howls in the morning, my tent almost blows away during breakfast and it feels a bit like being the last one at a festival.  Hoping that this wind will only last for an hour or so until the sun burns it off, I grind the pedals.

It doesn’t let off and is a real struggle.  Wind is frustrating, this invisible force pushing you backwards your brain sees a flat road and cannot handle that it takes so much force to go at a pitiful pace.  At least with a hill you can see it’s going to be difficult, wind is the stealth enemy.

I stop at a farm for water, completely exhausted by lunch time, watching the speedo has been as excruciatingly painful as my body feels.  I’m invited in and sit on the floor with a healthy looking middle aged man and his two nephews, they look like they work outside all year round.  We exchange the usual communications: the trip, what I do, what they do, whether I have a wife, family etc.  Away from the wind which burnt itself into my psyche, all I can hear is the sound in my ears and the burn on my face, I can rest and recharge a bit.  We eat some great homemade chicken and bread washed down with tea.

Back on the road the wind is relentless yet again, and has picked up even more, I hate the wind.  A few times I smash the handlebars and think that I can’t go on any longer but I continue and ease the situation slightly by putting on some music and eating a huge amount of chocolate biscuits.

Absolutely spent I find a big open space in a village which seems to be sheltered from the wind, I try to find somewhere that has more protection but im shattered and there are few options, so open space it is.  Eager to have a rest I trust that the wind has now faded for the day.  Big mistake,  at 8ish the wind picks up from nowhere and the tent begins to cave in, the fabric and poles groaning under the stress.  Its difficult to convey on here but after a day of being beaten and beaten by the wind to have it come back, even just the sound when all you want to do is rest was soul breaking.  There were 2 options – stay and feel worried that the tent was going to break or blow away and not get any sleep, or pack up in the gale and try and find somewhere more sheltered,

I opt for the 2nd, committed to my decision the adrenaline is  pumping and in a strange way its quite enjoyable to be loading up the bike a cycling into the distance.  At the same time I have no idea other than a few possible options I saw earlier.  With lights which aren’t strong enough to light the fields I have to wait for cars to pass in order to reveal potential csmping locations.  I spot one and make my way quickly towards it.  Its another small building in a field and its absolutely perfect.  I joke with myself that im an estate agent welcoming a first time buyer to their dream residence.  I set up camp for a second time bathing in my own smugness, completely out of the wind, which I can hear battering everything outside.

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