Yuri slowly woke to the sound of paper rumpling up and not short after logs were thumping into the firepit. "Hey Anton, can you hand me the gasoline please?" Yuri's eyes went a little wider when he heard the sound of gasoline gushing over the firewood. He had just enough time to roll over and see Oli flip a match towards a soon to be inferno. Woooooosshhh, and the devil laughed. After we dusted the ashes off our bags and saddles, we left the building well heated. We took a right and left lake Sevan behind us for higher grounds.
Today we had to cross our highest pass thus far. When we hit 2000m and left the last village for the next 60km behind, the wind started picking up. The temparatures were dropping rapidly, and as the conditions grew worse we started to get separated, each of us battling the elements at our own pace. The wind grew so fierce it lifted up snow from the plains and started cutting us in the face. These bad conditions and the slipperly upward slope slowed us down to 4km/h. The -11 temperature made our feet feel like ice blocks, desperately continueing the circular motion to get us up the 2350 meter high pass. Our energy was running out, and with our weakening attention, we couldn't prevent our tires from losing traction on the completely white road. These were without doubt the most extreme conditions we have ever cycled in.
The downhill was ever trickier, and even though we cycled very cautiously, we managed to hit the powder a few more times before we found a stove down in the valley to warm up. When we felt blood running back in our body extremities we punched through to Jechegnadzor, where we happily spent a few hard-earned euro's for a warm night in a hotel. We felt like warriors after this brutal day and laughed in the face of nature, because with all her tricks, she still couldn't tackle us. Stef and Oli celebrated and shared a bottle of Armenian Brandy before we all hit the sack, knowing there were three more of these suckers incoming in the next days.