Yesterday evening we gathered around the map to plan how we would overcome the following mountain passes. We all agreed we like snow and since the cold was the perfect excuse for having cold feet, we cut the next stage of 80 km in two parts. The following morning, because we had time to spare, Oli and Yuri cooked some good old Spaghooters as dinner for breakfast, while Stef helped Anton to finetune the breaks of his ride.
We were about to start our way up the next sucker, when Anton felt energetic and decided to forget his phone, so he could climb an extra 100 height meters today and fetch it back. Oli and Yuri cycled ahead and awaited their friends at the first shop, where they treated Stef and Anton to the perfect Baklava (extra nuts and less juicy) and some Armenian pastry. Together the four chevaliers pedalled the Yerevan highway to the south, following the river upstream. The valley treated us to a beautiful, snowless landscapes that reminded us of the 'Be Prepared' scene in The Lion King, where all the hyena's are standing on the rocks pilars. Rock formations in all colours and shapes appeared on the sunny side of the valley, and a beautiful snow carpet on the shadow side.
We halted at 1700 meters above sea level in a small village before the next winding mountain pass. A hospitable farmer wouldn't allow us to sleep in his haystack, since we couldn't find his long lost needle, but instead he guided us into a small hut of 2 by 2 meters. "Perfect, Spasibo!" we cried out as one, happy to have found our home for the day. The farmer gave us a strange look and went back to his business, while we climbed up the rocks to enjoy a beautiful sunset. We shared a Duvel, a one of its kind Belgian Ale, while seeing the sun changing the colours behind the mountains to various kinds of red, orange and even purple.