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unable to put any power through it. The only thing I could think to do to help
was to carry her luggage for her in the hope that she would cope better with
a lighter bike. We unstrapped her bag from the back of her bike and turned it
once more into a rucksack using the inner tube and hair clip as we had on
the Assiette. The descent to the lake was fast and spectacular but with
Katie’s bag on my back I was unable to turn my head so had to take it easy.
I was sure that on this downhill section Katie would be right behind me but
she had gone too far into the red to recover and was literally limping along.
It was dark as we rounded the lake to reach the base of Mt Lovcen where we
spent the night in a rather fancy hotel too tired to spend any time searching
for anything more reasonably priced. We had dinner, bought sandwiches and
pizza from the all night bakery for the next day and managed to reset all of
the Garmin’s and restore the maps to 1 unit so that we would be ready for
a quick start the next day. Katie was so close to quitting but following Mike’s
advice decided to sleep on it.

CP4 is half way up the road to the top of Mount Lovcen (naturally) so we
decided to stay in a hotel at the town closest and tackle the ascent at dawn
the next day.

          Katie woke in good spirits and seemed much recovered, perhaps
yesterday had just been a blip. The summit of Mt Lovcen is at 1560km and
the check point is about half way up. As we turned into the first hairpin we
were overtaken by an official TCR car carrying Barney the cameraman, Katie
is convinced they have been watching our trackers to see when we set off so
that they could film us on our way up. With this theory in mind we giggled and
chatted our way up to the CP where Camille and Barney had kept the
checkpoint open for us. The obligatory photo was taken; our lack of eyes
shows just how tired we were.

After the CP we still had a further climb through the national forest to the
actual summit but after this it was a long downhill towards Albania, a
country I was excited to see. The temperature soared to 48 degrees and it
felt like we were cycling in an oven. There is a gentle drag up to the Albanian
border and once again I was aware that I had lost Katie. I couldn’t stop it

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