My attempt to escape the valley of trials and storms was off to a bad start with a dead, waterlogged bike. The shack I was staying in offered little advice except sympathetic shrugging. Right, I'll spend an hour using the bike as an engineless mud toboggan, steeply downhill, in the rain. For an hour... After enlisting child help to push the bike up an unexpected hill, I realise I took the wrong turn. Ages ago... Later, In a tiny village, on the edge of breaking, a local takes pity and we try to fix it. No joy. He calls a mechanic 10km away. He doesn't want to come. We drink chai. Eventually his cousin, a biker, fixes it. 'Magic hands' he says. Tears, almost. Then I promptly ride for an hour up the wrong mountain. The road just turns into a goat track. An hour. Unfriendly locals scowl at me... Four hours later I stop at a hotel and ponder mechanics.