Cycling out of Kathmandu.
Saturday brought an early start and finally the chance to get on the road. After a week of meetings and organising we decided to get our fill of culture and cycled off to the Swayamohunatha Stupa. Our first stop before heading into the mountains for a shake out ride.
The noise and bustle of the city waking up, the stench of rotting garbage, and the smell of the funeral fires as we crossed the river welcomed us to Kathmandu proper and the beginning of what was to be an eventful day. We were grateful after a few wrong turns and our first encounter with a cranky dog, to find the right place, even if it meant climbing the many, many steep steps (in our cleats) up a crowded hill.
The stupa, famous for its iconic staring eyes (although now not so staring because of major restoration work) is one of Kathmandu’s many world heritage sites. It was great to clear our minds wandering through the ancient monastery. I think we were all feeling a little nervous before heading into the Himalayan hills for the first time. What better place to relax and gain a sense of perspective than in this beautiful spot surrounded by incense, praying locals, spinning prayer wheels and cheeky monkeys (a nice change to the cycling cheeky monkeys known as Eri and Amanda).