The day I arrived I met two other runners, Dave and Steve, both primary school teachers from Melbourne. It was great to have them here as they were both keen to get out and about to explore Kathmandu with the few extra days we had.
The next morning we decided to head out for a run whilst looking around. It was a weird feeling running through Kathmandu, we got a lot of stares. I wasn't sure if we were doing something wrong or if it was just weird to see three foreigners running in short shorts. Everybody in Nepal wears trousers even in summer; I wasn't sure if it was a religious thing or if it’s something you just don't do, like doing the supermarket shopping in your boardies only.
We came across a massive field packed with people playing cricket, badminton, volley ball (with no nets) and soccer. The runners/walkers would walk the perimeter of the field - it was much easier to run in here than in the streets. The traffic and pollution made it difficult to breathe and keep up a steady jog. We ran three laps of the field and played some cricket with a few of the locals. Everyday these guys come down to the field from 5am-9am to play before work.
By the time we got back to the hotel it was time for breakfast then a swim. The hotel Shanker really was an oasis amongst the surrounding chaos.
The next day Steve, Dave and I planned to do a mountain bike tour out of the city and into the hills.
This was an awesome way to see the surrounding areas of Kathmandu and get away from the heavy traffic and pollution. Right now Kathmandu is going through some major road constructions throughout the city - it is amazing to see the roads’ edges now literally on the door steps of shops leaving no room for a footpath. There is no such thing as safety here, it's just 'get it done' and it doesn't matter how. People digging holes on the road have no barrier or even a cone to alert the traffic. Most of the animals roam free in Kathmandu. There are a lot of dogs lying around, not fazed by the people walking by. Cows and goats were also roaming around blocking traffic and almost causing a few accidents. The pollution is phenomenal - I have never seen so much rubbish. Every morning the Nepalese sweep the streets in to piles and then burn it right there. The smell of burnt plastic was very common on this journey.
Tomorrow night the rest of the runners arrive at the hotel, it's going to be a fun few days meeting the rest of the running field before the trek to Base Camp begins.