An early breakfast at my hotel called "Mums Home" in the Thamel district. Then I step out into the main street for a total and somewhat unexpected assault on the senses – the glorious mashup of crowds, heat, humidity, noise, dirt, clamor, shouting, honking, music, laughter, street food, rickshaws, motorcycles, cars, police; and a slightly stunned lily white dude from a small mountain town in Canada. As I start to short circuit I find the "Garden of Dreams" which is a beautiful walled classical garden built by Nepali royalty that is cool and green and blissfully quiet. On my way back to the hotel I stop at a rickshaw repair shop and start chatting with 63 year old Sano who's been driving for 45 years. Next thing he's wheeling me around for an impromptu Thamel tour and, let me tell you, the guy 's fit. I have the hottest "mild" curry ever at the Rosemary Kitchen (highly recommended) and go meet Wongchu Sherpa and the team at Peak Promotion. The adventure begins.
First off, a big shouts out for Peak Promotion Nepal. Wongchu Sherpa and his team offer a comprehensive, seamless and thoughtful introduction to Nepal, starting with a marigold garland at the airport, hotel transfers, city tours, classic treks, climbing expeditions, all with knowledgeable and agreeable guides. Highly recommended.