posted on Sunday, February 21, 2016

Kandy


Life at 15 miles an hour is sweet! Fast enough when you don't want to stay and slow enough when you want to stop. I have also found out that the bike is a big help in limiting touting. If they try to sell me a carpet I tell them I can't carry it, a lift by taxi or tuk tuk, no thanks I have a bike. For other occasions I tell them I have so little money left that I have to cycle. Works a treat. Dogs this morning were in a good mood. Only one started a half hearted chase showing his teeth and it is then that I tried the 'old man yesterday at the temple trick'. Instead of pedalling like a maniac you slow down look the little menace in the eyes and shout 'shsh' or something along those lines and point a finger at them. To my wonder the furry menace suddenly stopped and turned into a poodle!
Today I started to climb the first mountains reaching 600 metres before descending to 500 in Kandy. The landscape is getting ever more interesting and I could see some of the mountains I'll soon try to get over. The last climb before descending to the city was particularly hard also given it was the hottest time of the day. Running out of water and seriously overheating, I went into a little run down shop hoping for anything to drink but soon realised they were selling nothing of use to me so I just plonked myself on their chair in the shadow and refused to move until I cooled down. The two ladies didn't speak anything but Sinhalese still I was trying to convince them on the importance of selling bottled water. They must have been puzzled by this weird cyclist willing to risk an heart attack rather than paying a five dollar tuk tuk fee and get on top the blooming thing like almost everyone else does. Well tomorrow entails going up to 2000 metres so I decided I will ignore all children and save some breath by not dispensing all those hi and bye for free!
Reached Kandy and after sorting out a reservation mess I finally visited the Temple of the Tooth Relic where it is said that a tooth belonging to the Buddha is held. The crowds were overwhelming due to tomorrow's full moon day a special Buddhist and National holiday here.