Blogs from Sabaragamuwa Province, Sri Lanka, Asia

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Asia » Sri Lanka » Sabaragamuwa Province » Udawalawae NP January 12th 2014

I arrive in Tissamaharama (shortened to Tissa henceforth for obvious reasons) after two stinky, crammed local bus rides. A few tuk tuks and guesthouse touts are already waiting for me. While I try my best to ignore them, one is particularly persistent. He follows me on a motorcycle, trying to steer me towards his (or his family's) guesthouse. "Where you stay, sir?" -"Oh, I can't tell you. It's a secret." "Why you say that? I'm honest." -"Well, you have a guesthouse as well, so you're competition." "Yes, but I just ask you, no problem. Which guesthouse?" -"*blah*" "Oh, ok. Actually, I know the place. The father of the owner died last week. They have funeral there tonight. My family and me, we're going to pay our respects. I don't think it's open for business at the ... read more
Green bee-eater
Elephants taking a sandbath
Mongoose hanging out

Asia » Sri Lanka » Sabaragamuwa Province » Udawalawae NP December 22nd 2013

The gorgeous mountain town of Ella is known for its walks, so I was up bright and early to walk to Little Adam’s Peak. It is an easy walk, meandering through the tea plantations, until the last ten minutes, which is a steep trek up the very top. It’s all worth it when you get there, as there’s a lovely view over the hills, and it’s the perfect peaceful spot to start your day. I had it all to myself, so drank in the views. I was also very happy that I got up there so early, because not too long after I arrived the mist crept in. I must’ve been feeling a little bit too pleased with myself, with my mind elsewhere, because as I was walking down the narrow pathway near to the summit ... read more
Tamil tea pickers on their way to work
Wily old man
Beautiful Ella

Asia » Sri Lanka » Sabaragamuwa Province » Udawalawae NP November 25th 2013

Against the doctors orders, I headed out on the road for Tangalle on Saturday morning. My energy level was good, but I just had this cough that just wouldn't not go away... At least, I had a good rest day behind me and a good cocktail of drugs to try and put this to rest. :-) On our way out of Galle, we stopped at an HSBC ATM to get some cash and to my pleasure the bills came out in 2,000 Rs (around $16 CAD) notes rather than the usual 5,000 Rs notes. This is an issue, because no one in this country has change! It is so bad I have to hide my small dollar bills (100s and 50s) when I pay for something, as the person I am transacting with will always ask ... read more
Fruit Bats
Peacock
Elephants

Asia » Sri Lanka » Sabaragamuwa Province » Adam's Peak May 15th 2013

Du haut de ses 2243 mètres, le pic d'Adam dévoile une empreinte dont l'origine y trouve son compte dans chacune des religions: les musulmans et chrétiens y voient l'empreinte d'Adam qui, après avoir été banni du paradis pour ses pêchés, se serait tenu sur un pied le temps de se faire pardonner (d'où la provenance, vous l'aurez deviné, du nom du pic); les hindouistes, quant à eux, y voient la trace du Dieu Shiva; tandis que les bouddhistes y voient l'empreinte de Bouddha laissée lors de sa dernière visite au Sri Lanka. Soit, tout le monde y trouve une raison pour vénérer l'endroit. Le pic d'Adam est donc la montagne la plus sacrée du Sri Lanka avec, à tous les jours, de nombreux pèlerins la visitant. Avec ses 5500 marches, et entre 3 à 5h de ... read more
... avec superbe balcon vue sur le pic
En fin d'après-midi nous partons en éclaireurs afin de voir le début du chemin à la lumière du jour
L'une des nombreuses statuts

Asia » Sri Lanka » Sabaragamuwa Province » Adam's Peak April 6th 2013

Arrived Friday in Ella by train, the journey was fantastic. The scenery from the train was something else. We worked our way high into tree tea plantations where we saw workers busily toiling,in the sun. The workers earn a pittance with the women getting 450 rupees a day and the men 600 rupees. So in effect £2.25 for women and £3.00 for men, so think on everybody,! Today Wew climbed little Adams peak, it is a small hill that looks over Ella. Hard work in a very hot morning sun so a cool beer was a small reward after the climb. Sri Lanka is a beautiful country and every new town or province has a brand new experience. Oh and the foods is always good, something that is always high on my list. Tomorrow we travel ... read more

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Asia » Sri Lanka » Sabaragamuwa Province » Kitulgala March 4th 2013

25th Feb – Today in the afternoon I went into a freezing river but it didn’t feel freezing because the sun was boiling. When I went in I was greeted by some older boys who were singing along with some drums. Then I had to dance (very embarrassing). After we went canyoning where you jump in from tall rocks into natural water also you slid on rocks into the water. I thought jumping in was more scary probably because I looked down. When we were going home I saw a centipede and if you touched it, it curled up to protect itself. Jonathan Today we relaxed because we were so tired. But there was a problem I was badly sick. It was horrible. I nearly forgot to tell you we were going canyoning which is jumping ... read more
Drumming Central - Come Join
0 Points for Style
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Asia » Sri Lanka » Sabaragamuwa Province » Kitulgala March 4th 2013

26th Feb – We got up at 0600 to go to an Island. We went there is a canoe. It was made out of wood and this man paddled. It cost 200 Rupees (1.00 GBP) there and back. At the island there was a big jungle, and we were surrounded by palm trees. There were enormous leaves bigger than my head. We walked through rivers and a local village. It was really noisy with bird sounds and music from the houses. We were careful not to get bitten by leeches. Sophie Today I went whitewater rafting where I did Grade 2 and 3 rapids. It was very fun because it was so rough that I got covered with water. There were big drops and small drops. I liked the big drops best because they had a ... read more
Bridge on the River Kwai filmed here
Local Bus
Waiting Room

Asia » Sri Lanka » Sabaragamuwa Province » Pinnawala April 27th 2012

Yes, it's a tourist trap. But, from the view point of a 11 year old, it's not everyday you get to stand next to an elephant herd, feed a plantains to a baby elephant, get to touch a baby elephant and it's mother and watch the herd go down to the river for their twice a day bath time. There is some valid criticism of the "orphanage" ... everything from, "they are allowing breeding to take place" to "there's too much contact with humans" ... Indeed, though many of those criticisms are valid, the elephants are well treated, and it is a good foreign exchange earner for the country. Locals get in for free, while foreigners pay a decent entrance fee. Discriminatory yes, but fair when you consider the income distribution between locals and foreigners. We ... read more
Tusker posing
Feeding baby
She didn't even peel the plantain before eating

Asia » Sri Lanka » Sabaragamuwa Province » Kegalle March 30th 2012

Goodbye MEF! Today is my last day at Millennium Elephant Foundation, I've had an amazing time here and I'm going to miss the ellies so much! Earlier today I had a ride and a 'shower' with Seetha, which was lovely. Now I'm packing up my things ready for another weekend at the beach before I get dropped off at the airport on Sunday evening. Next stop, Singapore!... read more
On my ride.
Me with Seetha and Kapilla.
P1000387

Asia » Sri Lanka » Sabaragamuwa Province » Pinnawala March 29th 2012

As I mentioned in my previous blog, Amie and I managed to squeeze in a visit to the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage right before she left on Monday afternoon. Pinnawala is one of the biggest tourist landmarks in Sri Lanka. There are about 70 elephants living there in semi-wild conditions, but they are closely monitored by mahouts. People come to Pinnawala to see the baby elephants and watch the herd bathe in the river. Unfortunately it's a government run program, and is not managed with elephant care in mind but finacial gain. There is no breeding program at Pinnawala (although it claims to have one), so the elephants there are at risk of becoming inbred. I'm glad I visitied Pinnawala, and the elephants are super cute of course! But it's a shame that they don't have a ... read more
Baby!
Me at Pinnawala
Pinnawala ellies




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