Published: April 23rd 2012April 23rd 2012
Sharing my breakfast
Cheeky monkey in Kandy
Checking in from a rainy Colombo today which makes a change from the searing leg blistering heat of the past 3 weeks (turns out I can now even get burnt in the shade incase anyone is counting and now look somewhat reptilian from the waist down).
We started our visit by trying to aclimatise slowly to the heat so headed to the hill country to lakeside Kandy where we shared both our hostel and breakfast with a troop of monkeys (and a couple of leeches!). Really friendly people who chat about the cricket (oh yes that was in town) and fill you up with tea about as frequently as you encounter the national head wobble. Kids here love to try out their English and so we have been included in lots of school project interviews and photos, hopefully we havent pickled their brains too much!
Climbed thousands of stairs and 2300m meters in height at Adams Peak to see the sunrise over the hills on my birthday. At the summit spotted two people wearing hoodies from Nottingham and Warwick Universities which made me smile and body snatch them for celebratory photos. Spent a fair while chuckling
at the peak as the temperatures drop to 4 degrees (which is bone chilling by Sri Lankan standards) meaning people are stood wrapped in blankets shuddering so much they cant take unblurred photos - Oh how the chuckling changed teams when the sun was up and we had to climb down in sweat and knee jars!
The trains and buses here are a sight of their own. A usual train journey consists of a tarmac scramble to get to second class (20 seats with a broken fan) ending undoubtably in sitting on the floor in third class food carriage for 4 hours profusely perspiring ending in spontaneous songs from fellow travellers and general merriment. A bus journey a game of highspeed deathdefying sweat sardines with a fantastic soundtrack (heard the sri lankan cover of Informer by Snow and it is ace). A treat on public transport are the 'waddy' men, who hypnotise you with chants of 'swaddywaddywaddywaddy' at soundbarrier speeds to entice you to eat their snacks which are fried fingers of deliciousness (avoided the day old prawn ones though).
Since our legs obviously weren't hurting enough we embarked on a few more walks. We didn't let the
name of the 'World's End' put us off and traipsed through the plains for views of the surrounding valleys and hills. Views were surprisingly topped by the tea filled sights from 'Lipton's Seat' to overlook the estate Thomas Lipton of Lipton teas formerly presided over. Rewarded ourselves with a brew and some waddy snacks at the top - yum.
Despite the vampire bats in the local trees I still had love for the Sri Lankan wildlife so we popped to Yala National Park to go on safari and saw a leopard, crocodile, monkeys, but was my first elephant encounter and poor nelly stole the show for me. The elephant was in such a happy dazle plodding along the elephant M1 (jeep track) that it hadnt noticed us so we were in an elephant traffic jam until it decided to move bushwards.
Headed along the south coast to the old walled town of Galle and to the beaches. Galle was a great respite from the hustle and bustle of Sri Lanka proper with kids playing cricket in the shadows of the official grounds, and a Mansion Museum full of the most amount of crap (I mean private collection) in
Peaceful but vampire bats squawking above!!
one place I have ever seen! Due to aforementioned sunburn, beaches were not really an option but had Sri Lankan new year with a fish curry and beach bonfire whilst avoiding the local tipple of arac whilst watching the craziest storms coming in over the sea which required gin before I could go to sleep in a wooden kindling based beach hut.
So shortly off back to the Indian Visa centre for the 6th time to hopefully collect stamped visa since we are flying in 2 days. Maybe time for a spot of dinner at the place where the exit warns you of passing trains - I didnt really quite how close until you can see the colour of the passengers eyes as you eat your curry!
Lots of love
A x x
There are more photos below