Blogs from Sri Lanka, Asia - page 2

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Asia » Sri Lanka February 8th 2014

Uda WalawaWhat a descent! Down and down the riders went with just a few rises in almost 20 miles through sweeping bends on almost smooth Tarmac. And there I was stuck in the van in 32 degrees and my arm in a sling drinking copious amount of water. At lunch time we stopped at a rough cafe, called an hotel, where our agent Ivan brought sandwiches and bananas, which we ate in their premises just drinking their tea and juices. Where could you do that in Britain? It was an early start at 7.15 so we arrived at the Safari Village Hotel in Uda Walawa at 2.30 just in time to go on safari in the Nature Reserve. We hired three safari jeeps and headed out into the ... read more
Andrew the Minstrel
Posh bus
The driver

Asia » Sri Lanka » Central Province February 7th 2014

Nuwara Elia to Haputale We got away eventually once we sorted Joy’s pedal, which had fallen off and the threads stripped. It was supposed to be 35 miles downhill today then 7k uphill. No way. It went down but it also climbed a great deal including a 20% section and I guess they climbed 1400m. The scenery was very interesting with all the vegetable and produce farming such as potatoes, onions, rice, beans and root crops. We managed to remove my front wheel from my bike this morning to get it in the van. The problem being that the skewer was bent and the threads damaged where it hit the road meaning that it would not release the wheel from the forks. We used pliers and brute force and then called at a tyre place, where ... read more
How does that pedal go
Potatoes
Tyres R Us

Asia » Sri Lanka » Central Province » Nuwara Eliya February 6th 2014

My arm has improved a little and today I can now lift it up to breast height without out excessive pain so I am feeling more positive about it. Still, a shame I could not ride to the Mackwoods Tea Museum and tea factory just a mere 15k down the valley. The journey was really incredible with the tea bushes in neat rows set across the hillside with many women plucking the leaves and putting them into large sacks on their backs. The top three fresh leaves are harvested every 10 days by about 6 women per acre of ground. The factory employs 600 women, who pick throughout the year, and many men who do the weighing, spraying, pruning and the grubbing up and replanting, which is done every 50 years. We saw the processes being ... read more
Schoolboys
Acro props
Tea plantation

Asia » Sri Lanka » Central Province » Nuwara Eliya February 5th 2014

Kandy to Nuwara Eliya Up early and caught the train from Peradeniya Junction, outside Kandy for a 4 ½ hr journey to Nuwara Eliya 1900 metres up in the mountains. The carriages were already full and few seats were available so many of our group were standing, but not thankfully hanging of the sides like in Calcutta. As we moved up the line the people standing had risen somewhat and consisted of many nationalities from Polish, Chinese to French and many more, all paying the astronomical sum of 180 rupees (90p) for the long journey. As we gained height we came across the many tea plantations their factories and workers busy picking the new leaves. The area covered in tea is immense and quite spectacular. At the top we had a 7km bus journey, as soon ... read more
Modern Loco
Tickets please
Carriage sign

Asia » Sri Lanka » Central Province » Dambulla February 4th 2014

After Kandy we headed to for Dambulla which is at the heart of the Cultural Triangle. After dusting ourselves down we headed for Minneriya National Park where we went on a safari by jeep through the jungle and by a large lake were the elephants were gathering. Lots to see including crocodiles, wild peacocks, many varies of different birds, monkeys and of course the elephants. The next morning was to be the ascent of Sigiriya Rock Fortress and is Sri Lanka's Ayres Rock. Lynne decided to opt out of thirds trip and spent a day round the pool. The rock is very impressive but quite a challenge in the heat. On top of the rock there are the remains of a 13th century palace. On our final morning in Dambulla we visited the very popular cave ... read more
Help required in crossing river
John on Safari
Sigiriya Rock Fortress

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Asia » Sri Lanka » Central Province » Kandy February 4th 2014

D11 The Temple of the Tooth was on the menu today, but not for me I am afraid. I have already had one temple too many, as I suspect the others have. Three of us went to town and had a brew before heading off to the Botanical Gardens. Since this was National Day several shops and the gardens cafe was closed so no lunch, but I need to keep my weight under check since I am not cycling anymore for a while. National Day is the 66th Anniversary of Independence from Britain so most people were on holiday and flags were everywhere. The Botanical gardens cover an area of 150 acres and houses 4000 species of plants and was a very good visit with very unusual plants and trees and thousands of fruit bats chirping ... read more
Tata truck (Mercedes)
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Orchid

Asia » Sri Lanka » Central Province » Kandy February 3rd 2014

Reckless drivers still out in force in Sri Lanka today (2ndFeb). 16 miles down the road and I am laid on the Tarmac winded and hurting. When I recovered enough to stand up I found large grazing to my right leg and unable to lift my right arm. Oh no! Broken collarbone. I am now sporting a sling and bandages hanging off my leg. Riding over for me, I am afraid, what a catastrophe. The van driver overtook on a left hand bend, cut in tight and forced me off the road down a 4" drop onto the dirt and since the bend was sweeping left I hit the Tarmac edge and was thrown back onto the road. Van driver carried on, of course, oblivious to my plight. Donkey. Peter also came crashing down onto me ... read more
Battle of wounded knee
Broken lid
Matale main street

Asia » Sri Lanka » Eastern Province February 1st 2014

D8 Hot, hot, hot. Once the mist had lifted we were off and onto dirt roads to Polomoruwa and 32 degrees. The ride was steady and pleasant going by lakes and narrow lanes looking at the birds such as, kingfishers, bee eaters?, storks, cormorants, egrets and bitterns, which are perhaps my favourite. A museum and many more Buddhist Temples. One temple had a massive inscribed 25 tonne stone brought 100km from Mihinale in the 12th century – amazing feat. Good trip so far but too many temples for me, even though they may be important to SL history. Great place to ride – ride more. The dirt roads were full of potholes but taken steady they were OK. Saturday appears to be wash day since everyone is in the rivers and lakes, either doing their washing ... read more
Girl on a motorcycle
Fisherman driving fish to net
Firewood seller

Asia » Sri Lanka » Eastern Province January 31st 2014

D7 The verdict has changed reference the Sri Lankan drivers. We have come to the conclusion that many are reckless and dangerous. This morning we were nearly run off the road by a car overtaking a lorry uphill at speed with just enough room for us to get through – frightening. This afternoon entering Minnetiya John was thrown off his bike by a foolish motorist who came alongside and then swerved across him to enter the fuel station. John had to turn with him and applied his brakes on the wet road so skidded to a stop in a big heap with a battered knee, forearm and hand. The police came and instead of reprimanding the driver tried to encourage John to go to hospital. However, since he did not want to contract some deadly disease ... read more
Bananas
Pineapple
Jack Fruit

Asia » Sri Lanka » Western Province January 30th 2014

D6 Dambula Got up this morning and went to my ablutions and was putting down the toilet seat when I saw a frog looking up at me. Dashed for my camera only to see it disappearing around the bend – drat. What is it living on? Good Sri Lankan breakfast of Hopper Noodles and curry etc this morning. Two refrained from eating due to Deli Belly, Pat and Ivan our guide. Who will be next? The morning ride was good with an overcast sky until we got to Sigirya and the elephant riders got a real dousing of heavy rain - this is the dry season – whilst we dashed into a local restaurant and had a fresh pineapple juice until the sky cleared. At 11am we decided there was no more rain left above and ... read more
Sigirya Rock Fortress
Murals
Lion Claws




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