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Published: November 17th 2008
Sri Lanka HighlandsYOU CAN CLICK ON ANY PHOTO TO ENLARGE IT, THEN GO BACK OR GO THROUGH THE PHOTOS (CLICK ON THE NUMBERS AT THE TOP) IN THAT ENLARGED FORMAT. CLICK ON THE MAP OF INDIA ON THE LEFT TO ENLARGE. Yes, here is another time-travel blog in keeping with my re-doing old print journals for our records.
This was the view from the patio of a little tea shop we stopped at along the road
SRI LANKA AND GOA, INDIA - DEC 05 & JAN 06
As most of you know, in November, 2005 we were in the U.S. for the birth of our grandson, Evan, but returned to Pretoria, South Africa (where we were living for a year) just before Christmas. We spent a lovely Christmas with our dear South African friends, Sue & Peter Poole
and family at their second home on a nearby lake - idyllic! The day after Christmas we flew to Sri Lanka, which, strangely enough, is three and one half hours
different from South Africa and ½ hour
different from India.
We had a great time in Sri Lanka and Goa - a week in each place. It was sunny and warm the whole time - definitely beach weather and that is what Goa is famous for. Unfortunately our "mature"
We took a few of these auto-rickshaws in Colombo - I was grateful for my bandana which I could use over my mouth to keep out the diesel fumes
skin can't take the sun so much, but we do enjoy the ocean - had lots of great walks on the beach or relaxing by hotel pools.
We flew from Johannesburg, South Africa to Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is off the southeastern tip of India with the Bay of Bengal to the north and the Indian Ocean to the south. We hired a car and driver and saw a lot of the island - from Colombo
to Nuwara Eliya
in the highlands, to Galle
on the coast, then back to Colombo to fly to Goa, through Mumbai
- everything goes through Bombay/Mumbai. We did not
visit the northeast part of Sri Lanka where the Tamal problems continue to plague the peace of this nation.
The auto-rickshaw (“tuk-tuk” in Thailand) was the in-town mode of transportation of choice - if you couldn’t walk that is. These 2-passanger, 2-stroke engine, covered three-wheelers were everywhere, weaving in and out of traffic, often belching diesel, but the locals rely on them heavily. We availed ourselves of this handy mode of transport in Colombo, but I was glad I had my bandana handy to cover my mouth and
avoid the horrid diesel fumes - from our auto-rickshaw as well as the other traffic.
Only in the very south did we see signs of the tsunami - remember this was a year, almost to the day, after the worst tsunami in history had devastated this part of the world. In the city of Galle
, which is on the south coast, they were still rebuilding. From Galle up the east coast they had the most tsunami damage - lost 40,000 people
that day. Imagine! Every single person in the affected areas was directly impacted by the tsunami - either themselves or in losing a friend or family member. We heard many harrowing stories and it was obvious that the trauma was still very fresh and affecting daily life.
We visited a turtle rescue project in Sri Lanka where they are paying locals to bring in sea turtle eggs (instead of eating them - a delicacy evidently), hatching them and then keeping watch over them when they return to the ocean, which is always at night. They had been very successful and the sea turtle (several species) numbers had been improving steadily. There was much speculation about how the
This is one of the reasons one hires a car and driver in both Sri Lanka and Goa - we couldn't begin to decipher these road/directional signs. English is widely spoken and many store signs are in English, but NOT the road signs
tsunami may have played havoc with the sea turtle population, wrecked beach nesting sites, etc. TRANSPORTATION
The photo on the left shows the reason you hire a car in both Sri Lanka and Goa. This was a junction in Goa, but the same situation existed in Sri Lanka - you couldn’t read the signs. Fortunately, hiring a driver and car was economical - cheaper than simply renting a car. In Sri Lanka we hired a car and driver in Colombo who drove us over the entire island; was with us the whole time. In Goa all the hotels arranged our transportation, and it was convenient, timely, reliable, not to mention you got the bonus of a driver who acted as a tour guide and translator. Did I mention the traffic is horrendous
? That would have been a major omission because that is the number one reason you hire a driver. It was bad enough watching the drivers maneuver the narrow, crowded roads, but the thought of actually trying to do it ourselves was petrifying.
Our first stop in Goa was the town of Panaji
, small and very nice. Goa is on the west coast
Ladies on the way to Market, Goa
These ladies were going to a market that was 5 miles away
of Indian, below Mumbai (formerly Bombay) on the Arabian Sea - click on map at left to enlarge; see Panaji on west coast - that is in the state of Goa.
As you know, India is mostly about culture, and in the case of Goa, Buddhist, Muslim, Catholic and Hindu cultures. The Portuguese settled and controlled Goa for a long time, so 40%!o(MISSING)f the people are still Catholic.
We visited many beautiful churches and equally interesting and beautiful Hindu and Buddhist temples. There weren't so many mosques in this area, although our guides pointed out many Muslims - identifiable by their dress.
We did a really nice boat trip in the far north of Goa with an experienced bird guide - he provided binoculars, a bird book, as well as the boat and knowledge. Where we could, we got out and walked through mangrove swamps and fields and did a bit of twitching (bird watching) there too. Even when you are "in the middle of nowhere" in India, there are people, villages, farms, etc., and the encounters with the locals and witnessing the local scenes was a definite bonus. PEOPLE
The young ladies pictured here
Future Teachers of Goa
We met these young ladies on the ferry behind them. They wanted to practice their English - even sang us a song
are all future teachers in India. We met them on a river ferry (in background) - they and their male counterparts, of which there were about 20, wanted to practice their English with us. Note that even though these girls are devout Muslims, their clothing is not suffocating nor drab, and they don’t always have their hair covered, and never their faces.
Of course this little taste of India only makes us want to go back and explore more, which I'm sure we'll do in the not too distant future.
We will sign off for now wishing you all good travels, wherever you may go, but do NOT
put off until tomorrow the trip you should take today! IF YOU GO BACK TO THE START OF THIS BLOG, YOU'll SEE ABOVE THE TITLE IT SAYS "Travel Blogs by Kathy Bernie - Previous Entry." IF YOU CLICK ON Previous Entry IT WILL TAKE YOU BACK, ONE AT A TIME - JUST KEEP CLICKING, CHRONOLOGICALLY THROUGH OUR OTHER BLOGS
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who is tha cool correspondents...
Excellent picture!! jeje cool... Kathy... you just need to show the CNN microphone next time!! jajja abrazos desde Argentina.... y gracias por el blog!! increíbles las imágenes!! besos seguro esta semana me junto con Marcela!!!
si... si... si ...Sacred Cow
IN ARGENTINA THE COW ARE ALSO SACRED... JUST WITH A LITTLE DIFFERENT .... THEY ARE SACRED ONLY WHEN THE ARE ON THE GRILL .... JAJAJAJAJA BESOS
Cnn better watchh out !!
Thanks guys !! These are amazing ..... Keep updating us. ... it is a cheaper way for me to travel. Beijos e Obrigada Tati
Thank you for the photos sri lanka is so beautiful like a painting what a wonderful world we live in.
Most of the snaps displayed on this page are lovely. In fact I liked the waterfalls.