Kandy overwhelms me. I am not much of a city person anyway but I hadn't expected it to be quite so full on. I am sure there are loads of great places to see here, but I took refuge by the lake which is beautiful with a low white wall all the way around, a lovely old bath house to one side and a little island in the middle. At one 'corner' of the lake was a little jetty where I saw a monitor lizard lazing about in the sun (it isn't raining in Kandy!). I spent the rest of the afternoon slowly walking up the hill to the place where I am staying and there was plenty to see including a giant snake that appeared from nowhere and disappeared in to someone's garden. I have no idea if it was poisonous but I find them fascinating and tried to follow it. I also passed a young guy - must have been nineteen, carving wood products by the side of the road. He was so interested in where I come from and where I had travelled. I chatted to him for a while about the few places in the world I
had been. Watching his eyes light up reminded me what a privilege travelling is. Those of us fortunate enough to go away even once a year should never forget how lucky we are. I bought a mask from him - the fire demon Gini Raksha that the dancers wear to fend off enemies. He had made it himself and I watched him work for a while. These masks are for sale everywhere but this felt special because he had carved it.
Later on watched some dancers at the YMMA (Young Mens Muslim Association) which Kandy is famous for. The accompanying music is simply several drummers and some chanting and it's quite mesmerising. At the end they did firewalking - is this mind over matter as I was told? Or a trick?
For the first time in my life I have the means and desire to get out there. When I'm not travelling, I'm planning the next one. I am discovering that I like going off on my own and finding things out for myself. My profile photo sums me up.
Favourite places so far - Morocco, Turkey and Mexico. This year I'm going to Portugal, Jordan and I've just started planning a trip to Argentina later in the year. Any advice welcome!... full info