Day 13 - Stairs and more stairs and more stairs

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July 20th 2015
Published: July 20th 2015
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Today was a very early morning. We were up at 5, ready by 5:45, checked out by 6:15, breakfast and then on the road. We had a few stops today and the first one was Sigiriya Rock, which was a Buddhist Palace and town. We arrived there by 7:15 am and started touring the area. It was massive. We walked around the grounds a little and then we started with the stairs. There were stairs and more stairs and more stairs. The trip up the rock was 2,002 and steps and we hit every one of them. At least we were there early before the crowds and before it got too hot. Plus there was a great breeze and as we climbed higher and higher the wind got stronger and stronger. It was glorious. A breeze was something that we did not have in Vietnam or Cambodia. The weather here has been a few degrees lower but the breeze is amazing. Don’t get us wrong, it’s still hot, hot, hot, but we are not sweating our balls off like before.

The palace and ground were pretty cool and thank goodness we got there and got finished when we did. The crowds definitely start to hit around 9:30-10:00. We all imagined what hell it would have been to have been in a que on those stairs trying to reach the top. Our guide’s timing has been very good. So we 2,0002 stairs up, we walked all the way around the top of the palace and then 2,002 steps down. According to our fit bits, we walked at least 17,000 steps. Ok, maybe not that many, but it sure seemed like it. Our legs are still sore. There were amazing fresco paintings from 13th century that all looked like they had LA boob jobs.

We finished the palace and had a change in our itinerary. Vijitah suggested a tour of a local village to see how they lived and we get lunch out of it too. We had plenty of time so we decided to check it out. The trip started with a ride on an ox drawn cart. It was not the smoothest of rides. The cart took us into the trees and off the main road. From there we walked to a lake and then hopped on a boat with two young boys paddling. They stopped half way across the lake and grabbed three water lilies and they made us flower necklaces. It was sweet. Since none of us have received flowers from any men in a long time, we gladly accepted them.

We got to the village and it was a small farming community. We sat in the sitting room of the primitive mud house. It had two other rooms, one being the kitchen. There were two ladies that showed us how they cooked traditional meals. We turned the grinder and the millet turned into flour. She also showed us how to crush and separate the husk of the rice. She also showed us how to crack a coconut and gave the milk and shavings to us as well. Yummy. The meal was great. We ate white and red rice with lots of vegetables and fish. We ate with our hands and it was great. Sometimes these tours can be pretty cheesy and unauthentic. But this one was actually really good and we enjoyed our time in this small village. After our meal it was a tuk tuk ride back to the car.

From the village we had over an hour drive to a spice and herb garden. The girls who run the garden were also our travel agents for Sri Lanka. We actually paid for our Sri Lanka portion of the trip here. The garden was nice and we actually learned a lot. We learned how they harvest cinnamon, pepper and a bunch of other spices. We actually got another lesson in how to crack a coconut. It took the guy a lot longer than the village woman. She was quick.

One more drive to the Tooth Temple in Kandy and then we hit our hotel. The Temple of the Tooth was a large temple for Buddhists to pray and honor their culture. The temple holds the remains of a tooth from Buddha. This was a very popular destination and many Buddhists pilgrimage here to pay their respects. It was a beautiful place. We thought we were going to lose Lynn to the religion. She started to walk off with a group of Buddhists women who were there. We are only here in Kandy for one night and then we will drive south to spend our last two nights by the beach!!!

We had a nice dinner and Chester and Lynn discussed Sri Lankan politics with our waiter for a very extensive period of time.

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