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Published: January 5th 2008
Dec. 21 Parade
We were never really to sure what this parade was for, but it has something to do with the sri-lankan chapter of budhism and some days bein more special then others....
The last most of you had heard from me was that I was planning on staying in Hikkadewa for xmas and new years. However, after bein on the beach for a week I got restless and a few of us decided that we'd head inland for xmas instead and have an adventurous one rather then a beachstyle xmas. So the italians left before me to kandy while I waited around till my 45$ custom made board bag was being finished and I was lucky enough to witness the craziest parade I'd ever imagined(it completely out-did the indian style parade I saw in pushkar for the camel fair... completely). To lead the parade there were about 15-20 boys(10-20years old) swinging these 5m long braided ropes in circles around there heads to clear space, then they'd stop and snap these things like crazy whips all over the place making soo much noise. I dont even know what to say about it except that when they were walkin up we were like "what the..." then, "wholy man, are you kiddin me.. hahaha, no way!!" So intense. Then these guys were followed by not one but two huge elephants all fancied up with "clothes" and
traditional dance show (Kandy)
Deffinately interesting, if not touristed up, but diffinately interestin. Look at him, how can this show possibly be boring?
crhistmas lights all over. These were followed by group after group of traditional dancers, then came the fire dance crew who made the thai fire spinners look like babies with ropes in there hands because the different objects that were all lit up were crazy; like pieces of old-shool chandeliers. Then more elephants and more dancers and..... it went on.
Anyways, I finaly made it to kandy and it rained. We watched more traditional dancing in a muc more touristy atmosphere but.. it was really good. Then to Adams peak(Sri-prada in sinhalese); Francesco turned back, he was sick of the rain, and a surfer out of the water dries up quick... so he went back to catch the supposedly incoming swell(there wasnt one.. he just needed an excuse). So Alan and I trekked on and met up with mizki and kelly(japanies/aus couple) and climbed Adams peak(sri-prada) at 2am on dec. 24 to watch the sunrise; which was spectacular I'll let you know. I should say though that we didnt really just climb sri-prada with just Mizki and Kelly, we climbed the thing with more like 1000 pilgrimers who were heading up to pray at the top of one of
The group of male dancers
The males were more elaborately dressed but the girls were deffinately better dancers. At the end of the show they did a traditional fire ceremoney; during which two guys rolled lit torches all over there bodies and tongues and then walked over a 3m bed of red hot coals while blowing lighter fluid out of there mouths and above there head, lit by the torches they were carrying.....
sri-lankas most wholy spots. At the top, I dont know if i've ever fealt as though I were surrounded with such faith and spiritual presence as I did here. I'd just say that the whole thing was just completely over-whelming and the locals were more then friendly on the way up; here as long as you smile your in the good books with anyone.
When we finaly made it back down the 5000odd steps, my calves were numb, we ate and caught the bus/train to Ohio; a little town on the train line that once had a guest house. So we ended up crashing at a local tuk-tuk drivers house for Xmas eve. On Xmas day we woke up before sunrise for the second day in a row and headed out to worlds end to try and catch the views before the clouds rolled in. For the seconde day in a row the weather was on our side(we were lucky, lots of people completely get the shaft and get bad weather both days). I must say, that throughout this entire trip the weather has never really treated me poorly when it needed to. After worlds end we headed to
Train station in Hatton
To me it seemed as though I stepped off a train through time and back into the 50's maybe. I dont think the sri-lankans have upgraded anything since colonial times.
Ella(another few hours down the train line) and finaly got a room where we were going to stay more then a few hours while we were out walking. Yea, the four of us were way to tired for xmas day after all the walking and early mornings, so we laid down had a quick nap then went out and got ourselves a good traditional ayurvedic massage; it turned out to be a little awkward with the massage ladies working extra hard to get a good tip(if you catch my drift) but even still exceptionaly refreshing with sauna's, steam baths, facials, head massages, foot massages and of course a full body massage all for just 15$... poor me, my xmas to myself haha. We then went out looking for something resembling a xmas dinner and found a BBQ on at the reggae bar... so, xmas with marley, why not. Yeah, we ate a bird for xmas but i dont think i have ever or will ever again eat such a small meal for xmas dinner.... soo small.
Anyways, after ella I made a trek back to hikkadewa and have been here since and was here for new years. The
'Adams peak.' Supposedly an indentation at the top is buddhas footprint. So, many pilgrimers come here every year on certain days to pray.
only thing I'll tell you about new years was that fire works here are way more fun the fire works anywhere else. Yes there is the classic countdown to fireworks deal but... here nothing is fenced off, no-ones in control, every-place on the beach has a fireworks display to attract customers and fire works here cost absolutely nothing. So, the fireworks just seemed to be more festive and seemed more mood-changing the fireworks back home, almost more real and... I dont know, they were crazy haha.
Tommorow I leave hikkadewa for about a week as myself and a few new friends are heading down south to get away from the local beac boys. So first to a break at midigama and then down to mirissa. I'll keep you posted.
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