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Published: July 21st 2015
So today started much like all of the others have. Get up, get dressed, pack our bags, eat a buffet breakfast with too many croissants and meet our guide and van. Today we were heading to the southern part of Sri Lanka and doing some white water rafting on the say. It was supposed to be a 90 min ride to the white water rafting, but as with everything in the van it turned into 2.5 hours. And all 2.5 hours were on windy, hilly roads. The roads are meant to be 2 car, but only wide enough for 1.5 cars so the driver is forced to hit the brakes with EVERY vehicle we pass. And of course honk.
We finally made it to the rafting guide and it starts raining. But what better to do on a rainy day then raft. Except Lynn had zero desire to raft so she opted to go on a trek through the local villages and the jungle.
Chester and I got fitted out for the trip. We were with 6 other locals, but we got our own boat and good. Thank goodness as it was their first time rafting. We started with
a 7 KM drive up the hill and a long walk down to the river. Followed by the standard safety talk and some directions. They did want to make sure all of our life jackets were fitting properly so forced us to hold hands in a circle and float. Kirsten proceeded to sing Kumbyah. But the joke was lost on everyone but Chester. As well as a least a dozen other great one liners she came up with. This culture really does not understand our sarcasm.
The water was colder than expected but the river was really clean. We hit our first rapids and they were a class 3 so nothing special. But after the guide realized this was not our first rodeo, he decided to take it up a notch and have us surf the rapids. Our comment was if you don’t have class 5 rapids you make them. So we paddled back into the rapids and got pummeled by the rapids direct into Kirsten’s face and nose. Chester and Kirsten were laughing the whole time. Kirsten pretty much fell out but hung on to pull herself back in while Chester was on her side of the raft.
We come out of the rapids, laughing and the guide as us if we wanted to do it again, so of course we said yes. We waited for the other raft to try and fail to even get back in the rapids, and then we were back at it. This time head on. Kirsten took on water for a good 10 min (ok may 1 but it felt like 10) Kirsten and Chester screaming and laughing the entire time. This repeated itself 3 more times. We think the guide was just excited to have some people that were not scared and willing to take a beating. But we had a great time.
We headed down about 3 more sets of rapids repeat this on a few more multiple times. We passed the site where the filming of blowing up of the bridge on the Bridge On the River Kwai was filmed in the 50’s. Not much but some concrete and rebar left. At the end we jumped out of the raft and floated for about 20 min to the landing area. The scenery was beautiful and the river cool refreshing and clean, which is a good thing as Chester
and Kirsten swallowed a good portion of it.
Meanwhile Lynn was on a trek with one of the local guides. Unfortunately the rain started almost at the same time as her trek, so she was wetter then Kirsten and Chester at the end. They headed through a local village and saw people come back from the tea fields with freshly picked tea leaves. There were lots of young kids in perfectly white uniforms coming back from school that Lynn wanted to adopt and take home. They headed to the local rain forest where the down pour really started. The guide causally informed Lynn that there may be snakes in the area, cobras and vipers. This did not sit well with Lynn, but she trekked on. They stopped to have an afternoon stack of cookies and juice boxes of chocolate milk. Lynn graciously tried to avoid the milk but the guide insisted (demanded) she drink it. So she did.
By this time they are at the end of the river where she had to cross a shallow, rocky area to get to the other side. She was not pleased with this and she hates open water. They scaled a
wall to get to the next portion of the river and walked around a gorgeous waterfall and headed up the river along the shore. From there they ended up on the larger portion of the river that they crossed with a homemade catamaran with a wood box in the middle. This ended their trek but as they were waiting for the van driver, the local boat captain was frantically pointing at Lynn’s ankle, where she looked down and saw leeches on her legs (que Stand-by me scene). The guide told her to pull them off which she did but kept dropping them back on her leg. When she finally got them off her leg she couldn’t get them off her hand. The driver finally showed up just in time for Lynn to be leech free. Lynn took some great pictures of her adventure, but unfortunately Kirsten forgot to give her back her memory card the night before after she downloaded them so she has nothing to show for her adventures.
We all met back up at the lodge. Kirsten and Chester were prepared to be wet so had dry clothes to change into, but Lynn was not planning to
get soaked. Fortunately Kirsten had a spare swimsuit cover up Lynn could change into.
We had another local lunch of curry that was identical to the last 3 we have had. It was good but we are starting to OD on it. As we were heading out, Lynn felt something in her shoe, took it off and a beetle was alive and well in them.
We then get back into the nap trap for what we thought was a few more hours but turned into 4 hours of curing roles. While in the van we were trying to download our guide’s photos, but it was sur curvy and bumpy, Chester and Kirsten were dropping micro memory cards on the floor and crawling around to pick them up without the guide noticing. It kept us entertained for a few hours.
At one point during the drive Chester looks down at her crotch and notices stains of crimson on the upper inner thigh of her shorts. She looks over and Kirsten and asks “WTF, did I just get my period”? Kirsten is shocked that at 45 years old Chester does not know her cycle yet. Kirsten instructs her to
see if it is really from her “Vijatha” (this is our guide’s name) and Chester proceeds to look in shock down her pants that there is no signs of “aunt flow”. Now they are both puzzled. So Chester drops her shorts and underwear sitting in the moving fan with no knowledge by our guide to give it a full investigation. She realizes there is a small black and red spot on her inner thigh which is evidence that she will likely be the next candidate on “monsters living inside me”. Chester amuses herself for the next hour squeezing and poking to try and figure out what it is and Kirsten keeps telling her to put it away and cover it up. After arrival at the hotel closer inspection the possible diagnosis by the 3 highly qualified roommates is 1) ingrown hair, 2) leach, 3) Parasite trying to get out or in. Any further diagnosis by readers is welcome.
We finally arrived after 7 hours of driving today at the hotel on the beach. The hotel looks really nice. We partook in another nutritious dinner of cinnamon ice cream and beer. We still have not found the perfect blend as we did in Vietnam but we will not give up trying.
We were talking about Sri Lanka not having much of a night life but as we headed back to our room before 10 we realized most people were just coming out and we were usually asleep before it even began. Maybe tomorrow night.
We have big plans tomorrow. We plan on doing NOTHING. No vans, no temples, no Vijatha, NOTHING. Well of course a massage and relaxing at the beach and drinking at eating to our hearts desire.
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