Goodbye Sri Lanka

My last day in this wonderful country. A 30 minute tuk tuk ride to Wagamama? Beach- a palm lined crescent of golden sands facing turquoise seas. Few hours basking & swimming before we choose our fish for lunch-a huge jack fish which was caught 30 minutes earlier, at least 75 cm long, then grilled. Heaven. Owner has a mate who brings over his boat & we go out fishing for am hour. Can’t flag down tuk tuks for return journey so another mate turns up in small van with vast speakers in back. We place plastic chairs in back & it feels like carnival with a sub woofer the size of an oven.

No photos, sorry. Only took small camera. You’ll have to image it all through my words!

But I will leave you with a collection of images that reflect the character of the Sri Lanken people.

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This time am going on a whale hunt

Say no more – blue whales & dolphins.

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Then to Galle & a walk around this huge Portuguese fort & watching cricket in the old square.

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Got to introduce this character. He proudly shows off his tricycle which given him for work he does at the mosque as caretaker and also the voice to call Muslims to prayer every morning. It was made by the Dutch many moons ago.

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He is 86!

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Down from the hills to the heat of the coast

On the way we met some interesting characters. This guy was boiling up maize & selling fresh mango.

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These huge Buddhas were really impressive, carved out of the solid granite of the cliff face.

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A golden Buddha looks out to protect the village.

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But these guys took the biscuit. What a way to fish!

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Nuwara Eliya to Bandarawela by train

A wonderful train ride through the tea plantations starts, as with most train journeys, a little bit late.

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So when the train is late one goes to the local hostelry for refreshments.

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Clientele a bit iffy especially these characters.

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The train eventually arrives, over crowded due to new celebrations. Thankfully a few able to get off to allow a bit of space for those getting on. This is most effective method to get your family off.

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I’ve always wanted to hang out the open door on one of these crowded local trains. I sat on the doorway and watched the plantations & small stations roll by while chaos ensued behind me.

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We arrive at our destination and spoon ourselves onto the platform.

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April 14th-an auspicious day

firecrackers and barking dogs,pipes and singing mark the arrival of new year- oh and Mark’s birthday. Things quieten down about three and dawn arrives with only sporadic thunder flash explosions. The lads start a quick game while families prepare breakfast.

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At 10.16 fires are lit in homes as the most auspicious time to boil the coconut milk. If it boils over then all will have good luck in the coming yrar. Yes it did and so Mark will.

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Hindu families come out to welcome their gods through each village; some are more enthusiastic than others as the proceedings start.

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Mark joins in the festivities knowing that this new year & Mark’s birthday coincide with the new moon so there must be a really big bash. Sadly no – in Sri Lanka alcohol cannot be sold on night of full moon. No wonder all look so glum.

 

 

Up into the hills to Kandy

But first, following a climb of 1002 steps to the top of the king’s citadel, a drive through spice alley experiencing rural everyday life as we travel.

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Someone has to carve & paint all those elephants!

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The ‘commercial centre’ of Sri Lanka; or a large market working 24 hours. Lories & vans queue to get in & the boys are there to load up.

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A Hindu temple- coming up to New Year! April 14 the every year.  How auspicious.

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I can’t leave without a Buddhist ceremony- the walk past of Buddha’s tooth

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