Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Taking on Sri Lanka one bus at a time

So last Friday I packed my bags and escaped from the health farm. I gelt amazing after two weeks at the Ayurvedic Retreat but enough was certainly enough! I headed to Negombo a beach town just north of Colombo. My guest house was amazing, owned by an English couple who promptly made me a large pot of coffee. I sat on the verandah overlooking the pool (yay!) and savored every mouthful - two weeks being caffeine free will make you do that!

I checked out the town and the beautiful beach then had real food for dinner. Loading toxins back into your body makes you feel worse than detoxing so I had quite an early night.

I was up bright and early, had vegemite toast for brekkie (did I mention how cool this guest house is?) then the fabulous Rukshan Anthony and his wife Rosalie arrived to pick me up. I hadn't seen Rukshan since I left work at Perpetual so we had lots to catch up on.

We headed inland to Sigiryia, stopping at Rosalie's family house on the way.

We stopped at Dambulla to see the temple cave - got to the top and didn't have a ticket but the views were amazing and the big buddha was very big. There was certainly no need to walk all the way down the hill, buy a ticket and walk all the way back up again.

The local monks were playing a spot of cricket so I had to join in.

We checked in to Eden Gardens Hotel then headed off to Sigiryia rock. It was half three but still very hot. And man the rock looked big. I think my first comment was 'there's no way I'm going to the top of that thing'.

But I made it to the top quite easily (despite my dickie knee from my yoga incident). There was a little breeze as you climbed higher which helped! Rukshan and I were quite pleased with our efforts. And the views from the top were amazing. There was a cave about half way up with painting that are thousands of years old.

By the way, this climb proves that you can do anything in havaianas. I've been in flip flops every day since leaving Oz - not sure why I'm carrying a pair of shoes.

There were a group of school kids climbing with us and they were lots of fun, but it did make it feel a bit like Picnic at Hanging Rock.

The next morning I said goodbye to Rukshan and Rosie and jumped on the local bus to Kandy. This was an adventure - my first night couch surfing.

Benjamin sent a tuk tuk to collect me and we headed out of town into the hills. I met the family, mum, dad and one of the sisters then Benjamin took me touring around town. Kandy is a beautiful place.

I chatted to this dude at the local market for ages. The only English word he knew was cricket!

The temple of the tooth of Buddha is a big attraction in the town. The locals bring lotus flowers to leave as an offering so it smelt amazing.

We then headed to the shops to buy food for dinner. This was my contribution to the family, and it was loads of fun. I snuck in chocolate for the mum even though Benjamin said she shouldn't have it.

Benjamin's mum cooked up an amazing feast.

The next morning i spent quite a few hours in the Botanical Garden. Ive taken loads of pics for you mum, will send you a separate link.

Then it was goodbye to the family and back to the bus station.

Staying with a local family was an amazing experience. I learnt so much about life in Kandy and loved these warm and welcoming people.

I will certainly be couch surfing a whole lot more.

I piled into the local bus (along with half the town), heading high into the hills to Sri Lanka's tea country. That is a whole other blog, stay tuned.

And yes, they do turn the aisle into seats!

Posted from somewhere round the world...

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