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.
Say no more – blue whales & dolphins.
Then to Galle & a walk around this huge Portuguese fort & watching cricket in the old square.
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.
He is 86!
On the way we met some interesting characters. This guy was boiling up maize & selling fresh mango.
These huge Buddhas were really impressive, carved out of the solid granite of the cliff face.
A golden Buddha looks out to protect the village.
But these guys took the biscuit. What a way to fish!
A wonderful train ride through the tea plantations starts, as with most train journeys, a little bit late.
So when the train is late one goes to the local hostelry for refreshments.
Clientele a bit iffy especially these characters.
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.
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.
We arrive at our destination and spoon ourselves onto the platform.
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.
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.
Hindu families come out to welcome their gods through each village; some are more enthusiastic than others as the proceedings start.
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.
In the morning mists a stroll around the lake.
The princess’s bath house
Then into the hills. The tea factory.
Village preparations for the new year. This will house 46 lanterns.
Then through the rains to Adam’s Peak.
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.
Someone has to carve & paint all those elephants!
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.
A Hindu temple- coming up to New Year! April 14 the every year. How auspicious.
I can’t leave without a Buddhist ceremony- the walk past of Buddha’s tooth
But first a stupa( where would you be without a stupa) and a wonderful temple ruin with Budha overlooking what’s left.
This one is 50 metres high!
Lunch with a local family
And here are the elephants
I like this view with mountains in the background.
This one is carved of solid rock. The flags fly at all Buddhist temples, shrines, stupas. The colours represent aspects of Buddhism. Red represents wisdom – find the others.
A real, live monk!
Behind the white facade are five temple caves each of which is home to 100s of statues and painted Buddhas.
And this big fella looks after it all at the bottom of the hill
Now the rains come & brilliant lightening storm. G&T tonight!
Breakfast by the lake – a cool, glorious morning for us to explore & the local monkey gang to set off on their Triumphs.
Today is all about Buddha arriving imn Sri Lanka. I’ll try get it right!
Having visited the sacred Bo-Tree,2,200 years old we go to Ruvanvalisaya Dagoba stupa- a shrine for monks and the man’s remains.
They clean the plaster dome very three weeks swinging around it on this ladder:
The highest stupa was over 100 metres high although the top is off it now.
To reach Mihintale where the monk Arahath prayed & converted locals you have to climb 1000 odd steps. Here he is at the top in his teaching pose.
Then the pre monsoon storm comes early and a retreat is beaten to the veranda to watch the lightening through the sheets of rain. Oh, accompanied by tea, of course!
Don’t believe all I write on here~yesterday was not Palm Sunday just some Catholicy service and it was a pretty monsoon storm that seems to occur every day during late afternoon.
Anyway, some images from the dried & fresh fish market. You can smell it from the UK!
It’s Sunday in Negumbo. Boys play cricket on the beach as families gather for Palm Sunday service
The lads Show off in Indian Ocean surf until afternoon monsoon rains come along. Only adds to their anticipation. While families pray under umbrellas the boys gather in bars to watch T 20 final against India.