I haven’t written in a while, as I tried to enjoy my last week in Sri Lanka as much as I can.. then the traumatic return to London with all its greyness, cold and rain ( but luckily also some awesome people who made the city likeable again).
I left Colombo on an early morning train, managed to find great company again, I sat with a lovely family who was travelling with their 2 year old son-quite a challenge for a 9hrs train ride. They were very nice, offering me food (as always) and asked me about my impression of their country. I think I need to rewind the story a little bit, as I meant to stay in a hostel in Sigiriya recommended by friends, however I got an email from the owner that they can’t accept guests at the moment and he left me with the availability of this mystery guy. So I thought he is probably not a serial killer( one can always hope..) and after a couple of phone calls arranged to meet him at the train station in Habarana. I arrived after a 7 hours journey ( we just stopped for an hour at the station just before Habarana for no obvious reason, but by this time a traveller developed an everything comes around on its own terms attitude and happily accepts the changes) .
Well, as you all guessed the guy wasn’t a serial killer:), he was very nice. I stayed at his homestay and before I knew it I found myself in a jeep on the way to see my beloved elephants. They are special to me ( I know they are very hip right now), I always liked them but during my teacher training in India I felt very connected to them, started my little yoga elephant drawings and one of them ended up in my logo for many reasons🐘💕😊. I was so excited that I forgot about the long train ride, being tired or hungry on my way to Kaudulla national park. Well….when you’ve never been to a safari, you might have ideas of endless landscape with you and your jeep surrounded by animals close to nature. The reality is that there are hundreds of other people who’d like to do the same. The national park was crowded with jeeps, I was secretly wishing for Indiana Jones to appear and sort the “expedition” out. While our driver was nice and respectful towards the animals, not everyone followed the rules. Don’t get me wrong, the first time when I saw the elephants it was still breathtaking, they were peacefully having their snack and seemed very used to the crowd..( I even started wondering if elephants go to human watching safaris..) and I saw little babies and managed to take some beautiful photos..But when a line off jeeps were crowding over both sides of a small herd and they couldn’t access the lake to have their drink, I felt ashamed for my fellow humans. So if you decide to go on a jeep safari in Sri Lanka, please make sure you choose a driver who would respect the animals you visiting, and no photo or elephant selfie worth the distress of such a magnificent , sweet and emotional creatures.
So the safari left me with a mixed bag of emotions, but I was definitely very happy to be able to observe elephant families having their afternoon snack.
I was knackered when I got back to the accommodation, so I just had dinner at a random little restaurant and went to sleep get ready for my busy day ahead.
I planned to wake up early and climb Lion’s rock first thing in the morning, as I wanted to avoid the crowds and the heat( almost impossible). I got on the bus to Sigiriya and because of the time of the day it was full of locals making their way to work, ladies in beautiful sari uniforms, men in smart shirts and shoes ( just the thought of wearing shoes made me even more sweaty). This was a different scenery, red sand everywhere ( I still can’t get it out of my t-shirt 😆- an advice: don’t wear white clothes around that area:) ) , no sea breeze, the heat felt more heavy. I got o Lion’s rock around 8.30 and it was quite busy already, but still not too bad. The view totally worth the climb( which is not too bad, I still wasn’t 100% but made it :). The history and culture of the place is very interesting, I didn’t have a guide but I did my reading beforehand(from here😉) And on the top I just sat down and admired the view, chatted with a lovely Spanish girl about travelling and try to soak everything in. I had that feeling that I often feel in historical places that I would like to time-hop to see how it looked like before, the people lived in the palace, walk around the building and the gardens.
Eventually I climbed down, took the bus back to my little temporary home and had a power nap before I made my way to Dambulla. My accommodation (Sigiri Home stay) had an ideal location in that sense that it was right in the middle of Sigiriya and Dambulla with buses to both ways, so it was easy to hop on to the next one to see the cave temple. It turned out more steps are waiting for me to climb💪🏼, and finding the ticket office was a bit confusing ( I probably approached from the wrong entrance) but I was in. The 5 caves in the complex has 157 statues of Buddha in it, the best to start with 5 working your way up to 1🙂. And don’t forget to look at the top of the caves, the paintings are very beautiful.
It was a nice two days filled with animals and culture but I felt the calling of the ocean aready, wished for the sea breeza and a dip in the salty water. So next morning I took the bus to the east coast, discover a different beach to Mirissa ‘s waves..
But that’s another story😉, I’m off to enjoy the 🌞( I think someone heard my complaint as London is sunny again 🙂)…