Steps and celebration

Trip Start Mar 31, 2011
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Sri Lanka  ,
Sunday, April 10, 2011

Okay so my life at the moment isn’t all volunteering, I have had a few hard afternoons and evenings spent down on the beach. Our local beach Unawatuna is a 10ish minute tuk tuk ride away, Siri is our driver you can read about him on the website. The beach is a banana shaped bay which is protected by the reef so a nice leisurely float is always happening.

Last weekend was sooooo much fun, the question is how much can you cram in to weekend. The weekend started Friday afternoon when me and Amanda took our first steps to Adams peak. Adams peak is a pilgrimage for Buddhist and Hindu followers. To get to Adams peak we took a three hour train journey to Colombo, then a 6 hour bus to Hatton and then a hour mini bus to the bottom of the mountain, we arrived at 9 - stinking and sweating. On the train we just got stared at all the time, but I mean come on its gotta get boring at some point (they must have been counting freckles), on the bus we had a doosh of a man sitting next to us he was trying to do some inappropriate things so I shouted at him in front of the whole bus he soon stopped, I mean come on I have a skirt to the floor and he’s trying to pull it up! Dude. Even though it was dark when we got there you could still see the mountain as the steps you climb are guided by lights, it looked sooo pretty. The recommended time to climb is through the night so you are there for sunrise, so we woke at 2.30 by 3 am we were at the very start of the long climb. After 2 and a half hours of climbing step after step, bare in mind there are about 5400 steps, we made it to the top. On our journey we meet some Buddhist followers who were on there way back down, they said they climbed last night at 9.30 and stayed there until midnight. One lady told us if we forget about the tiredness and aches and think of Buddha he will help us up the mountain as he protects Adams peak. When we got to the top we had to take of our shoes (no problamo, bloody feet were killing me), we then followed the worshippers lead. We lay a flower in front of Buddha and then prayed and knelt before him and then off we went to have a mooch at the surrounding (not a lot to see it was still dark). By 6 the sun was up and we didn’t see the sunrise too freaking cloudy, so we made our was to a the first hut down the mountain for a cup of tea, the best one yet!. As we plonked our legs down the mountain and the clouds cleared we started to see the amazing scenery we had driven and climbed through throughout the night, We also got blessed by a Hindu man. At 9am we were back at our hotel where we happily sat and ate breakfast, but with the daunting task of climbing 130 steps to our room, just made our whole bodies twinge. Our room was in the most perfect spot we could see Adams peak (well it is big enough) and all the surrounding hills and tea plantation fields. We showered and left by 12, a tuk tuk took us to the train station in Hatton stopping to show us the scenery along the way, we arrive home at 11pm absolutely knackered. Waking up on Sunday not feeling to bad with the aches and pains, the other volunteers and I made our way to the nursing school as we had been invited to thier New Year celebration before they broke up for the holidays. It was such a beautiful experience, we were greeted by some of the girls who handed us five leaves each, it’s a special tradition they have as a welcome symbol. They then did the special parts of which they do on the actually new years day ( I will tell you about that when I tell you about new year). After eating the amazing food that they had all prepared it was time for games, and what funny games they play too:

- filling a small coke bottle with water, but you have to do this by running back and forth with your hand cupped with water, its tricky very tricky and this is a game the Sri Lankans have perfected.

-Pillow fight on a pole the height of your head, sooo funny to watch

-the fastest person to blow up a balloon until it pops wins

-one person is blind folded with a yogurt and a spoon the fastest person to feed there partner the whole yogurt wins, a very messy game! …………………………….. And many more

Inbetween games dances were performed, and lunch was served. Around 1 a few of us went to the beach to chill out. …….. Ahhhh what a weekend!
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