Pinnawela, Sigiriya and Temple of the Tooth
Trip Start Jan 06, 2006
18Trip End Mar 28, 2006
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The weekend away in Kandy and the surrounding area was excellent. We left around 7am for Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage which was a 4 hour drive away towards Kandy. The orphange takes elephants that have either been abandoned by their mothers or are too agressive to live in the wild
We had another early start the next day to arrive at Sigiriya before it got too hot. Sigiriya is 200m high rectangular rock that once had a palace built on it and the ruins are still there today. It took about an hour to climb up over 1000 steps. It was very busy and at a few points we were at a standstill. Considering we were over 100m up the rock and on the smallest steps, with just a hand rail, you can understand that i started to panic abit! You will all be pleased to hear that i was in the group that made it to the top first. The views from the top were certainly well worth the hair raising climb up. The surrounding area is a World Heritage Site, so for miles and miles it's lush green trees and fields with the wonderful mountains in the distance. My photos could never do it justice. We could also see the Golden Buddha at Dambulla (19km away) twinkling in the distance.
After lunch, we visited the 5 caves at Dambulla
Temple of the Tooth was Sunday's visit. The story goes that Buddha's tooth was rescued and is now housed in the Temple in Kandy. As a result it is one of the most important temples in Sri Lanka. It was incredibly crowded with Sri Lankans going to make offerings. The temple itself was very noisy and not how i was expecting a Buddhist Temple to be. However, there were some beautiful paintings.
We took a train back to Moratuwa which went through amazing countryside with huge rocks and mountains in the distance. It was a shame to return back to the sticky hot city.
Anyway, we're leaving Moratuwa tomorrow for the beach at Mount Lavinia for the weekend. Then back to India on Sunday. I've decided not to do teaching in Tamil Nadu, but to travel with one of the girls i met on my Indian Aidcamp. I'll keep you posted on our plans.
lots of love XXXXXXXXXX