A week in the Cultural Triangle of Sri Lanka

Trip Start Nov 08, 2012
Trip End Dec 10, 2012

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Flag of Sri Lanka  ,
Monday, November 19, 2012

Sigiriya is one of the three major UNESCO World Heritage sites that is a must see for reasons you can investigate (or not) on the web. For the next six days Carmen and I are at this lovely hotel taking day trips to the ancient cities of the Cultural Triangle. Here we have met Piya Gamagedara, very lucky for us as he is the best driver in the region who is doing a superb job of educating us and showing us things others may miss.

I'm sitting on the patio/bar/gathering area in Hotel Sigirira. The view from here to the Sigiriya Rock is spectacular as you can see from the photo I uploaded. I can see small dots of people who have climbed to the top where there are ruins of a temple but I' m sure the photo did not pick it up. The walk is 1300 steps up, across some narrow wooden bridges that are 50 years old, and some rocky inclines, in the heat. Think I'll pass. Instead today we took a tuk-tuk to a nearby site, Dambulla, and climbed way too many steps to a temple that included three caves with Buddha after Buddha after Buddha.  
I've seen many elephants already and beautiful birds, lots of butterfies, and even wild peacocks in the rice paddies. Piya goes out of his way to show us what he knows we want to see. Sri Lanka is a treasure full of Piyas.The people here are friendly and smiling and the children adorable. The literacy rate is 97% in Sri Lanka and we've seen many nicely kept schools. It is sweet to see the children in their school uniforms walking home along the road with sun umbrellas. Maybe Eric and Jacque and/or Burke and Megan should try to get a job here for a couple of years so Allan and I can visit?

Still on the patio and I just looked down to a 3 foot lizard about 4 feet away. He wasn't bothered by me and wasn't coming my direction so I just watched him.......no screaming was necessary. We asked and it's a land monitor lizard. There are several monkeys on the grounds making a nuisance and stealing things. One tried to grab a paper bag by my chair yesterday, but I grabbed it back. Another ambled up to the bar with lots of people nearby and snatched an orange. 
We intend to have a late lunch one day this week at an expensive hotel nearby designed by a famous SL architect, Geoffery Bawa. Obviously something Carmen knows about; between what Carmen knows and what we are seeing and hearing, I'm getting a good education. The food is excellent. I was quite worried how my system would take the curries and spices or that I would get an "off" bite or gulp somewhere and end up with food poisoning like I did I Thailand but, so far so good.

Tomorrow we go to the ancient city of Anuradhapura, built about the time of dirt and the first capital of the county; another World Heritage site. These rich cities and sights are part of a rich ancient civilization known by too few.

I intended to write less and send mostly photos but my IPA is unbearably slow on the upload. Sorry about that.
Hope you all are well, Linda
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Judy Haroldson on

And just how big was that monkey from which you snatched back your bag? Sounds like you are having fun.

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