Here we go

Trip Start Feb 15, 2006
Trip End Feb 16, 2007

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Flag of Sri Lanka  ,
Wednesday, May 10, 2006

By the time we have finished breakfast our car and driver has arrived and we are excited at the prospect of exploring new territory. The ancient city awaits us, but our first stop is the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage which is a big tourist attraction here in Sri Lanka and it's not far from Kegalle which we have to drive through anyway. We arrive just after 11am and can only stay an hour as our schedule is tight. An hour is not long enough and we only got to see them bathing in the river which was quite good but it would have been nice to see them being fed too. The baby elephants are so cute and there were lots more than we anticipated. The mahouts (keepers) stand close by with big sticks and you can see the fear in the elephants when the sticks are raised to them. One elephant has a foot missing and hobbles around well on three legs, its sad but he is well looked after. We take pics - far too many and watch as they are rounded up and led back to the orphanage for feeding time. The 500rs we paid wasn't really worth it because we couldn't spend much time here but if you love elephants and can spend a day here it is probably worth the money.

Next stop is Anuradhapura; The Ancient City. We stop once to pee at the side of the road (I am no longer embarrassed by this - when you gotta go you gotta go!), buy pop and biscuits as we won't be stopping for lunch. Our car is AC and the heat hits with force as soon as the door or window is opened. We arrive at the Grand Hotel (don't get all excited it's just a name). We have a half decent cup of coffee and set off sightseeing as we only have one night here.

Can you believe we survived the whole of India without a single car crash? We had a few near misses that's for sure. Yet here we are on our second day in Sri Lanka, the roads not too busy and our driver has to slam on the breaks at a round about cause a bloody tuk tuk pulls out and hits the rear left side. Of course there is no damage to the car but the tuk tuk will probably break into a 1000 pieces further down the road! So that will be one less to worry about.

We buy our Cultural Triangle tickets (it's the cheapest option if you are taking in all the major sites) and head off to look at lots of ruins the last one being a 2500 year old tree. Security is tight, I have no idea why but the tree is situated in the middle of a Buddhist temple and we are forced to take flowers (seriously they do not take no for an answer but its only 100rs although the guy did ask for one English Mark!). The sun is setting now and we are not sure where we have just been or why we've been there. There were no other tourists around but the locals were happy to have us here. As we walk back to the car giant bats are flying above our heads and it's not even dark yet.

We spend the evening playing black jack at our hotel as there is nothing else to do while the staff prepare for a big wedding tomorrow which will kick off at 7am.

To be continued. . . . .
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