Dambulla Caves

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

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Flag of Sri Lanka  ,
Friday, May 12, 2006

Today we are up at 7.30am and head off to Dambulla Cave temples. It's an hour's drive and we pay the 500rs as it's not included in the triangle ticket. It's another climbing day and we tackle winding paths and lots of steps, but it's well worth the hike up. On the way a young boy of about 10 approaches us selling flowers, I already have one which was thrust at me by a lady (free of charge; I said I have no money so she said ok, gift) further down. The small boy wants money he says he is poor, we say so are we. He asks us where we are from and we say England. He looks at us with contempt and says 'you are not poor'. This is the side of travelling I do not like. Some times we are just seen as signs not people. It happened often in India people genuinely believe all English, perhaps all westerners are rich and I find it bizarre. Anyway this place is far more beautiful than I ever imagined it would be. Today is the start of this Buddhist festival everyone has been raving about and it's packed. As we leave the third cave a youngish Sri Lankan lady says hello and asks where I am from. I tell her England, her eyes open wider and gleam at me like I'm a celebrity. She then invites me to go on their bus to Anuradhapura. I decline her offer and try to explain that we have already been and are now on are way to Kandy, but thank you for the offer. It gets scary now as she asks me for my address in England. Thankfully no one in ear shot has a pen or paper. We proceed with our tour of the cave and as we leave cave five she is there with her camera and wants to take my picture with her son. The child is shy and refuses so she takes my picture anyway and we say goodbye.

We leave the caves behind and head for Kandy.

To be continued. . . . .
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