Day 15 - Kandy to Nuwara Eliya (Sri Lanka)

Trip Start Mar 29, 2013
Trip End Aug 17, 2013

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Flag of Sri Lanka  , Central Province,
Saturday, April 13, 2013

A bit of a struggle today. We know there will be days like these on our way round so we are kind of ready for them, but it doesn't make it much fun at the time.

We are battling with not being under our own steam and setting our own schedule to help keep all four of us happy. Our driver has his own agenda and plan and doesn't want to listen to ours. He's a really nice guy but just doesn't get it. He wants to take us to see all his 'friends' to buy or eat things and still despite our 300 questions about the plan for the day the drive times always seem about twice as long as he says and he still wants to take us for lunch or an excursion at the point the children are both just falling asleep. Today felt like a particularly long day in the van, some beautiful scenery but the children didn't manage as well as normal (they are usually amazing considering the long hours - 4/5 a day) and the grown ups are tired and frustrated.

In the morning the boys visit a sacred temple of the tooth relic of “Lord Buddha” (Dalada Maligava). Rich was advised by our guide to loosen his shorts so they could drop low enough over his knees as a sign of respect - so he bared the top of his pants, put on his Croydon swagger and......the security guard spotted it straight away, told him to button up but they were in.
The temple was very busy as the Sri Lankan's crowded to make their offerings at the 9.30am service. Rooms were filled with carvings and ornate paintings covered the walls. Rich made a wish with a coin as our guide said a special prayer for us. We'll have to wait to see if the wish comes true.

Elephants are the new things to spot for Dylan. We see gold heads of elephants, little wooden carvings and then finally the stuffed remains of a very old and famous one. "Can we have a ride on it Daddy?" Think there may be a few locals noticing us if we try.... Dylan has his turn of being the celebrity little blonde boy. They all stop and try and touch him like a lucky charm.

We stopped at a tea plantation and factory and had a quick tour round and a taste of their tea. Poor Dylan was sick in the restaurant. We think travel sick as we had been climbing up mountainous windy roads at some pace. Very short naps on the way to our accommodation in Nuwara Eliya. Our accommodation is called Oakray Summer Breeze Hotel and is up on the hillside overlooking the valley and town below.

The climate here is much much cooler than the other areas we have visited in Sri Lanka and it can be very wet. No exception today. As we write this we are on extreme thunderstorm number three and have only been here 5 hours.

After check in we try to salvage the day, Emma needs a sleep, so Rich, Dylan and Taya cover the floor with toys and play and settle. Taya is really close to sitting by herself and practises this afternoon. We then head out for a wander into town. The town is really really busy as tomorrow is the celebration of the New Year. It is covered with market stalls, and loud speakers play music in the streets. It's an exciting place to be. Taya attracts crowds and crowds of people all wanting to touch her, stroke her hair and take photographs. We wonder what she makes of it all, or if this is just her normal, since she's knows no different. We buy Dylan a big truck with Toy Story stickers on the side and farm animals in the back. It's random, but only costs 200 rupees, which is about 1. Honestly we hope to lose it before our next flight as it is pretty big.

We are in search of food for Dylan since all the hotels we are staying at start dinner from 7.30pm and the little man is short on sleep today, so we could do with an early bedtime. Rich buys bananas and grapes from the market, then we head into a Sri Lankan cafe style restaurant. This is more like it, giving us a real flavour of Sri Lankan life. Dylan has a rice and chicken dish and a kind of vegetable omelette.

The highlight of our day was a tuk tuk ride back home. It's not green, but Dylan loved it nonetheless. All in all a lovely afternoon doing what we love, exploring. Tired kidlets both fast asleep by 7pm in the middle of the loudest thunderstorm we've ever heard.
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Grandma L and Grandad I xx on

As you may have noticed we have spent a most enjoyable Dinner in Arniston reading, looking and commenting!
Thanks for the FaceTime tonight too!

yachttaboo on

Great blog guys, we love reading it here. Keep going on those tough days and a big smile and a no thank you goes a long way for the salesmen. Loved the temple dressing solution Em on the last blog :) People used to touch me and my sister's hair in the far east when we were little as we were both very blonde, I remember it. Hope the nap helped. Very much looking forward to the next installment. A bit more spring like at home now with some warmth and sunshine. Missing you all, Lou x

thekemptons on

Lovely to hear from you Lou Lou, glad the sun has awoken in the UK

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