Day 16 - Nuwara Eliya to Yala (Sri Lanka)

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

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Flag of Sri Lanka  , Southern Province,
Sunday, April 14, 2013

The sun is back out this morning and the temperature in Nuwara Eliya is warm and fresh. Lots more driving today, but we are ready for it, and think we have finally cracked the driver by telling him we didn't enjoy yesterday. Rich has managed to negotiate a more reasonable start time of 9am so we are a little less exhausted from the wash, pack, dress madness each morning.

The scenery in the hill region is staggering, so green and beautiful. We have a couple of photo stops but our first main stop is at a hotel with a lovely view in Ella. There is a great grass area for Dylan to run free after a few hours in the van. He has become fascinated with his shadow so he runs in and out of the shade losing then finding his shadow. Another game involves Rich pretending to be asleep and Dylan tiptoeing up to him then shouting "boo", and repeat, and repeat .......

Whilst we are waiting for our take away sandwiches, a crowd is gathering on the balcony of one of the rooms. We go to investigate and find a mini cobra snake.

Next stop is just down the road at a waterfall called Rawana Ella. We take a sleepy Taya out of the van in her carseat and immediately the crowds form- no exaggeration, they love her!! Dylan wants to explore closer to the waterfall so heads down a flight of steps. Despite a warning not to go any further, he runs full pelt across a flat area covered in mud. He does a spectacular skid on his feet before landing squelch in the mud. Is he too young for us to say "we told you so?" Luckily Dylan finds it funny along with the crowd. Edward finds a bucket of water and we strip Dylan down next to the road for an alfresco bath.

A further couple of hours on the road and we arrive at Priyankara Hotel in Yala, our home for the night. It's a lovely looking hotel, nice cold flannels on arrival, and the welcome drink is cucumber and mint. Dylan is not so taken with this green concoction. No time to explore we have a 30 minute turn around time including a feed for Taya before our jeep arrives to take us on safari in Yala National Park.

The jeep arrives, and the guide looks panicked as to how we are going to get into it. Simple launch Dylan over the back then Emma and Taya can clamber in with a bit of a push up. They say it may be a little bumpy. Ok, no problem, we can handle a few bumps. We can honestly say we have never known bumpy like it. Emma has a work out trying to contain Taya and prevent her being thrown out of the vehicle - oh yes and more to the point it lasted 4.5 hours - they didn't mention that part. We were so delighted to be able to take the children on their first safari and talked about many more African safari adventures in the future. Yala National Park was again beautiful (despite the potholes), and we raced around finding lots to keep us entertained. The brackets are little D's comments - Jackal (looks like the wolf in little red riding hood), pelican (looks like an elephant), hornbills, monkeys, crocodile (prompted a verse of row row row your boat), water buffalo (looks like the Gruffalo), deer (they look a bit similar to reindeer), elephants, including little baby ones, wild boar and their babies, a kingfisher, and a mongoose. The leopard unfortunately remained elusive. The kidlets were fabulous and we all really enjoyed it. Taya understandably got a little miffed once it got to after her feed time, so the girls did their best to sort that with some extreme feeding whilst we bumped along - completely crazy. On our return to the hotel we were hit by an almighty thunderstorm with lightening crackling around us. Thankfully they stopped to put the plastic sides down for us to stop us drowning.

Late dinner for the boys on return to the hotel and late to bed for the little people. Hoping for a later rise in the morning - clearly wishful thinking. Dinner for the grown ups and a couple of lion beers. Good times.
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Liz Cheyne on

Well done team.
It seems to have been a great adventure today!
Love the photos not to mention the main characters!
Locations and wildlife are fab.
Thinking of you all 24/7 x x x x

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