A Blond Moment in Sri Lanka

Trip Start Aug 21, 2006
Trip End Dec 18, 2006

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Where I stayed
Globetrotter Hostel

Flag of Sri Lanka  ,
Friday, December 15, 2006

I am sitting in the Business Class Lounge in the Sri Lankan Airport enjoying the fastest free internet connection I have seen since SE Asia!  It's the 15th (soon to be midnight and then the 16th)...two days later than my originally booked flight...hence the blond moment.  My head splitting sinus infection that I picked up in India clouded my reading of my itinerary.  I know, it's not that difficult but actually those pesky flights that occur a little past midnight can be trouble.  I woke up in Sigiria quite a few hours away from the airport the morning of the 14th and realized that I was supposed to be reaching Singapore soon!  My life saving travel agent Bernard, got right on it when I called him on my cell at around 5am my time and straightened it all out.

Based on the news, I was a bit aprehensive about traveling down to Sri Lanka especially since I had been enjoying my trip in India so much.  As usual the media exaggerates the situation and aside from a few military road inspections around key sites and the airport, no problems or inconveniences at all!

Due to intense fog in Delhi, I arrived 4 hours late but my driver and guide, Sunil was there waiting for me with a smiling face that I came to know well over the next few days.  We immediately drove out to Kandy and he deposited me in a star class hotel called Thilanka.  I insisted on having a bath to help decompress my aching head! An Ayurvedic massage and many Panadals later, I emerged the next day feeling good enough to sink into the passenger side seat of his shiny clean car to see the sights.  Sri Lanka is a majority Buddhist country with some Hindu and Christian and Muslim as well.  We saw interesting Buddhist temples, painted c(aves and ended our day in Sigiria at his friend, Raja's, guest house hotel, Globetrotter (Sigiriya Road, Rotawewa, Inamaluwa, Sri Lanka Tel: 078-8754350 Mobile: 0777-801818, email: rajaguna8@sitnet.lk) .  Raja and his lovely wife and their two young twin boys made me feel right at home.  The room was clean and comfortable and the home cooked meals delicious.  After a good night sleep and another Ayuvedic massage session, more Panadal and some codeine cough syrup (sold over the counter here...bonus!) I was ready to go and feeling a bit more human than the previous day.

Whenever I get sick like this, I realize what a gift good health is...we don't appreciate it until it is taken away from us...but when we get it back after a horrible illness...we can appreciate it in a new way.

Anyway, we saw the large rock formation in Sigiria and then tried to see Polonnaruwa but the weather turned dark and rainy so we drove around the perimeter of the site and lake and then headed back to the hotel.

This morning I reluctantly said goodbye to Raja and his family and headed out to the elephant orphanage...on the way to the airport.  We missed the elephant bath by a few minutes but I was delighted to see all of the elephants leaving the river and making their way up the small narrow street towards the orphanage grounds.  Sunil and I then went to see the elephants where they were feeding including a blind elephant born in 1944 with the longest tusks I have ever seen...not that I'm an elephant expert or anything....

I spent my last evening with Sunil and his wife and their son and his wife for dinner.  The dinner was great and we talked and looked at photos.  It was a great way to end my trip except that I was so sad to leave my new friends after such a short visit.  Lots of xmas music and sites in Sri Lanka and Sunil played the Eagles and Bob Marley as we drove around.  My yearnings to be home with my family tempered with the wonderful memories of my trip!
My guide and driver's information: A.H. Sunil Shantha, No. 605, Sudavshana Mawatha, Katunayaka, Sri Lanka, 072 061155, He was great!
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