Sri Lanka Tour 2014

In January 2014 we broke loose from the wettest winter on record and jumped aboard a Sri Lankan Airlines Airbus and headed off for sunnier climes!

 

Airbus

Jenni took us to Heathrow where we boarded the plane to Colombo, a ten and a half hour flight with strong following winds. We arrived at about mid-day local time, where we were met by the Rep who was surprised to see us arrive early. The Sri Lankan airways flight code (UL) means Usually Late!

The bus journey took nearly 4 hours, a bit of a long way after a long flight, but an interesting journey, seeing many villages on the way.

The journey was well worth it when we arrived at Amaya Lake Hotel in Dambulla.

Amaya Lake Hotel Amaya Lake Hotel

Our room at Amaya Lake Hotel, Dambulla

Amaya Lake

 

Sunrise at Amaya Lake, showing the head of the "Sleeping Warrior"

The next morning we woke to birdsong and that lovely smell found only in the tropics.

After breakfast we set off on the bus to Sigiriya Rock, an amazing piece of geography, with 1200 steps to the top!

SigriyaRock RockPaintings

Di at Sigiriya Rock. Cave paintings painted over 2000 years ago.

 

Sigiriya Rock

 

View from half way up the rock.

Di Top

 

Di taking in the views from the top.

Top

 

Top View

Monkey

 

After a good night's sleep, we were up for early start to the Dumbulla Cave Temples.

Dambulla Cave Temples

 

Here there was a steady climb to the top, with plenty of monkeys to keep us amused along the way, where we found three magnificent temples with statues and cave paintings.

Monkey Monks and Monkeys

 

Reclining Buddha Cave Buddhas

Staues of The Buddha in the Dambulla Cave Temples

From the Cave Temples we drove towards Kandy, stopping at a Spice garden en-route. Here we saw spices growing and was treated to a massage!

Massage at Spice Garden

From here we made our way to Kandy and our next hotel, The Amaya Hills, set ine hills overlooking Kandy. We arrived in time for a dip in the pool where we watched monkeys entering a room via the balcony and emerging with a pack of Polos stolen from the mini bar!!

AmayaHills Amaya Hills

Our room and the Pool

Amaya Hills View from our room

 

Today we visited the beautiful Botanical Gardens in Kandy, many trees planted by famous people including royalty and US Presidents.

Rat Snake

One of the residents in the botanical gardens, a Rat Snake showing interest in a bird's nest.

 

Fruit Bats Fruit Bats

There were other residents too.... many Giant Fruit Bats!

Gamini

 

Our guide, and friend, Gamini.

Kandy Botanical Gardens Kandy Botanical Gardens

Kandy Botanical Gardens

From the Botanical Gardens, we moved on to a Tea Plantation and Factory, a site not famed for its Health & Safety! How refreshing!

Tea Factory Tea Factory

 

Leyland Bus Motorbike

Some examples of transport in Sri Lanka

Tractor Tuk Tuk

 

 

 

 

In Kandy, we visit the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Temple of The Sacred Tooth Buddha

 

Temple of The Sacred Tooth

 

Sunset at Kandy

Sunset at Kandy

 

27th January

We left Kandy and headed to the Peacock Hotel in Yala, but not before stopping off at the Elephant Orphanage at Pinnawala, where we saw a lot of elephants in all shapes and sizes!

Baby ElephantElephants Eye

Bath Time!

Elephant Bathing

Elephant Bathing

Cobra Street entertainment!

 

Next Stop Yala National Park

Highlight of the visit was early on, a Leopard with her cub

Leopard

 

 

Leopard Cub

Bee EaterMonitor

A fantastic day spent in Yala, the highlight being the Leopards, but we also saw Mongoose, Elephants, Buffalo, Monitors, and many different birds with the Beeeater probably the prettiest, but eagles were impressive.

Later that day I walked along the beach and met a fisherman who had sadly lost his wife and two sons to the Tsunami. We spoke about cricket and he offered me a trip on his boat the next day, sadly I had to decline as we were to leave early in the morning.

Road to Mount Lavinia

Next day we left for Mount Lavinia. On the way we saw the famous Stilt Fishermen:

Stilt Fishermen

Just along the road from seeing the Stilt Fishermen, we called in on a Turtle Hatchery, here volunteers monitor the beach for turtles laying eggs. When spotted the eggs are carefully moved to a secure part of the beach where they are re-buried. Once hatched, the young turtles are kept safely for about a week, when they will grow and lose the "tasty" umbilical cord before they are released in to the ocean. Whilst there we saw some newly hatched turtles, as well as some adults that had been injured by propellers, and were being cared for before release to the ocean.

Turtle

 

We ended our tour at Mount Lavinia Hotel, the former Governor's residence, a wonderful traditional building.

Mount Lavinia Mount Lavinia

 

That following morning there was a wedding party in the hotel.

Wedding

 

Earlier in the day we visited Galle where we saw the Test Ground, and stumbled upon a friendly Rat Snake

Rat Snake

 

We had elected to spend an extra few days at a beach resort, Kalutara.

Here we relaxed at a lovely hotel, The Sands, right on the beach.

Kalutara Beach

 

Beach

 

Cabana

Beach Kids

Di Ocean

 

A fantasic holiday!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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