10.03.2013 - 10.04.2013
Looking back at the six weeks we spent in Sri Lanka, and choosing which photos to upload I realised just how much we saw and did in this beautiful country. We have now made it over to Singapore for the last week of our year-long travel but Sri Lanka was definitely a highlight. Not all of it was spent sitting by the sea watching the waves and eating out bodyweight in poppadoms, rice and curry, but a fair bit was. The coast of this small island are deservedly praised
with crystal blue water and white sandy beaches, we spent time in Tangalle, Bentota and finally our last week was in a fab beach cabana run by a local family in Unawatuna.
Before that though, we earned every minute of our beachbum status. We saw crazy coloured birds and animals in Bundala and Uda Walawe National Parks, and seeing a
herd of wild elephants with some babies was amazing. We went to the hillside town of Ella for the most green scenery ever, surrounded by tea plantations, mountains to climb, scenic railways to walk along and various insects to befriend. Finding a praying mantis in the bathroom canoodling my green handled plastic razor was an experience I'll never forget! We had a great day visiting a local tea factory and saw the whole process from leaves being picked and brought to the factory, to the whole manufacturing process and tasting the different varieties. The fragrance of the tea was intense. I don't think we've drank as much tea in any other country as we have in Sri Lanka!
Then, we headed to Hatton to climb Adam's Peak, a huge mountain in the countryside which is sacred to buddhists. We started out at 2am and made it up the steep steps and bumpy path to the top in 3 hours, just in time for sunrise below:
The colours were gorgeous and we were so pleased that they came out so well in the photos. The climb back down was the worst bit though, as the sun quickly got hot and the inconsistantly sized steps were hell on the knees. So worth it though!
We spent some time in Colombo to get our visa extended, and then headed over to Kandy to see Sigiriya, a famous royal palace built on a huge rock. Pretty impressive and beautiful place, with painted murals of heavenly royal concubines who are very well endowed and topless. We figured it meant the King was definitely a boob man. A group of school children also visiting at the time bypassed the paintings, I'm guessing in an attempt to preserve their innocence!
We also had bought tickets to see Sri Lanka to play cricket against Bangladesh, and despite my reluctance, I had a good time watching and even understanding what was going on. I think it made up for Dave not being able to see Brazil or Argentina playing football when we were in those countries.
With so many things to see and do, we were sad to say goodbye to the country. We had made good friends with the family running our cabana in Unawatuna, so there was an emotional connection too. So now in Singapore, we have decided to put the flash in flashpacker and treat ourselves in our last week. Our 4 star hotel in Little India didn't match up to expectations so after rejecting 3 rooms, we've been upgraded to a suite with big screen TV, king size bed, bathtub, it's very nice to have a bit of luxury at the end of the trip. We're loving Singapore so far, but haven't ventured very far yet. Little India is full of the original colonial architecture which is lovely, and we've also been pleased with the food. So far, we've had great Indian veggie food, Indonesian meals and veggie Chinese food with mock meats. Our waistbands are rapidly expanding.
This time next week, it'll all be over and we'll be in sunny Manchester at my parents, so as excited as I am about seeing my family again, I'm also still really enjoying the last of our holiday. It's been the best and yet most challenging year of my life.