Friday, 24 March 2017

Sri Lanka - Negombo to Dambulla

A big day today with the weather being​ quite hot and humid. As today's activities involved being outdoors and walking, it was a tired group that arrived at Dambulla Jetwing Lake Resort at 6 pm. 

Once again time is against me in writing this blog so I will just post a few pictures.  Our day started with a wedding party being photographed in the grounds of the resort at 6.30 am!!! The traditional costumes were amazing, especially those worn by the men in the wedding party.

Early this morning we stopped at a Buddhist shrine where the colourful statues were overshadowed by a group of kinder children with the most infectious desire to communicate. With a number of retired teachers in our group it was a happy experience for all.

Throughout the day we have visited a number of shrines and ancient ruins, many from the B.C period. This one was home to a large number of monks and early written language is carved into the rock above the cave entrance.

We have experienced​ many new tastes and local specialities. We stopped at roadside stalls and tasted fresh coconut milk and rambutan fruit. Lunch at Anuradhapura was a delicious array of local foods including banana butt flower, brinjal and many other things whose names I can't recall. That meal was not as spicy as some we have had. Although the term curry is used I am finding it more chilli than the curry we are used to.

Our Lotus Holidays guide, Jessica.

After lunch we visited a temple where we could not wear shoes or hats. This was a temple complex and involved walking on hot sand  and climbing up hot rock steps in the midday sun. It wasn't for the faint hearted but to see the famous Samadhi Buddha, artifacts from the 6 -8 C., the sacred Bo Tree and the view was worth the effort. 

At the site of two water tanks / baths of great design and decorated with elephants we were excited to see lots of large monkeys moving from one large tree to another. The young ones didn't always make to big jump successfully but they caught a lower branch and quickly scrambled back to the group.

As the walk was too hot, we drove around past many ancient ruins and stupa, more monkeys and several interesting trees. Did you know that cashew nuts grow outside the fruit? 

On the last leg of our drive to Dambulla we saw rice being hand harvested.

We didn't realize that this tour would be gourmet food tour but it is proving to be so. This evening I was talking to the desserts chef who was standing in the cooled desserts room beside his amazing display of goodies. He was bursting with pride as we raved about all the treats he had prepared. I hope to get photos but we will be late getting back tomorrow evening so hope the display will still be amazing.

It is now more than 24 hours since I started this post so I am still behind the time... and I haven't taken the photos of the desserts either!

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