I like Kandy. I like Kandy

Trip Start Dec 26, 2010
1
5
51
Trip End Sep 10, 2011


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Flag of Sri Lanka  ,
Tuesday, January 4, 2011

From JB

The 5.30am alarm sounded – there was no movement from Jo nor Nimian. It was clear at this moment (if not before) that early starts would require a 'lights on, doors open' approach.

We were out on the road and on a local bus to Colombo shortly after sunrise. This being a commuter bus taking locals from around the southern coast to work in the closest city, it was packed and Nimian and I took to the aisle which was a relief as it prevented me from seeing the driving manoeuvre that require horn usage not unlike a drum and base baseline.

We hopped off in Colombo and were shortly on the train bound for Kandy. Kandy was the capital of the last Sinhalese Kingdom and fell to the English in 1815. Set at 500m above sea level it was a popular destination for the English in order to escape the heat; we all know about Englishmen and the heat...

The city is set around a lake which serves as its centrepiece. Said lake was created in 1807 by your man the last ruler of the Sinhalese Kingdom. Some local Chiefs objected to their people having to labour on its construction – they were swiftly and loudly put to death (on spikes in the middle of where the lake was planned), and everyone got the picture.

The city is the size of Dunedin and is in its last month of the rainy season which means solid afternoons of rain.  It also makes it impossible for anything to stay dry and soon all the gear we had brought with us had a distinct damp feel to it. Such a massive amount of rain makes the entire country lush and green, full with a plethora of plants that are usually reserved for the 'tropical' section of your display garden.
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