String hoppers, steps and sunshine

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Where I stayed
gems garden
What I did
Mulkirigala rock temple

Flag of Sri Lanka  ,
Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Arriving in a very hot Tangalla we rushed for the shelter of a tuk tuk, before we knew it we were heading out of the bustling city towards our guest house, the driver drove further and further along a sea  front road until it became a  remote rocky track. Arriving at gem's garden, to my delight we were welcomed by two little puppies, Brandy and whisky.
 
The pups followed us as we explored the guest house biting dunc's ankles and my skirt the whole way.  To one side of the guest house was a lagoon and to the other was an idyllic beach where you could catch some relief from the intense heat by the cool sea breeze. 

Our main reason for visiting Tangalla was to visit the Mulkirigala rock temple, which dated back to the 2nd century BC.  luckily the day we arranged a tuk tuk to take us, was cloudy and cool.  Knowing we had a big climb ahead of us we started the day with a traditional Sri Lankan breakfast, string hoppers, dhal (lentil curry) and coconut sambal. String hoppers are small noodle pancakes, which are made using rice flour and coconut milk. The guest house having their own king coconut tree meant Dunc was able to get his daily coconut water fix. The coconut water is said  to be packed full of vitamins and minerals and is often prescribed by doctors here for dehydrated patients, knowing this is helping the taste grow on me!
 
On our way to the temple the landscape was flat with  rice fields, forests and ponds, the sudden appearance of Mulkirigala Rock, sticking 200 meters into the air, came as a surprise.   When we arrived we seemed to be the only visitors, which added to it's peaceful and calming atmosphere.  We paid our entrance fees, removed our shoes and headed off on what looked like a long hike to the top. Our steep climb was broken by several terraces with ancient baths, beautiful painted caves, friendly monkeys and reclining Buddha's.  Reaching the top we were rewarded with a wonderful view of what looked like an endless palm Forrest.
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