Mo Goes it alone in Ella

Trip Start Sep 30, 2009
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28
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Trip End Ongoing


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Where I stayed
The Pink House

Flag of Sri Lanka  ,
Monday, March 1, 2010

Mo's Entry

Mike definitely has a beach fixation.  I left him on a beautiful beach (Marissa) and headed off to see the tea plantations and things like tooth relics....more later.  First I headed off on a bus to Ella. It's up in the mountains and is surrounded by tea plantations.  I was very glad to be one of the first on the bus from Matara because soon the bus was filled to standing room and if you didn't have a seat you were standing for 6 hours holding on to the rails as the bus careened around corners.

Ella is a quaint little village with wonderful guesthouses and food.  I had a meal of 5 different types of curry...including whole garlic clove curry...I'm sure you would have loved it dad!  First day there I hiked up 'little Adams peak' and met a lovely Tamil man.  He saw me and threw down his huge bundle of straw and grasses for his cows and insisted I come  home to tea. How could I say no!! I decided to go and met his three daughters and wife.  His wife is a tea plucker and I admire the fact that she picks 20 kilos of tea day...his daughters are lovely and were very interested in my drawing book..they sent me off with a baggy of tea...at least that's what I hope it was.

I took the train through tea plantations to Kandy.    hint: while traveling from Ella to Kandy try to sit on the left hand side of the train for the view...I was on the wrong side.    Kandy was also lovely but more challenging. I found it difficult to walk around without being hassled by men.  I must admit to becoming very rude with three young men who were bothering me. I lived around the edge of the lake but ended up taking a three wheeler to get back to my hotel. I did get to eat awesome local food at the Muslim Kandy hotel...string hoppers with curry and wadi...bet you wish you had some!!

 I did get to see the temple of the sacred tooth relic...one of buddhas teeth was apparently smuggled here from India...there is much religious fervour and it is highly protected.  Armed guards surround the entire area...especially after the temple was bombed a couple of years ago.  I went to see the unveiling of the tooth...happens twice a day...and was swept up in the hoards of worshippers (and tourists) in a kind of frenzy.  I had a nice museum curator accompany me was so quite safe.  I also visited the botanical gardens and saw huge palm lined avenues and bread fruit growing right from the trunk of trees.

Mike joined me in Kandy and we continued on to Sigeryia together. Wow...what an awesome site!  a huge rock rising right up from nothing...there is debate about it's origins...palace or buddhist monastery. We hiked up to beautiful al fresco paintings ( I mean really beautiful), carved sphinxes feet, and spectacular views.  We met a wonderful German guy Axel and traveled with him for a few days and headed up to the Trincolome coast (Uppevelli) before heading to Polonurawa ...one of Sri Lankas ancient capitols. 

I was able to see some of the most beautiful buddhist statues I've ever seen there.  Three statues carved out of one piece of granite...each one huge...striated with different colours...I was impressed!


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