The Rock

Trip Start Feb 15, 2006
1
25
164
Trip End Feb 16, 2007


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Where I stayed
Grand Resort

Flag of Sri Lanka  ,
Thursday, May 11, 2006

We arrive at the Grand Resort (not really how I would describe it - it is not grand and don't resorts have a pool? Maybe the fish pond will do the job!) in Sigiriya. It's 2pm ish now and the sun is cooling off a bit. We have enough time to grab lunch, a quick shower, change, then head of to climb the rock and no I don't mean the Hollywood movie star - though that would be more pleasant for me, maybe not Ben!

Oh my god it's huge!!!!! Sigiriya Rock, god knows what you were just thinking? It's nearing 5pm and we have 1 hour to get to the top, as the top bit closes at 6pm because it is dangerous when it's getting dark. As stunning as it looks there are way too many steps for my liking, but to the top we must go to see the spectacular view so I am told. It takes about 1 to 2 hours depending on how fit you are to get up and back down again. Of course it took us 2 hours. You climb us many different types of steps, stone, metal, straight, spiral. Looking down is hard if you have a fear of heights something which I have never conquered even after having jumped out of an aeroplane at 10,000 feet. The spiral metal stair case was bad for me. You go up to look at a few cave paintings then come back down again. It is literally hanging off the edge, rusty and looks like it could fall apart at any second. We rest at the foot of the lion's feet and look up to the last part we have to climb; can't give up now even though I want to.

This is where the fun begins. There are loads of tour guide touts hanging around wanting our rupees, to climb with us and tell us bits of information we will have forgotten about by the time we get back down to the bottom and of course now we are almost at the top one latches on to us. He starts with friendly chit chat and any normal tourist would be conned by him into paying but we are old hands at this now so we tell him straight of we have no money and do not need a guide. He dose not listen, proceeds to tell us all sorts of things as we climb and offers to take pictures for us when we have reached to top. The view is spectacular by the way but some what dampened when this guy turns round and says 'ok tour over' and wants money. Ben and I look at each other in amazement and then I start laughing and politely tell him to do one. He gets stroppy so I say 'look if I'd have wanted a guide I would have asked for one at the beginning who would have explained everything, not someone who just latches on for the last 60 feet.' He still follows us and says he will wait at our car, the cheek! Steam is coming out of my ears now so I tell him 'do what you want but you ain't getting any money out of me, end off.' He gets the message and disappears while shouting a few things in our direction, like I give a shit. These people really get on my tits, they have no right to expect to be paid for a service I never asked for and I dread to think how many tourists give in and pay.

Back at the Grand we have dinner and were gonna watch a film but ended up playing black jack with our driver. He picked it up well and won more hands than Ben and I did. They had plenty of Arak (local drink) while I stuck to my pot of tea; my dad will be so proud.

To be continued. . . . .
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