Trip Start Sep 01, 2006
16Trip End Oct 28, 2006
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Last week I visited the Pinnewala Elephant orphanage on my afternoon off, its only a few Kms from here and is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the local area (and maybe Sri Lanka) it's a government owned rather than MEF which is a charity run by a family and it has far more elephants than here and babies hence how popular it is with the tourists. They have a selection of elephants there, from babies that have been orphaned. Babies that have been born there and a 3-legged elephant that lost part of her 4th leg when she stood on a land mine. Their herd is semi wild and it's more of a visual experience than a hands on one. Twice a day the elephants walk in mass across the road and down a hill to a very large river where they splash around and do as they please for 2 hours whilst tourists take photos (I took loads) although it was fantastic I did find the whole place was very tourist focused and a tiny bit tacky, people following you down the road trying to sell you stuff you don't need or want (at vastly inflated prices), one of the other volunteers was amazed to find when he went to the toilet there was a man standing in there doing nothing but still expecting a tip
Then on Saturday I went to Kandy which was the day we had the mad train journey (last entry) whilst there I visited 2 Buddhist temples, the first was on the top of a very big hill which did not look that big at the bottom but half way up it felt like I was climbing Everest (expect it was 35 degrees with 70 % humidity) by the time I reached the top I was exhausted and was dismayed to see more steps to the Temple building. You have to take off your shoes to enter a temple (and cover knees and shoulders and remove head wear) when I took my shoes off I discovered that the steps that where made of tiles where roasting and even through I was exhausted I ran up them (swearing a lot as I went) Once at the top a Temple Guide appeared (not unlike the shop keeper in Mr Ben) and I swear this guy was the double of the old chappie in the Karate Kid (which made me giggle) he showed us around and then we climbed even more steps to stand at the base of the large Buddha statue that's on top of the temple which was pretty impressive ( how they got it up there is beyond me )
The way back down was a lot easier (but still very hot) and then we went to that most typical of Sri Lankan restaurants Kentucky Fried Chicken! Which does a mean Veggie Burger Meal including fries and drink for 220 rupees (about 1 pound 10 p) after lunch I walked around the shops and markets and then late afternoon I visited Kandys most famous attraction The Temple of Tooth
We headed back to MEF the following morning, me never having had the promised hot shower as the bathroom had become infested with 1000's of ants over night! Rather than the excitement of another train journey we decided to play it safe and get a taxi!
The rest of the week has been pretty much normal (for here) and although Rani has a small area on her foot that needs treatment every morning she has been a star holding her foot up so we can clean the area and treat it with iodine
Yesterday we traveled to Kandy again to watch a rugby match, a yearly 2 part fixture between Trinity College Kandy and Royal College Colombo , it seemed to be rather like the Oxford Cambridge boat race and the atmosphere was electric from the moment we arrived. We had fantastic seats with a brilliant view and were given a rugby top as we arrived so we could support Trinity (which we did) although I have never watched a Rugby game before I really enjoyed it and once I had the rules explained to me I found it pretty exciting
Sri Lankans it has to be said know how to party, supporters from both teams were dancing and drinking together and I had a an unforgettable night partying until the early hours , the down side is that I have only had 4 hours sleep and may need an afternoon nap if I am to make it to dinner this evening
So that's me , hope you are all well