Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The road to Anuradhapura

Leaving Colombo at dawn we set off to explore the cultural triangle.  

Even this early everyone is busy in Colombo: Maniac buses screech onto the road, near collisions with excited tuk tuks, road sweepers, daredevil cyclists...And in the middle of the chaos an old man sits reading the paper quietly in his sarong.

The drive starts off likes this:
Tour guide: Are you interested in cricket? (Sri Lankans love cricket...)
Me: Emmm...not really...
Tour guide: My son plays for the international team.

Whoops. I soon found I was interested in cricket.

I've been itching to leave Colombo and discover Sri Lanka. As we drive palm trees spring up, rice fields, misty hills and my head whirls trying to soak it all in. I wish I could transport you here to see what I see. Countless photos don't capture the life of Sri Lanka.

A quick stop: a breakfast of fresh pineapple slices from one of the many stands and coconut juice. The perfect pineapple. Soft yellow flesh, dripping with sweet juice and a tangy kick. Sprinkled with chilli. 

Two and a half hours later (90km) we arrive at Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. Tickets are 2,000 rupees per person (approximately €12). This conservation park saves threatened elephants but results in their domestication. If you arrive at 9.15am you see the herd feeding and treking down the road for bathing time. And seeing traffic stopped for a herd of elephants, now that's a memory. But it feels oh so touristy and I remind myself the conservation park is to help them.

140km (3 and a half hours) of road to go, no time to hang around and purchase such delights as elephant dung toilet paper (really). Next stop: Anuradhapura. The sacred city of the capital of Buddhism. 

My body craves sleep but my mind won't slow down. Too much to look at. Bored in Sri Lanka? Impossible.


  1. It looks like you are having an amazing time L.! Enjoy every minute of your trip!

    1. I sure am Yolène! Exhausted after our first road trip day, falling into bed soon. Ready to do it all over again tomorrow! Hope all is well back home :-)