Kandy was a jolt back to urban reality. The roads around Habarana had been busy, but the sites and my hotel had been peaceful.
Kandy Lake is in the centre of town, and had a nice shady spot to sit.
Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic houses Sri Lanka’s most important Buddhist relic – a tooth of the Buddha. You can’t see it, but its presence draws huge numbers of pilgrims. The temple is surrounded by many other shrines and temples.
The next day I hired a tuk tuk to take me on the ‘Three Temple Loop’ of 14th century temples. It was a lovely trip out in the country.
Lankathilaka is one-half Buddhist and one-half Hindu. It’s also on the 500 rupee bill.
Gadaladeniya is a Buddhist temple with a Hindu annex. It’s built on a solid rock base so indentations become ponds.
Embekka Devale is Hindu with carved wooden pillars
Kandy market street
From Kandy I took the ‘famous’ train to Ella that goes through green lush tea plantations.
Sri Lanka (was known as Ceylon) is the world’s largest exporter of tea.
We stopped very close to another train.
It was almost eight hours, and as well as scenery the snacks being sold along the way were pretty delicious! I had some freshly cooked vegetable samosa and warm roasted peanuts with spicy salt.
I found Ella very touristy and catering to the ‘ vegan/gluten-free/dairy-free’ young crowd in the trendy coffee shops.
Then down to Tissamaharama for a safari. My lodging was very close to nature too, with open slat windows and huge gaps everywhere. I huddled inside my mosquito net and tried not to think about who was visiting 😳
My Jeep picked me up at 4:30 and we headed out to get in line for our ticket, then in line to enter the park when it opened at 6:00.
I had booked a private all-day safari, and I was after 6:00 when we finally got home. Bindo has been a driver for 32 years, and he was very disappointed that I didn’t see my leopard.
Sometimes a driver would report seeing a sloth bear or leopard (the most elusive) and everyone would go to the area. We didn’t stay long if a crush developed.
But it was a fun day, and I saw elephants, water buffalo, deer, boars, crocodiles, and lots of birds.
The only cat I saw😢
There has been a lot of rain in the last month, and much erosion.
Roads were rough. My FitBit registered over 23,000 steps just from bouncing around!
One road Bindo looked at and considered, but we didn’t go down.
One spot where we got stuck and needed winching out!
Sri Lanka is a great country to be vegetarian!
My $2 CDN Indian thali
My $3 CDN Sri Lanka lunch special
I also love the roti stuffed with spicy vegetables
Cook making roti
Now, after the cultural and nature stops, it’s off for some ‘Beach Time’!