A Travellerspoint blog

Day 7

Sri Lanka to the Maldives

sunny 31 °C

After breakfast we spent a pleasant hour in the pool before heading to the airport for our flight to the Maldives.

We're staying in a water villa on the island of Giraavaru (Gear-ava-roo) Island in the North Male Atol. It's about 15-20 minutes by speedboat from the airport.

This is the view from our bed

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and our deck

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It might be a tough 4 days!

Posted by JenBuckley 03:01 Archived in Maldives Republic Comments (0)

Day 6

Dambulla Cave Temple and Negombo

semi-overcast 32 °C

This morning we started heading back towards Colombo.

The Dambulla cave temple (another World Heritage Site) is the largest and best preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka. The entrance is overlooked by a large golden buddha

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Although there are over 80 caves in the area, there are 5 main caves for visitors containing statues and paintings relating to Lord Buddha and his life.

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Inside these 5 caves there are 153 Buddha statues, 3 Sri Lankan King statues, and 4 statues of gods/goddesses including 2 Hindu gods (Vishnu and Ganesh).

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This afternoon we headed to Negombo to enjoy our last afternoon/evening in Sri Lanka by the beach. We particularly liked the little seats in the pool!

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Posted by JenBuckley 11:06 Archived in Sri Lanka Comments (0)

Day 5

The monkeys stole Rob's pants!

semi-overcast 33 °C

It's the Tamil New Year's Day today - the holiday lasts 5 days and most people return to their families. We had a nice surprise when we went back to our room after breakfast.

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We had a quiet day loafing by the pool and walking around the grounds. There are plenty of monkeys and chipmunks around plus the occasional turtle and water monitor.

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The farm next door grows many of the vegetables used at the hotel and also has a butterfly patch.

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We left some of Rob's clothes on the dryer and returned to find them missing....I found them on next door's roof!.....it's amazing how guilty monkeys can look!

Posted by JenBuckley 10:27 Archived in Sri Lanka Comments (0)

Day 4

Elephants

semi-overcast 33 °C

This morning we went on a Elephant ride. It costs about 20,000GBP to get an Elephant owners licence fom the government and they eat 250kg of food a day (grass, fruit etc)' so definitely not a cheap pet!

I got a lucky snap of some wildlife while our elephant was being saddled up....

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Our elephant was about 26 years old and not married! Even though Sri Lankan elephants are smaller than African elephants we still had to go up to the first floor of the house to step into the basket.

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At the halfway point, the elephant took us into the water for a quick shower.

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This afternoon we went to Minneriya National Park to see elephants, buffalo, crocodiles and lots of birds. We learnt lots of elephant trivia - females have flat backs - only 5% of males have tusks (tuskers) - males ready to mate have a black mark between their eye and ear. One of the trucks got too close to one of the smaller groups and was chased off by an elephant.

This baby is about a week old
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and one of several herds in the park - they all take turns to come down to the water in the evening

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Posted by JenBuckley 05:51 Archived in Sri Lanka Comments (0)

Day 3 - Afternoon

Polonnaruwa

semi-overcast 33 °C

The ancient city Polonnarwua is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The Royal Palace complex was built by King Parakramabahu the Great (1153-1186AD).

First stop the Citadel -sadly this is all that remains of the 7 storied palace - apart from the ground floor the rest was built from wood and was later burnt down.

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There were council chambers

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and a swimming pool - note the bit in the centre - in case the royals got tired and needed to rest!

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The second stop took us to the temples - apart from one building, the roofs have been all been destroyed. The sand is very hot in bare feet, so we couldn't linger too long inside the roofless ones

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Next stop - Kiri Vihara - the structure is solid. This is where the king came to pray.

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Last stop - Gal Viharaya - three stone carved buddhas - meditating, standing and lying down (there are several signs to indicate this statute represents death rather than someone sleeping e.g. the toes aren't lined up). These statues only survived invasion because they were buried in sand to conceal them from the enemy.

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Posted by JenBuckley 11:44 Archived in Sri Lanka Comments (0)

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