Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Day 14 Rotary Club of Kegalle

Day 14
So we meet at Lanka Hands for the final time as we are about to travel up country towards Kandy first, Wariyapola and then later north towards Dambulla. We were going to be "in the sticks" for 12 days and to transport us our driver Sumwoodu and a minibus. We were pleased that Sumwoodu had a little grasp of English and a very safe way of navigating the treacherous roads. We were to be met in Kegalle by members of the Kegalle Club for one of the highlights of the trip, the Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage.The aim was to meet in time for the morning feeding but we soon realised that the state of the roads meant that even short distances took a long time; better safe than sorry!
We reached the Mahaweli Reach Hotel and proceeded to the entrance and then started walking down a street lined with tourist shops, (the first we had really seen ) towards a slope leading to water. We waited in a shop entrance as first one elephant came down the street , then another two and then...
What a spectacle as the elephants headed for the freedom of the water and were allowed to roam.
One elephant decided to go shopping in our shop!

We then we were asked if we would like to visit a Spice Garden; it was the middle of the day and very hot so a bit of shade seemed welcome. The spices and their uses were introduced to us and then much to our suprise our hosts had provided India Head massages, facials and body massages. This was very new to Jim! The team really relaxed and was pleased that the shop sold citronella balm!
We returned to the Orphange to watch the baby elephants being fed with huge bottles and then said goodbye to our hosts and headed for Kandy.
Lanka Hands had been replaced by the Queens Hotel opposite the tank (lake) that dominated the centre of Kandy. Carl was the co-ordinator and immediately presented us with a detailed programme of the next five nights; (ex RAF what else would you expect.) Kandy had an entirely different feel to Colombo and it is really beautiful set in a steep sided valley.
Our hosts were waiting for us and the luggage transferred.

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