We were to leave Kandy and our hosts for 5 days. It had been a remarkable experience and nice to stay in one place for a while. Also we had been given a degree of freedom as Kandy being much smaller was easier to walk around. Jim was dropped off very early with Ayesha to attend the "pooja" ceremony at the temple. Oferings of friut, coconut etc. were made up and taken to the buddhist priests. Prayers were said and Jim was introduced and prayers spoken. Later homage was paid to Ganesha and Kali. This was all a very humbling experience and again a wonderful thing to be part off. A last look at the large tank in the centre of Kandy, a mango juice from the Queens and then into the minibus off to Wariyapola.
This was to be the first host to take all members of the team. After a hot sticky day travelling we could not believe our luck; not only a beautiful house but also a pool. We even stayed in during a thunderstorm it was so welcoming!
We had heard about this place from the Indian team and we were not disappointed. Jayantha and Asanthi were wonderful hosts.
Have you ever wondered where Kershew nuts come from... (just an aside).
We travelled out to Yapahuwa to the rock fortress which is also called the Fire Rock. This dated back over 2500 years and was really quite impressive. The stairs were very steep 75-80 degrees. Jim found it really difficult coming down with his fear of heights but Dan and John made it right to the top. one of the lions at the top of the staircase appears on the Rs10 note.
This three day break gave us a chance to recharge and for that we were eternally grateful. The programme was flexible and the Rotary meeting was held at their house.
Yes it is fair to say that the Rotary meeting was different as marquees arrived and outside caterers and even a disco. We did the presentation and then what an evening of fellowship with "last man standing our illustrious leader Jim dancing until the early hours.
An early start and we were heading for the coast to Kalpitiya and Chilaw. This was at the end of a 40 km spit north of Colombo and known for its whales, dolphins and reefs. Whilst travelling along the spit one saw the freshwaterlagoon on one side where the muslim community fished and on the other the salt flats (industrially "mined") and the salt water ocean fished by the huge Catholic population. The spit was so narrow there were many points where you could see both sides. The fisherman's houses were all made from palm. It was amazing.
Our destination was Sethawadiya Dolphin Veiw Eco Lodge. A wonderful beach fronted restaurant with basic lodges for rent. Gill immediately fell in love with this place imaging just how much they would like to return.
Unfortunately we had missed the dolphins they had passed at 6am (approximately 600 of them!)..even so setting off at around 3am might not have been an option.
Jayantha however arranged for us to go out on a fishing boat and see the coral reef. We waited until around 4pm when it was cooler!! Arriving back to a beautiful sunset.
On our return we stopped off for a meal. We had all really benefited not only for the rest but also spending the time together. Just how much better could this trip get?