Unforgettable 11 days @ Srilanka
Day 0: Left home towards Airport
Day 1: November 24th, 2014:
Left Bangalore early (03:45am). Achintya (2yr3months at the time of flying) was very sleepy, but the excitement of flying didn’t allow him to sleep. It was very short flight of 1hour.
Reached Negambo after landing. Spent the day there, mostly near the beach. Also visited FishMarket in evening.
Started towards Anuradhapura. Bit of raining was there whole day. Visiting to buddist temple, Archeological places, Srilanka’s biggest Stupa, Largest Swimming pool, and touching python :-) The day was full of activities and lot of walking. We couldn’t have lunch as we reached the place bit late, and closing time of historic place was 4pm.
One thing we realized this day is, to visit buddist place in Srilanka, you should go with your knees and shoulders covered. So, no shorts, no sleeveless dresses. (for both men/women). Also, note that if you are from SAARC country, then you have 50% discount on entry tickets.
Drove all the way to Sigiriya for the hotel.
It was raining heavily whole of previous night, and even in the morning. Left to Sigiriya Lion Rock after breakfast, and it was a hard call for us to climb up or not due to rain and kid. We got a site guide, and decided to see the place.
It turned out to be the wise and correct decision. Achintya was all excited to climb the mountain, and did climb most of the way. We did have a site helper, who helps elders and kids if required (This is free of charge, and you can give tips if you like). We did climb up to Lion’s Paw, after going through water garden, rock garden, terrace garden and the place of wall paintings, and mirror wall.
This is an amazing place, even when it was totally covered with mist and clouds. We didn’t go on top of the Rock due to rain.
Later, had lunch along the way, and visited Dambulla caves. Here too, it was raining, and there was lot of climbing to do. Pallavi did great carrying Achintya all the way up (and down too).
After this, we did reach Kandy and stayed there.
Early morning, we went to Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage to make sure we would be present for Feeding Milk to baby elephants. Also saw elephants taking bath in the river. Visited the Poo Factory, and purchased a Tea mug made from elephant poo extract :-)
Came back to Kandy, and visited Peradenia botanical Garden. Later visited Traditional Dancing in Kandy. After that, walked to Temple of Tooth Relic. It was raining heavily for the whole evening.
Went to Kandy City watching View Point, and visited one of the Gem Factory outlet near by. Later, went to Kandy City Center, and travelled around.
After leaving Kandy, headed to Nuwara Eliya. On the way, went through nice tea estates, and visited one of the Tea factory. Saw the tea powder in making. Drank tea, and purchased some tea powder :-)
After tea factory, went to Ramboda WaterFall, and had late lunch overlooking the water fall. It was a nice experience to get down to the hotel from parking in a van. Even the hotel lift was a nice experience.
After this, went to Nuwara Eliya, took a walk in one of the lakes. City was so cold, we had to buy jackets there.
Early in the morning, went to Horton Plains National Park in a jeep. Along the way saw some samba deers, monkeys, numerous birds etc. Harton Plains turned out to be very nice place, and starting this day the rains stopped, and the sky was blue.
There was around 8kms trek in Hortan plains, and Achintya gave up on walking. Pallavi had to carry him almost 90% of the time. It was our first official trek with Achintya, where we had proper trails, good views, water fall, hills and birds to watch :-)
Had Indian food after coming back (@ Grand Indian Cafe). After leaving, we saw Sita devi temple, where there are Hanuman foot prints on the ground.
Went to Ella at the end of the day, it was a beautiful small city.
It was a beautiful sunny day, hiked Little Adams Peak. After the hike headed towards Yala National Park. On the way, had a spectacular view of Ella Gap (or valley). Next stop was Rawana Falls on the way.
For Yala National Park, went in a Jeep Safari. It was an awesome experience.
It was cloudy and drizzling, but the mercury levels were high enough @ 6:30am in morning, so I decided to take a swim in hotel pool. Achintya joined me too. Pallavi was busy taking pictures of birds singing near by.
From Tissa (or Tissamaharama) it was a drive towards South-West of Srilanka. We are headed towards Hikkaduwa. On the way, stopped at Matara and later lunch @ Galle. Here Achintya badly wanted to get into beach, so we spent decent amount of time in Galle Fort / Lighthouse area. Galle is a nice place with Dutch architecture. Here, Pallavi collected some dead corals for future aquarium at home.
In the evening checked into Hotel room @ Coral Sands, Hikkaduwa. Here I did some swimming with Achintya in Swimming pool teaching him how to dive :-)
Started early in the day, took a beach walk. Saw numerous fishes next to the beach, and 2 big turtles in the corner. We did touch the turtles. After breakfast, took Glass-bottom boat ride to see the corals around, and did snorkelling. After this, spent some time in hotel swimming pool.
Here Achintya was so tired, that he decided to take a very long noon nap. from 12:30–16:30. We had to have late lunch due to it, but things were fine. Did a evening beach walk before dinner.
Again, day started early as we wanted to checkout the corals next to the beach, without snorkelling gear, but with swimming glasses. It was an amazing experience. The place next to hotel beach was filled with fishes and swimming there was an out of the world experience.
While Pallavi was checking out the fish, me and Achintya did some sand arts etc.
After breakfast, went to Balapitiya Lagoon area. This turned out to be another great experience. From Fish Treatment to holding Crocodiles it was a nice outing. This place seemed not yet mainstream in tourism, but we were extremely happy we covered this place.
Later went to Kasgod Turtle Hatchery and Research center. There we could hold 3days old turtles in hand. Nice place again.
Later went to Colombo. Could sense that its another similar city like Bangalore, growing, dusty, noisy and full of traffic. In the evening went to take a walk @ Galleface area near World Trade Centre and old parliament.
Couldn’t do much other than driving through some places in car. Went to art museum and purchased one painting on road side. Had lunch, and left towards Airport.
Came home, and slept well :-)
Photos can be found here (drop a note here if you can’t watch it).