It’s been five days since I last posted an update and we’ve done quite a bit since then. I had mentioned in my previous post that we were staying in the town of Dambulla and it was our base for two days while we explored the area. One of the highlights of this area was our visit to Kaudulla National Park. Kaudulla has a number of different animals in the park but the elephants draw most of the attention.
Getting around in Kaudulla park is done in an all-terrain vehicle and all seven of us were inside a single vehicle. Part of the experience of driving through the park is bouncing around huge ruts in the road and crossing streams, holding on for dear life the whole time. These vehicles have very little suspension so you feel every bump in the road and if you don’t brace yourself you’ll likely end up bouncing off the solid metal interior of the jeep.
In many ways, us bouncing along a rough road in a national park was reminiscent of Barb and my visit to Bandhavgarh National Park in India three years ago.
No Alcohol Today
We ended up checking out of our hotel in Dambulla and travelled about 75 Km to the large city of Kandy. Kandy was the largest city that we had been to up to that point of our time in Sri Lanka and it wouldn’t be until we get to the capital city of Colombo towards the end of our trip that we would see a larger city.
Driving to Kandy involved driving up winding, narrow roads to get to our hotel and it was finally good to get checked into our room and relax after being on the road for several hours.
At dinner that night at the hotel restaurant we asked what they had for drinks as we often did and were surprised that the answer was that they could not serve any alcohol. At first, we thought that it might be some kind of religious event that day that prohibited alcohol consumption but when asked for the reason we were astonished to hear that the hotel staff had neglected to renew their liquor license and it had expired that day. Even worse, when we looked at the table next to us and they had several bottles of alcohol we were told that they had brought their own liquor.
After staying in Kandy for a few days we were back on the road again, heading south towards our next destination of Nuwara Eliya. Newara Eliya is in the hill country, surrounded by tea hills and at an elevation of 1868 metres. We were gaining elevation thought the entire drive, driving on winding mountain roads for most of it.
One of the immediate impacts of being at a much higher elevation is that the temperature was significantly cooler than everywhere else we have been in Sri Lanka. In fact, all of us got into our hotel room and were actually cold, dressing up in sweaters and fleece. Less than a day ago, we were sweating any time we were outside and last night it was 13 degrees and we were asking for heaters for our room.
Tomorrow we will leave Newara Eliya and by tomorrow we will be visiting our second national park. I’ll have another update in a few days.
I’ve also posted my photos on my photo website: https://www.photos.excellentadventure.ca/Sri-Lanka-2019