It has been a long and tiring day traveling from Negombo, a beach town on the west coast, to Kandy, a large city in the center of the country. Mark and I decided to hire a driver and car for the day at the last minute last night. The other choice was to navigate the Sri Lankan bus system and be pressed for time to see everything, so we decided to take the easier, albeit more expensive, route.
Our driver was very informative and pointed out many things along the way: the two types of coconut that grow in Sri Lanka, rubber plants, exotic birds, and more. We also made a quick stop at a pineapple farm and enjoyed a plate full of fresh pineapple.
The highlight and main stop of the day was the Pinnewala Elephant Orphanage. Now, nothing can quite live up to my last elephant experience (see Thailand posts from last year), but Pinnewala still fulfilled all of my elephant dreams. We arrived in the middle of the elephants’ bathing session in the river. There were dozens of elephants splashing around and cooling off in the water. We stayed and watched the elephants until they paraded out of the river, down the street, and back to the park.
The only picture where all three of us are looking at the camera
All the elephants at the river
Elephant getting a bucket bath
After the elephants, we were back on the road to Kandy. We made a short detour at the spice garden, where Mark and I learned all about different herbal remedies and even got a free ten minute massage.
When we finally made it to Kandy in the early afternoon, we wasted no time and headed out to the Temple of the Sacred Tooth, a famous Buddhist temple near Kandy Lake. Even though we both enjoyed exploring the temple, I think both of us enjoyed playing “who can spot the most monkeys first” game more. Eventually this turned into watching the temple monkeys open and then dig through trash cans as well as go crazy for candy some tourists were tossing to them.
Monkey sitting on top of the temple
Monkeys waiting for candy
And as if the elephants and monkeys didn’t meet our quota for our animal-fill today, a bird pooped on my arm while we were sitting by the lake after dinner. Hey, at least it’s supposed to be good luck.