After the rock, we drove a few kilometres down the road to a restaurant for lunch.
And then on to some ancient temples carved into the side of a mountain. There were 5 of them, next to each other, and of varying sizes.
They contained different sorts of Buddha statues and paintings and patterns on the walls and ceilings.
It was actually a very nice setting, and a nice place to visit.
After that we drove to the world famous golden Buddha, and then back to the resort.
That evening it began to rain. And rain. And rain. Followed by torrential rain. It will probably stop some time.
We didn’t do much the next day (the 26th) because it was raining too much all day. So we stayed mostly on the balcony, reading and playing.
On the 25th we had breakfast at the horrible hour of 7am, so we could take a taxi to “Lion Rock”. This is a huge rock, sticking up out of the jungle almost 200m vertically.
Here we are, about 200m horizontally from the car park. I was exhausted in the muggy heat.
And starting up the first steps
There were lots of ancient ruins around the bottom. Actually not that impressive unless you’re really into that sort of thing. Lovely green landscape though.
So up we went
There were some paintings on the walls at one point, which you were not allowed to photograph, according to the signs. There were no signs saying you weren’t allowed to take scrapings home as souvenirs though.
Beautiful scenery on the way up
Just before the last set of steps, there was a largish flat area.
Look at that chicken clinging tightly to the handrail
Finally at the top. Ofelia was a hit.
A nice man offered to take our photo. He then offered to take our money.
I took the rest of the photos for free.
Starting down again. By now the place was teeming with people, and there was a queue both up and down.
And photo opportunities
Made it to the bottom again…
Then we went back to the taxi, on to lunch, and the exciting tour of the afternoon… stay tuned
We got up early on Friday the 24th, had a quick breakfast, finished packing, and bundled ourselves into the van for the trip to Sigiriya.
Took 5 – 6 hours to make it to Forest Garden Eco Village, which is quite a nice mini-resort.
And after 6 hours in a van, it was a relief to get wifi again.
We have two rooms next door to each other, with a shared balcony looking down to the pool.
Didn’t manage much more than the trip from Colombo to Sigiriya, but the kids did manage a swim, and we did have lunch and dinner at the resort’s restaurant.
(That, by the way, is my “hamburger” – no bun).
Yep, we made it to Sri Lanka after a short flight on a quite empty China Eastern Airlines flight. Biggest hiccup was at check-in at the Maldives departure point, where they wanted to see our Sri Lankan visas… which are e-visas and therefore have no “physical” stamp.
Eventually they gave in and simply allowed as through. Anyway, that’s something to bear in mind in this age of digital convenience.
We arrived middle of the night at Colombo, and couldn’t find our pickup driver. There were dozens and dozens of drivers waiting, but no one for us. Luckily, a very kind and helpful official (I think he was some sort of driver organiser) approached us and phoned our hostel for us. They said our driver was there, we should just look… After a bit, the organiser-guy came up to me again, and said he had spoken to our driver by phone, and had arranged that we should meet him outside by the post office. I was very impressed by the help!
Anyway, the hostel was cheap, and showed it. But serviceable for the 1.5 nights we were there.
Breakfast on our first morning:
And the reception area and pool
We spent a day in Colombo, in the Fort and Petta areas. We took a local bus the 4km from the hostel. That was an experience in itself. In fact so much an experience, that I didn’t manage to get my camera out to take a photo.
We walked about 20km through the market at Petta to a food court in the Fort area. Malene says it was 1.5 km, but I disagree in the heat and humidity.
Some pictures of the market area…
Lunch at the food court.
And a race home to the hostel in some tuktuks.
Our last few days on Ukulhas consisted mainly of the same old things. Snorkelling, breakfast, snorkelling, lunch, relaxing, dinner, sleeping. Sometimes with a little extra snorkelling or swimming thrown in.
We did manage a nice short trip out to swim with Manta rays. A two hour trip, where Malene, Albert, Elise and I had a few plunges into the ocean to watch mantas feeding. A good experience, but I must admit that it was not quite the same as the trip we had some years ago in Indonesia where we saw hundreds of manta.
Malene took some good video, which she has put on facebook.
And malene and I even walked down the beach to see another sunset.
Then our last day came, and we took the 1pm speedboat over to the airport. The trip was 1.75 hours or so.
We had several hours wait for our flight, so we took the 10 minute ferry trip to the capital Maldivian island of Male’.
Ok, really just more snorkelling and sunset…
Oh, and playground:
Last couple of days have been hot and sunny. We’ve done a bit of snorkelling, eating, and lazing around. Our favourite restaurant is the Thai restaurant just a few metres from our rooms, and our favourite snorkelling site is on the reef just a few metres from our rooms.
Playground nearby, open 4pm – 6pm:
View towards the beach from our resort:
Eating at the Thai restaurant:
Streets around town:
Sunset last evening:
Playing and snorkelling:
Ofelia and Ahmed (who works at our resort):
I am trying the “wordpress” website/blog function, as it allows better image quality…