November to December
We went for a long walk this morning . . .
Tea estates all around the heights, including the famed Sir Thomas Lipton’s.
Hoorelli! Good news, the train is running again. The station is only 100m away and we have booked two 1st class tickets (about AUD12) to Kandy, a 5 hour ride. 2nd class (about AUD6) was full and for 5 hours we didn’t want 3rd class.
We are quite fond of little Haputale. Our hotel is in the classic style – spacious rooms, lots of wood and great bathroom fixtures.
“Kandy Kandy Kandy, don’t let me down —–”
Ooooh, I do like a good tune.
Our not so luxurious train took us through stunning, mountainous and hilly forest and tea plantation territory where we scanned the resident workers’ many villages and tea factories. I had no idea of the extent or scale of this product’s planting. It appears to compare to Spain’s grape and olive plantings.
We should have travelled 3rd class – and will next time. The 1st class aircon wasn’t even necessary (this time of the year).
Kandy is a pretty big city but we like it already. Rachel scored us a modern small hotel close to everything (AUD32) We’ll hole up here for few days before going to Dambulla, then Sigiriya.
Kandy and enjoying it – but it is another reminder that THE AUTOMOBILE, AS A MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION, MUST BE REPLACED. It is killing towns and cities with congestion and pollution. Not just here where it smacks you in the face (it is getting like Delhi, where the Sri Lankan cricket team stopped play because of the air pollution level) but all over the world and, you should/will understand, there is a daily exponential increase in its use. Hard to photograph effectively!!
On sunset hundreds of those huge fruit bats set out across the sky while, curiously, in the exact opposite direction flocks of herons, crows and pigeons fly home to roost – no collisions were reported this evening ??. Also hard to photograph effectively!
The mezzuin’s prayer is intoned across the evening air in a soothing, lulling monotone and competes with the Buddhist’s perhaps more rhythmic chant from their nearby temple.
Dambulla by bus tomorrow.