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Up විදේශික - 07-17-2015, 02:08 PM


ඊයෙත් ලංකාවට ආව විදේශිකයකුගේ ලංකාව වටේ බයිසිකලේ යන ත්‍රෙඩ් එකක් දැම්මා. අදත් දාන්න යන්නේ ඒ වගේම ලංකාව වටේ උපරිම ෆන් එකක් ගත්තු විදේශීය පවුලක් ගැනයි. මෙයාලා ලංකාවට එන්නේ 2013 දෙසැම්බර් නිවාඩු වලට. ඉන්දියාවට යන්න හිතුවත් එහෙ ඉන්න යාළුවො ඉන්දියාවට එන්නේ නැතුව ලංකාවට යන්න කියන නිසා මේ පවුල ලංකාවට එනවා. ඒ එන්නේ හෙන්රි හා හෙයිඩි තෝර්ප් යුවලයි එයාලගේ ළමයි තුන් දෙනයි. ඒ ඇවිත් ලංකාවේ ගොඩක් තැන් වල ගිහින් ගත්තු ෆොටෝ පින්තූර තමයි මේ ත්‍රෙඩ් එකේ පෝස්ට් කරන්නේ. එහෙනං බලන්නකෝ මෙයාලගේ සංචාරේ කොහොමද කියලා.

Mirissa: Beach and whales



We spent three nights in Mirissa, a low-key beach area on the south coast. We were at a hotel, but this was not a big fancy resort zone.

We went down the street to meet up with Raja and his whale boat. Raja is an amateur Sri Lankan whale-ologist. He's been tracking them here for many years, and likes whales. This is his brand-new boat (about two months old) that he had built for him in Colombo. We went about 30 miles out to sea.



Finn and I had a great time hanging out on the top deck and watching whales. These are blue whales -- world's largest -- not the grey whales that we saw in Baja four years ago.



Raja is the captain.



Unbeknownst to us, Heidi and Piper spent a miserable four hours puking. "Dude, that was the single worst trip I think I have ever had in my entire life."

I admit, I took this picture, but soon afterwards they went down below deck, where I figured they must've been doing just fine.



Blue whale!! We saw maybe 8 different individuals. Raja was taking picture of their features to plot their migration patterns -- he's a co-author on work done at the University of Ruhuna in southern Sri Lanka.

I did some research afterwards and tracked down one of his papers about the effect of shipping traffic on whale distributions:

"These high densities of whales combined with one of the busiest shipping routes in the world suggest a severe risk of ship strikes. Previous data on blue whale distribution and coastal upwellings indicate consistent and predictable patterns of whale distribution, suggesting there is considerable potential for effective measures to keep ships and whales apart."

Interestingly, some guides in Sri Lanka will take you on tours to swim with the whales. I would love to do that. But Raja says it's not a good idea from the whales point-of-view, as they get harassed enough by boats as it is, and adding swimmers is not going to make it better.



Lots of fishing in Mirissa. These guys are catching something big.



More boats at the harbor. We were on a large boat with other tourists, but that was an anomaly -- nearly all of the other of the several-hundred boats here were small fishing boats.



Astro enjoys a bit of palm-scented water action.



As does Piper.

How did I take the couple of underwater shots here? Easy -- Emirates allows virtually unlimited checked baggage (600 lbs for 5 of us), so I was able to carry the big Ikelite case all around the country with us. And, we had a full-size van, so what's an extra 25 pounds?



Piper surfs Mirissa! Along with her surf instructor Kali.



Go Piper! This was not her first time surfing, although the first I'd seen it -- she was quite the surfer at summer camp (aka winter camp) in Durban last year.



Hmm, where are Heidi and Astro? Oh -- they're spending the whole day in taxis going to the hospital and the US Embassy in Colombo. They'll spend much of the next few days there too. In the end Astro was fine, but she did have a very high fever for the first few days we were there. Malaria is not common in Sri Lanka, but dengue fever is.

Meanwhile, here Piper, Finn, and I are racing hermit crabs. We drew circles on the sand and cheered them as they escaped. This one was the champion!!

NB: Piper has evolved since she did this in Honduras five years ago.



Finn: "Daddy, did you see that crazy car? It has three wheels, not four like it is supposed to!"

So, Piper, Finn and I have been taking crazy-car rides around town.



Go crazy cars!



And we wandered down to the docks again, where Piper made a lot of good friends.



Getting some custom-made shirts for Piper and Finn.

"I'm so sorry -- can you come back tomorrow? The power went out last night at my house and the sewing machine would not work!"

Meanwhile, she also asked if I had a Canon 5dMkII - she does wedding and clothing photography on the side.

NB: All children in Sri Lanka seem to be referred to as babies -- e.g., "How many babies do you have with you?" Piper (age 11) didn't get used to it, though.



Now Heidi is back, and we're wandering down the beach at night. There are a lot of low-key beachy restaurants here.



And crabs.



And frogs.

Yala National Park and safari



Now we've left Mirissa and are headed toward the Yala National Park. It's one of the larger & better known parks in the country. We've left the minivan behind and are in a 4x4 safari vehicle driving past some rice paddies.



Looks like a bee-eater?



Hornbills! We have a lot of hornbills in South Africa, which are pretty cool. But these Malabar pied hornbills here have kind of a double-decker nose. It's one of the most spectacular things ever. It makes them look like a parasauralopholus. This one was jumping from one branch to another (and that's another hornbill tail hanging town from above).



The big attractions in the Sri Lankan national parks: peacocks, deer, monitor lizards, water buffalo, jungle fowl (the ancestor of the chicken), and elephants.

"Oh, that's George. The elephant. He's very aggressive... we need to stay back from him! Too many visitors here have fed him bananas, so he'll just come up and root through your packs if you're not careful."



Ibis



Pelicans in a tree! And a cormorant too. Just below the tree are water buffalo... the real ones, not like the Cape Buffalo in South Africa, or the bison in the US.



During the safari trip, we have a short beach break.





Piper finds a crab.



Go crab!!



Astro had a big fever, but has largely recovered by now.



Our guides! They were with us for the whole trip. Dinesh (on the left) was our main guide and driver. He has a degree in textiles from a university in Colombo. Padma (right) was just starting guiding -- I think this was his first trip. Heidi arranged the trip through another contact in Sri Lanka -- Saman -- who organized things and set us on our way, but who we didn't see at all after we left the airport.

We spent about $100/day for the guides + vehicle + fuel + admissions -- Sri Lanka remains very cheap compared to other countries.



The safari was a bit different than a South African one. The parks are smaller, and the guides don't have quite the background that they do here. (All guides in South Africa go to a guiding school for several months and take a standardized test about animals, plants, geology, astronomy, etc.) But on the other hand this is because Sri Lanka is in general quite a bit less developed as a tourist destination than South Africa.

South Africa tourists per year: 8.3 million, in a country of 50 million.
Sri Lanka: 850,000, in a country of 20 million.

And certainly neither of them are like Europe:

Venice: 25 million tourists per year, in a city of 60,000.
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07-17-2015, 02:15 PM

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07-17-2015, 02:16 PM

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07-17-2015, 02:20 PM

Mirissa beach ekanam pattai
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07-17-2015, 02:28 PM

(All guides in South Africa go to a guiding school for several months and take a standardized test about animals, plants, geology, astronomy, etc.)
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07-17-2015, 02:30 PM

High country: Trains and tea



We've now left the lowlands and taken the very steep windy road up into the mountains. We're here at the train station in Ella, where we're waiting now for the train.

Meanwhile, Piper finds a few cute puppies.



I find pineapples in a tuk-tuk!!



Heidi and Astro wait for the train. We're going from Ella to Nanu Oya, a very scenic four-hour route.



Finn is very excited to sit & spin.



TRAIN!!!!!!



Here comes our train! And what is that in his hand? Check it out -- it's a token ring! While now used as a term for network packet transfer, the term originally come from railroads. It's a simple but foolproof way of managing traffic through sections of track which are shared by multiple lines. Not very many countries still use physical tokens as part of their normal operation, but India and Sri Lanka still do. I'd always heard about these, but never seen one.

So, how do you avoid a head-on collision, where you have trains in both directions on the same track? In a modern system you'd use an electric signal. But here, they use a physical token to control the single-track portion. One train passes through while carrying the token, and then once out of the shared line, physically hands it off to the next train. If you don't have the token, you're not allowed to move. This completely avoids any risk of head-on collision.



And we're on!



We had very nice second-class cars.



Finn is a big train fan, and the trip was pretty awesome. He stayed awake and very into it nearly the full four hours.











There were some tourists at the train station where we got on, but we didn't see them again. Where did they go? Turns out that the train had a 1st-class section with fancy padded seats and carpets. Our was definitely the way to go for the open-air experience though.



This guy in our car brought us sweet tea to share. He's an English teacher in a local high school. Check out that awesome-looking trunk down the hall in the next car, too!







Heidi and Astro are real rail-riders.



This is the kid of the guy who gave us the tea. You can see the first-class cars up front too.





Now we're passing thru the tea plantations! Holy cow - this was cool. We've gained a lot of elevation, and are nearing 6000'.



Finn: "These are carrots! I'm going to tell my grandma I saw a whole field of carrots growing!!"



Sri Lanka (aka Ceylon) is still the world's #4 tea producer, after China, India, and Kenya (!). The tea plant is a very normal-looking bush up close -- in fact, it looks just like a ficus that you might have as an office plant. But when it covers the hillsides in dark green, it looks exceptionally beautiful.



The tea pickers make around $3 US/day. The tea gets plucked, leaf-by-leaf, into the blue bags they carry on their back. And even on hot days, they're covered in long pants, to avoid the leeches... more on that later.

We're just about to our destination at Nanu Oya, followed by a short drive up the hill to Nurawa Eliya, where we stay for three nights.



Pulling into Nanu Oya. This is a high train -- in fact, just a few minutes back we've passed through the highest point on the entire Sri Lanka railway system (Pattipola station, 6200'). This is also broad gauge track -- 5' 6" wide, as opposed to the standard 5' 8.5" in the US -- and thus we've just come over the highest elevation broad-gauge track in the world.

Interestingly, BART runs on these wide-gauge tracks -- the only major US operator today.



Our guides met us at the station -- turns out you can drive the 4-hour train route in about two hours.



We've made it to Nuwara Eliya ('New England'), which is a high-elevation town (8000') at the heart of the tea plantation world in Sri Lanka. It's also somewhat strangely English, like a little UK theme park. The hotel we were at ('Glenfall Reach Hotel') was much more into impressing us with their tea and biscuits and meatloaf than making any veggie curries. This is all probably due to the British owners of a lot of the tea estates during the Ceylon era.

Well, meanwhile, Finn does his best to behave in a park.



In South Africa after dark, the streets are dead: very few people are outside (black or white) because of fear of crime. It was so amazing to be able to walk outside at night past the fruit market and see dozens of people out there buying weird fruits!!

Finn: "Daddy, how come everything in Sri Lanka is so small? The oranges are small and the 'nanas are also so small... it's very strange."



Astro in the Hakgala botanic garden, outside of Nuwara Eliya. This garden -- at one point the king's personal garden -- was started as an experimental garden for making first cinchona (source of quinine, the active ingredient in tonic water), and then tea.



Go Astro go!



It was a very wet and active botanical garden.



I told Finn he was not allowed to touch the flowers. But then...



This is a Buddhist country (70%). But we were a few days before Christmas, and many people were wearing Santa hats, including this family.



Librarians and TSA agents take note: while waiting for Indian food in the adjacent restaurant, Finn and I have found the most amazing slide in the world. it's made out of those rolling wheels that are designed for sliding luggages and books, and are always so tempting to play with... and here you can!



Around the corner from the playground is a brand new hotel, which the Sri Lankan president is opening up today. Here's part of his security detail. I don't think any of them have weapons.



Security agents were actually posted all around the hotel, which is a few hundred meters from here. A lot of them stood on roofs of private homes; this one has taken over the balcony (just above the green tuk-tuk on the right).



Tuk-tuk!



Nice tuk-tuk, nice shoes!



And again!



The view over Nuwara Eliya from our hotel room. The fireworks are inaugurating the new hotel (white building), which the president is visiting. The president does come to town frequently... he has a summer retreat palace here already.

I believe that is a field of carrots between the hotel and ours. That makes me so happy.



Just outside of Nuwara Eliya proper we visit a few tea plantations. This is the Mackwoods Labookellie factory. They grow, pick, and dry the tea here. It's then driven in a truck to Colombo (50 miles line-of-sight, but a 5 hour drive) a few times a week, where it's packaged. Most of the tea from this company goes to Russia and the middle East.



Want to know where your tea comes from? This is the actual daily tea processing log at the Mackwoods factory.



Tuk-tuk and tea! Still at Mackwoods. This is all tea -- for many km around.



Those tea fields are so surreal and cool.

And they always have a sparse but non-zero planting of trees, too.



At the Blue Field tea factory, a few miles further down the road. This building in front of us (the main factory, which is in the middle of their fields) is where all of the drying / fermenting / grinding / sifting / grading / etc happens.



And what is that building full of? Rooms like this one, used for drying the tea.



More tea-processing equipment.



This is the wood-fired furnace that dries all the tea at the Blue Field factory. This man here cleans out the furnace once a week. It's fed with rubber wood. If you like tea, thank this guy.



Awesome tea machines.





Between South Africa and Sri Lanka, Finn has been enjoying a lot of tea. He does get it at school for snack breaks, too.



Tuk-tuk driver carrying around a lot of cut grasses. He really wanted me to take a picture of him chewing on the grasses. Not sure why. (I did do so, though, before he asked me for a few rupees.)



Commercial detour! This guy ran in front of our van as we were driving down the mountain switchbacks. He tried to sell us flowers and we declined. 90 seconds later, on the next switcback, he was there again, somehow ahead of us! He'd short-cutted and waited to chase us again. And then sure enough another two minutes down... I thought we'd lost him but there he was again on the next switchback. He was running fast in the mountains and kept in pursuit, and that was worth buying a few flowers.



"Yo Finn! Hey, everyone else is taking really beautiful pictures by the waterfall. Can you do something really beautiful for me?"



Astro and I hang out in the vehicle. The distances aren't far in Sri Lanka, but roads are very windy and dense with traffic... we spent many hours in the vehicle.
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07-17-2015, 02:45 PM

River rafting, caving, and a leech



We've left tea-world and descended to about 2000'. We're near the town of Kitulgala. This small hotel has a tea plantation below.





Piper picks some tea from the plantation.



Things are so peaceful. Until....

"DAAAADDDDDDYYYYYY!! DADDY! DADDY!!!! COME HERE NOW!!!! NOWWWWWW!!!! IT"S EATING ME!!!!!!! HELP!!!!!!!!!! HELPPPPP!!!!!!!"

This is Finn's reaction to finding a 1-inch leech gently, harmlessly caressing his ankle.

During the rest of the trip, Finn was terrified of leeches, and must've asked a dozen times a day if this river has any leeches, or this tree, or this hotel.

Piper: "Finn has three main fears now: the pool monster, the big orange cat, and leeches."

The big orange cat is a rumored animal which has fought with our cats outside from time to time, and which Finn perceives as being of comparable size to Clifford the Big Red Dog. The pool monster is on a long hose and sucks up algae from our pool, but probably can eat people as well.



Check out that tuk-tuk river-rafting shuttle! Piper gets ready down the road from our hotel at the tea plantation, in Kitulgala.



Finn and Astro are back at the lodge eating ice cream. Heidi has somehow done an amazing job of telling Finn that the rules are that he can't go river rafting... I know if I said that, he'd be incredibly upset.



Go Piper!



Here's our river guide. Oh -- and what is that just behind us? It's The Bridge Over the River Kwai!

Indeed, this is precisely where the Oscar-winning film from 1957 was filmed. This is a new bridge at the same location as the famous one which was blown up, which Finn has now watched the last 8 minutes of countless times on DVD in order to see the resulting train crash.

And no, it's not the River Kwai -- it's actually the Mahaweli River.



We took a side excursion for an hour or two to go on a little jungle walk (no leeches).



Piper slides down some slippery rocks into a pool!



Piper and I are back in the raft.



Hmm, how strange. Piper has fallen in the river. I wonder how such a terrible thing could have happened?



Oh no... it seems like Piper has been splashed. This is awful!



As we're paddling down the river, this guy was pushing his way up. We saw more Fitzcarraldo-esque moments later on in the afternoon. Despite us being on a commercial raft trip, this area (and much of the country as a whole) is still very undeveloped, with a lot of people living on subsistence agriculture. Up-river from here a woman was drying some large yellow fruits she picked from the forest; this was very common to see.



Done with the river, we've driven through a big rubber plantation and are on the path to a cave. Finn gets a nice ride...



... and so does Astro.

Heidi says this might be her favorite picture.



The cave was kind of a last-minute addition to our itinerary. As we were walking up, it seemed to me like we were definitely under-prepared for spelunking. Like, where's the harness, ropes, or even a headlamp? I figured out guides didn't know what they were getting into, and it'd be a bust and we'd have to come back the next day with proper equipment.

Well, here we are, and no headlamps needed.



This is the Beli-Lena cave. There was a plaque at the cave entrance describing some of the things found there:

30,000 year old stone tools (among the oldest in the world).
Remains of animals eaten, including sambhur, pig, barking deer, monkeys, porcupines, and giant squirrels.
Salt (traded from the ocean) and breadfruit.
16,000 year old skeletons, which are among the oldest in Sri Lanka.

This ornamental structure is quite a bit newer.

Finally, "Beli-Lena occupies a very special place in the cultural heritage of Sri Lanka. It awaits further investigation by future generations of Sri Lanka archaeologists with progressively sharper analytical skills."



This is the excavation area, where it was dug in the late 1970's.



... next to a nice waterfall.



Somehow Finn is drier than I.





Piper found a nice iguana in the grass on the hike out.



People in the village.

The school here was a Tamil school, which is somewhat rare for this area of Sri Lanka, where it is mostly Sinhala.


Moments after this, Finn freaked out when the local people told us we should not walk through the tall grasses so as to avoid the leeches.



Sri Lankan traffic jam.



More echoes of Fitzcarraldo. Steep hills, jungles, rubber plantations, rapids, locals in canoes and rafts... all we need is an opera.



Astro wants to check out the Ray-Bans



Heidi won the bug-finding contest! This thing is about three inches long (plus another five for the antennae)... and perfectly camo'd as a leaf.



Our rainforest hotel here had the most amazing collection of tree frogs! OK, most of them were jumping around the building and not trees. But still great! After everyone else was in bed, I employed the services of our waiter Hashan to help me shoot some frogs pics... he held a big flash rig as I got close to them with the camera.

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07-17-2015, 02:45 PM

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07-17-2015, 03:05 PM

again!
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: AKL, NZ and Kandy
07-17-2015, 03:06 PM

Kandy: Jewelry, temples, bats, and elephants



If there's one picture that we saw a lot of, it's this! Sri Lankan street life is dense and active and awesome. Lots of tuk-tuks and diesel fumes (of which we were of course an equal contributor).



We've now driven north to Kandy, which was the most touristy town we visited, although the great majority of visitors were Sri Lankans on holiday. This giant Buddha-on-a-hill has a staircase up his back and is visible from everywhere in town, yet oddly doesn't get a mention in Lonely Planet.



This is a Buddhist temple, so keep things under control!

My colleague Nalin translates this as "Loitering in the upstairs is entirely prohibited for the young men and women who are couples."



Christmas eve in Kandy!



Heidi is shopping with Astro, so Finn and Piper and I take a boat trip around the lake in the center of town. The inlet pipes around the lake are populated with 5' long monitor lizards (!).



And what do we see from the lake? A million fruit bats! They were the most amazing things ever... I mean, these are not your basic American bats which are the size of a sparrow. These are the prehistoric, megalithic pterodactylic Indian Fruit Bats. Which have a wing span of SIX FEET!



When sleeping in trees, they look about the size of a big housecat.



Most sleep upside down, but this one preferred not to.

Despite trying, I was unable to get any photos of the bats in flight. They take off around dusk to go in search of fruit. We saw a few loners flying during the day the day, but the majority were sleeping.



Egg hoppers! OK, these are really one of Sri Lanka's best culinary inventions. These are basically a crispy rice-flour pancake, made in a hemispherical pan, with a cooked egg and some sambal (like a salsa). My god they're good.



Walking around, everyone wanted to pose with Piper and Astro.

They wanted to pose with Finn too, but he was somewhat more vocal in his opposition ("NOOOOOOOOOOO! GET AWAY!!!!")



Nice cow in the Peradeniya botanic gardens outside of Kandy. Finn and I were walking closer to it, until I looked on my exposed legs and found three leeches. I quietly removed them and carried Finn out of there before he noticed anything, lest he start puking from the anxiety of it.



One of the things that Kandy is known for is jewelry. Apparently they dig up a lot of rocks from across Sri Lanka, and cut / grind / polish / set them in Kandy.

As one might expect, there were a healthy number of expensive and tourist-oriented shops on the downtown circuit that did this. We eventually ended up much less commercial place on the edge of town, run by a family, and spent at least an hour there watching them grid rocks, talking with their welders, and so forth. It was really cool... a process I've never seen outside of my 8th-grade Industrial Arts class at Highland View Middle School (*).

(*) In that class, Dan Tate, who was tall and mean, stole the rock I was working on. I told the teacher, and the teacher busted Dan. Five minutes later, Dan cornered me by the rock grinder and decked me in the face, leaving me with bloody cheeks from breaking my shop safety glasses. Then Dan got suspended.



Heating the silver in the fire. The white things that look like bricks to the side of the fire? Those are actually freeze-dried cuttlefish (for real!), which provide the workers an easily-carved surface to work their designs into. They feel like lightweight foam, or balsa wood.



Selling roadside corn. Same idea as Mexico and South Africa, though in Mexico they're usually fire-roasted, which is really good.



Fruit at the Kandy market! We couldn't talk this guy down in price and may have paid above market value for his bundle of short red bananas, but they did get nearly all eaten.



Muslim butchers at the Kandy market. Since this was Christmas, many of the other stores were closed.



More in the food stalls in the Kandy central market.



Kandy Central Market. Downstairs = food; upstairs = clothing. This was a great market, even if we missed much of the action by coming on Christmas day. That's the big Buddha on the hill.



Whoa! OK, anyone used to traveling through 2nd-world markets is used to seeing knock-off name-brand clothing. But wandering around a different market in Kandy, we found these stalls, selling legit merchandise. It really was real North Face, Columbia, etc... plus some Jack Wolfskin for the Germans.

What's the deal?

"Black market, my friend! You see, the factory is in our country, to the north. They make one million jackets, they have some extras. I buy them for a good price, and I give them to you for a good price."

Indeed, these were all made-in-Sri Lanka products, being sold for maybe 1/4 the US price. A few had the tags ripped out (like what you'd get at a factory outlet in the US), but most were new.

While there were a lot of booths like this, there were also plenty of regular knock-off Nikes, Louis Vuitton, etc, just like any good market.



Five of us can fit in the back of a tuk-tuk!



Perhaps Kandy's most well known historical object is a single tooth, alleged to be from the Buddha himself. The tooth is stored deep within a nested chamber within the appropriately named Temple of the Tooth...

Thousands of people were in line and excited to go through the temple -- mostly Sri Lankan tourists and families on year-end vacations. Finn was in line but it was a bit overwhelming for him, so we made our way out soon after this.

The lotus flowers are available for an offering of about $1 US. Every large temple has multiple vendors selling flowers and other objects. Piper gave hers to the priest.



Our guide for the temple tour, MG Nishantha, gives Piper a lotus flower.

There must be some massive lakes with commercial lotus-flower farms, although I never saw them.



Selling mangos outside the temple...



One more day in Kandy. This is at an elephant 'sanctuary' outside of Kandy in Pinnawala. Based on one awful experience with one of these so-called refuges in in South Africa, I had expectations that were not very high.

Sympathy is not Finn's strongest point, but even he clued in to something being wrong here.

"Why did that man put chains around that elephant? I think it wants to go walk around in the forest -- not be stuck in this building with all of the people."



Things admittedly did get better for the elephants as we moved up the hill, and found them free-ranging.

There are roughly 100 elephants here, and they are bred successfully in captivity, which much attest to some sort of happiness.



These are Asian elephants, which look a whole lot different than the African elephants which we see at home. The Asian ones are smaller, more hairy, and have tiny ears.



Also, African elephants don't have all the pink and brown spots.

The population of Asian elephants in Sri Lanka is I think around 3000. They're not really endangered, but they're not exactly living in their nativate habitat either. Most of them are for ceremonies, or rides, or for carrying things... not just hanging out in the forest.



Here, the elephants from the 'sanctuary' are being taken on their daily river swim. They walk down the road about a 1/2 km and then walk into the river.



Piper, the elephant, and the mahouts (elephant handlers) are all very interested in bananas. Finn, not so much.



Three mahouts with their elephants.



I do like this photo...







Piper and Finn go look for souvenir tuk-tuks after we're done with elephants.



Back in Kandy, firewalkers. This made Piper keep talking about Mythbusters:

"I know how they do it!! So, if you watch them carefully, they're not going to be running across, because this will push their feet in too hard. But if they instead walk quickly and gently, without disturbing the coals, they can do it."
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