UK and Sri Lanka 2011 travel blog

First stop was a brightly coloured modern temple

.....which I found very tacky with its row of plastic looking monk...

At the ancient cave temple in Dambulla, a passing "real" monk was...

The crisp white exterior of the Dambulla cave temple

The interior of each of the five caves was filled with buddah...

More buddahs

A view of the interior of one of the caves showing the...

Outside, one of the trees was covered in the ubiquitous buddhist prayer...

Of course, all good temples have to have a monkey or two

At the spice garden I had a free foot and leg massage

Last stop before arriving at Kandy was the batik factory

Thursday, January 20th The journey to Kandy.

I had enjoyed staying at the Chaaya Hotel in Habarana. It was a lovely place. But this morning we had to leave.

First stop was Dambulla, where we visited another hillside archaeological site. This time, although we had we had to climb 150m to the summit it wasn’t so steep as yesterday and nowhere near as arduous. Basically what we saw was a rock temple formed from five caves decorated with statues of buddah and frescoes, some of which are more than 2000 years old.

We continued the drive south, stopping next at a spice farm where we learned something of the healing properties of all the various spices, after which we were invited to buy the finished products at exorbitant prices. I guess I was tempted by the ones that get rid of wrinkles but I resisted.

We did have the chance of various types of free massage by students of the local massage school. There was a choice of face, head or foot and leg massage. I opted for the foot and leg one and strangely enough, it was just after that that the aches which I had expected from yesterday started. I'm sure it must have been coincidence!

Next we visited a batik factory and watched the whole process from beginning to end. As we sell batik from Indonesia in our shops I was interested to see it done, but again the finished products in the showroom were ridiculously expensive.

After stopping for a late lunch, we arrived at the hotel in Kandy. The first impression wasn’t as good as that of the place we left and trying to get the teabags and kettle for the room, (which had to be requested) and an adapter for the older style plug sockets confirmed that the first impression was probably the right one. Even worse – no wi-fi!!

For the next couple of days, I would have to pay for internet access in the lobby.

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