Pinnewala and Kandy- day 1

Just one and a half hour away by flight, this country can be easily mistaken for our own Kerala. I simply had to keep reminding myself that I am in a different country; going by the landscapes and the people around, I was reminded constantly of India, esp. Kerala. But a much cleaner and greener one at that.

We landed at about 10.30 p.m on Friday last week to be greeted at the airport by our guide-cum-driver for the trip, Mr. Shirley.  A very warm and helpful person, he made sure we were comfortable and made us feel at home. We started off early morning next day to our first stop at Pinnewala, (90 kms from Colombo) en route to Kandy, where we were to visit orphaned elephants that were taken care of at this Orphanage. It was fun watching the elephants bathe, feed and stroll about in the huge expanse of green area. There were specific areas where the elephants could be fed a fruit basket or milk bottles in case of baby elephants.

baby elephant being fed milk bottles-check out the size. The elephant gulped four of those in a few seconds time :-)

An elephant being fed a fruit basket by tourists

While preparing the itinerary, I wanted to include an Elephant ride (not carried out in the orphanage) but could not because the elephant rides I had read was at a different town that didn't quite line up in our route map. However our guide was sweet enough to include one after he saw R's excitement levels at the orphanage. There was a foundation called Millennium Elephant Foundation near the orphanage where we went next to mount on one-it was to be the first one for me and R. The tickets were priced for rides spanning 15 mins, 30 mins and 45 mins respectively. We were also quite excited about riding on one and took a ticket for a 30 min ride. (A rash decision, we were to realize later.) It sounds all exciting but trust me, it was really tough (read painful and scary) to be perched on such a height and precariously balanced while the gigantic animal swayed and sashayed its way over uneven terrains of paddy fields. While the little boy seemed to enjoy the experience, the two adults tried to put on a brave face and prayed for the show to end soon :-). We cut short the ride to a 15 min one. After all saving our ass (literally) and backs seemed more pragmatic than saving our face ;-)

A picture can be so deceptive :-)
A 2 and a half hour drive post lunch (we stopped en route at a lovely spice garden which also prepared herbal medicines) took us to the pretty city of Kandy where we were to spend two nights. We reached just in time to make it to the cultural dance show at an auditorium. We were held spell bound by the talent display of the artists there whose dance performance was truly amazing. A dance troupe performed in groups displaying the various art forms of dance, about 6 or 7 I think. Each one was unique and superbly executed. We were seated on the last row of the auditorium and our basic model camera has not done any justice in the dim lights. So, please excuse the poor quality of the snap. If you wish, you can view a glimpse of the dance video here(ETA: I chanced upon this video while googling for a video. I am not sure if I have violated any copyrights by doing this. If I have, I'll remove it.)

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 The show lasted for about one hour at the end of which there was fire-walking show. Unfortunately there are no snaps of these.

17 comments:

  1. Yes an elephant ride is scary and painful. Have you ever been on a camel? Imagine - same height as elephant and it goes REALLY fast (trots?gallops?) and on top of that there's the damn hump that u have to sit on or against. I did it once and felt a huge rush of adrenalin (living on the edge and all that :)) but also frightened out of my wits!

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    1. Have never sat on a camel and after this one, am not in great hurry to sit on any of these tall creatures :-)

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  2. Wow...waiting to read more..may be I should try and get RD to do an Andaman/Sri Lanka trip together....sounds so exciting...LOL on the bottle feeding :)

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    1. You must do a trip, RM. It will be fun.

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  3. Elephants sound exciting... doooor se, of course! is there more to come? I hope so!

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    1. yes, doooooooooor se only. More and more coming up..I too don't want to forget the details.

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  4. Have sat on an elephant long time ago, did not seem scary then, but not sure if I'd be game to do it now. You guys are really brave! Yes, pictures can be deceptive :))

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    1. aah..we were brave only before the ride..was a first time for all of us..all the bravery vanished into thin air once we were on top..;-)

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  5. nice place..and an elephant ride is seems to be quite exciting !

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    1. it's truly a beautiful place..and err..the elephant ride..u read about it ;-)
      Thanks for reading and welcome here, geet :-)

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  6. I wanted to leave a message yesterday but I don't enjoy keying in from the device I was reading on, so here I am again :)

    I've gone on an elephant ride once. It was just nothing out of the ordinary as the ride was on level land. Looks like yours was a ride to remember. :) Now that you have tried and have no plans of doing it again, let me tell you that after I saw a picture of two elephants mating, one with some tourists still strapped to its back, I'm not doing it ever again. :D

    Linking to videos is totally ok. Don't worry. :)

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    1. Gosh! riding on mating elephants!!! Time to leave the poor animals alone, I guess..

      oh, thanks for assuring about the video. You never know these virtual etiquette :-)

      And welcome here..hope to see you around..

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  7. LOL on your graphic ;) description of the elephant ride !! Wow Uma, this sounds so great, I feel like I can follow just exactly your same plan and have a great holiday.

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    1. LOL..:-)
      wow, that's such a nice compliment. I'll be happy to be of any assistance when you plan to do a trip.

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  8. Going through all your posts again in detail now, Uma, since we are planning a trip in December.....expect a call soon :)

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    1. lol, Aparna, I think, I'll need to go through these posts myself to refresh all the details ;-) and wow, you've already begun planning for Dec, is it?? *falls @ the feet of the ultimate travel guru*

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    2. :) I'd tell u a secret that i'm also planning for next summer but then that would make me toooo weird :(

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