Kandy friendliest and most beautiful so far - July 1st 2015

Early start this morning for Air Asia X flight to Colombo. Fight was faultless even though 9 seats across only 16.5 inches wide would trap a fat man! Leg room Ok and thinking that the just over 3 hour trip had cost us $139 each made it bearable. Our expectations were a tiny airport but it was large and very efficient being all on one level. Immigration a breeze as we had electronically lodged ETA’s that give us a 30 day Visa online.

More lake

More lake

Our Driver was waiting and we were soon on our way to Kandy. The countryside was verdant. They have been getting lots of rain and everything looked so tropical compared to Chiang Mai. It reminded us so much of when we drove over a lot of Southern India. There is never a moment when you are not looking at people doing something. Passed through many villages on a road built by the British that still is only 2 lanes. Traffic was woeful but very interesting as the drive like Indians with the pull out to pass on blind corners with fingers crossed and horn tooting technique. Invariably someone gives way but most times you squeeze by! We were unfazed having got used to it in India.

Arriving in Kandy we were quite taken aback by its beauty. It surrounds a beautiful lake with hills rising up from it and exceeds our expectations. Settled in to our Jayabo Residence in the hills 5 minutes by Tuk Tuk from downtown. The owners greeted us warmly with cups of tea and offered to take care of our sightseeing arrangements. As I am still suffering with Shigella they are taking me to a local Dr in the morning. They are feeding us tonight with local food so we can hardly wait.

We were introduced to Ahmal our Tuk Tuk driver who took us to get a Sim card and buy a phone prepaid and dropped us off in town. He picked us up at the supermarket later. It had wonderful Buffalo Curd amongst other tasty morsels. Today is an auspicious one as it is Full Moon and because 2 fall in the one month it is a public holiday and major Buddhist celebrations were underway. I almost got bowled over by a very large Ceremonial Elephant whilst crossing the road near The Temple of The Tooth. Wondered why no one else was crossing and did not see the Elephant approaching. Made a note to get my eyes checked!  There were people every where all swarming towards the Temple where the Elephants were heading.

A nice old man took us under his wing and showed us the 1835 Bathing building built for a Queen being renovated on the banks of the lake. He also insisted we see the special celebratory dancing tomorrow at 5pm and helped us buy the tickets. It strikes us so far as the friendliest place we have visited on this trip and also the most beautiful.