Awoke this morning to another wonderful Kandy breakfast with cups of black tea.
We have been living with this delightful Sri Lankan family for the last seven days. They have taken us in as family members, preparing beautiful traditional Kandyan food for us, doing our washing, organising all our trips to attractions and advising us on what to see and do here. We feel we have melded into the Kandyan way of life and have enjoyed every moment. When we arrived I was suffering still from Shigeria and Achila, our hostess prepared special healing foods for me and after 48 hours I was completely cured. The food each day has been delicious. The clever mix of herbs and spices with the fresh ingredients all cooked with almost no use of oil gives a fresh fragrance to every dish without them feeling “heavy” Achila is a superb Traditional Kandyan cook! We are indeed lucky to have partaken of her hospitality.
Jayabo her husband has been in charge of booking our driver for touring and negotiated a local price for us. He is most helpful and will be taking us to Kandy station at 4am in the morning to make sure we catch the train. It is many years since our derrieres graced a train seat so it is with some trepidation that we are buying 2nd class seat tickets to Galle, a journey of 5 hours or so. We plan to think of it as an Aeroplane with steel wheels!
For those who may be thinking of staying at Jayabo Residence in Kandy I will detail our costs while staying and eating all our food here for seven days. Our accommodation in a large downstairs room with bathroom and the use of the whole ground floor living area was 25,000 LKR or $242 Australian and all our food was only 17894 LKR or $174 Australian. We used Ahmal the Tuk Tuk driver on their recommendation and he charges about 500 LKR or $ 5 Australian return to the City Centre. The most we spent with him on a day going to the Botanical Gardens and a second trip into Kandyan Dancing around the lake was 1750LKR or $17 Australian.
The Food Centre Supermarket in the city has anything a westerner might require from toothpaste to bottled water. The Kandyan people are warm and welcoming and most speak at least a little English.
Living with our Kandyan family has taught us a great deal about their customs from educating their two children to how marriages are arranged here with great success. Their Buddhist beliefs are central to their lives.
For those wishing for a Five Star Hotel lifestyle homestay is not for you but to understand a people and their culture staying at Jayabo Residence in Kandy is the natural choice.
A word on climate. Kandy has an average daytime temperature of 25°C compared to nearly all the Sri Lankan Lowlands of 35°C. The change of climate from Southeast Asia to here has been most welcome and no air-conditioning is needed. It would be the perfect place to live if relocating to Sri Lanka.
Took the Tuk Tuk to the Central City Shopping centre this afternoon. We have spent the best of the for the day organising a flight from KL to Bali for the 30th July, an airport hotel overnight for the 29th July and a Virgin flight back to Australia leaving Bali 27th August arriving Brisbane 4.45am on the 28th August. All booked! Erica has been trawling extra beachside accommodation east of Galle and has shortlisted two places. Excited about catching the train to Galle in the morning. Another new adventure!
While downtown I bought two fabulous linen shirts. One was $27 Australian and one $20 Australian Both Sri Lankan made from the finest linen. Also bought a pair of cotton shorts for $9 Australian. Erica purchased some Tears Plus for her dry eyes that is around $10 in Australia for $3.75 Australian.
We have not done a Kandy cost of living comparison yet but it appears to be less than half that of Australia. Achala today got out her wedding and engagement photos and explained the whole procedure. It was very interesting.