Last day in Kandy for a while. Last night had another great dinner including fresh spicy prawns, garlic dahl, mustard seed plantains, fish curry, Ambrella curry, spicy carrot cabbage and coconut salad with green chillies, and red rice. Breakfast this morning was roti, rice, chili salt and lime sambal, coconut spicy sambal, dahl and fresh fruit. We are going to miss this.
First thing we went by Tuk Tuk to busy Peradeniya Road to buy a pair of White linen trousers. Cost me A$ 22 at Cool Planet which claims to be the leading Fashion House and probably is. The traffic on this road was very heavy with many buses that belched choking fumes. Just up the road was the largest private hospital in Kandy. Called Suwasevana Hospital it boasts Consulting Specialists of every ilk. Any medical need could be met here at a reasonable cost. To give you an idea the Patient Admission fee is A$ 1! Use the Suwasevana Hospital website to check details.
Off to the market we went and saw many wonderful sights from the overloaded trucks, push carts, to a wonderful shop with straw boxed eggs. This area of Kandy never ceases to amaze us as elderly men push heavy carts and carry huge bags of produce on their shoulders. It is organised chaos as although there is a lot of horn tooting and pushy driving on display it all seems to work with all concerned being good natured even whilst being severely inconvenienced.
What can we say about Sri Lanka? It is a marvellous country only about the size of Tasmania. The cultivated land here is extremely fertile and ranges from Rice paddies in the lower parts to Tea and Vegetables in the central area at about 5000 feet above sea level. Most of the flat lower land also grows vegetables. Coconut trees and Bananas grow almost everywhere and provide much sustenance.
The climate varies from coastal south around 30°C, Cooler Kandy around 27°C to the Tea growing Highlands of 20°C. Most places in Sri Lanka are only a few hours away so getting around is quick and easy. There are lots of still Jungle areas and vast National Parks teeming with wildlife. The many beaches here are excellent and many have good conditions for surfing.
The people are warm and friendly and just this morning on the city streets we ran into an elderly man who had helped us a few weeks ago and he was pleased to see I was wearing a Sri Lankan Linen shirt. He shook our hands, wished us well and said he hoped to see us when we return.
The cost of living here is much lower than Australia with rents being particularly low. The Government Hospital system is free for locals but expats must use the very good private hospitals that dot the country.
In a nutshell of the countries we have visited so far that have permanent residency visa for retiree/pensioners Sri Lanka is, in our opinion, by far the best choice.