Tuesday, December 30, 2008

30th Dec – On route to Sigiriya and the first taste of Tropical Sri Lanka

By getting a private driver it’s opened up so many doors to what I can do and achieve in the time I have in Sri Lanka. After you add up the cost of public transport, the time and inconvenience of getting from one place to the next and then add the fact that I have a guide to explain about where I am going and what I am seeing; its seems like the right decision, only time will tell.

After chatting to Thilak (my driver) we have worked out a rough plan of where to go and what to do, I’m still open to suggestions as I journey around but he is a wealth of knowledge and has managed to include a number of things into the route which I didn’t believe was possible before.

Mount Lavinia to Sigiriya

Mount Lavinia was my first stop, it’s a beach town just south of the capital Colombo, it was certainly a fantastic and beautiful place to start my trip.


The journey from Mount Lavinia to Sigiriya takes about 3 ½ hours. Once we got past Colombo and started to reach the outskirts of the city it soon started to get more rural and tropical with palm tree forests and was exactly how I pictured Sri Lanka to be.


Every so often there would be a small hut selling fresh coconuts to drink and eat, so we stopped a few times to get some fresh coconut juice. Its refreshing stuff and you know the stuff inside is good as they cut it open in front of you, making a small hole in the top for your straw. Once your done they’ll cut it open for you so you can eat the rest of it – its damn good stuff!


It was pretty amazing to see so many monkeys roaming around everywhere, its still a bit surreal and I’m taking it in bit by bit.


The journey to Sigiriya flew by, there was so much to see along the way I had no need to read or do anything else.

The guest house I stayed in at Sigiriya was a picture perfect bungalow set in the middle of the forest and only 10 minutes from the Sigiriya Rock which is what I have come here to see and climb.


I set off for the Sigiriya Rock AKA Lions Rock. It looked amazing in the photos before I came and seeing it for the first time in real life certainly didn’t disappoint! It is such a huge and impressive rock erupting out of the jungle below.


It is said to be the 8th wonder of the world, I’m not sure how official that is but I can see exactly why they say it. SIGIRIYA - LION ROCK.


There were so many steps up to the top, it was a killer on your legs. It was a pretty tough climb to the top but once you’re up there it was worth every step and the views were incredible.



Back at the guest house I met people from all over the world and I had dinner and drinks with two Japanese women traveling together and a Japanese guy traveling alone. It was really interesting chatting to them, the guy has traveled to over 70 countries, it’s quite incredible. It’s been great learning about other people and that’s exactly what I want out of this trip – to do new things and meet lots of people, I’m off to a good start!

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