From Mumbai, I went to Colombo to spend 1 month in a country that I have always linked to tea and elephants. However, I couldn’t meet any of them until the end of my trip in the island.
My first stop was an Eco-resort called Ruuk Village in the north of the island close to Kalpitiya, a small village of fishermen. This place is well known for the kite-surfing lovers.
My mission in this place was to take pictures of the resort (facilities, rooms, activities…) and the village and surroundings. I could also help with the garden and to share some techniques about how to improve the soil and how to take advantage of the coconut fibre because there is a lot!
(From left to right: Sunset in the lake close to the resort. A man cooking in a small shop of the village. Amazing sunset in Kalpitiya)
From Kapitiya I went to an organic farm and eco-community, probably one of the most important of the country, but unfortunately, at the same time, a strong cyclone arrived at the island with strong rain and winds. On top of that, I couldn’t meet the leader of the project so I was a bit disappointed.
Despite the bad weather conditions I could give a had with carrots beds and cleaning up some banana fields wearing my bath clothes and carrying a machete (fortunately there are not pictures of that 🙂 ).
From there I took a train to Kandy and Nuwara Eliya where I spent a week with Lawrence. Lawrence is the owner of a small coffee and cacao factory that is 100% organic. I was helping as much as I could and I learnt about medicinal herbs as Lawrence is an expert. I could also see the first tea plantations, finally!
(From left to the right: Tea plantations close to Nuwara Eliya. Cacao beans from the toaster. Machine to toast the coffee and cacao beans)
I spent my last days exploring the South and the southern coast of the country and looking for a chance to see elephants. I could not leave the country without spotting one of this magnificent animals! Finally, I could see them at Udawalawe National Park.
Below you can find some of the experiences and funny moments lived in Sri Lanka…
During these weeks I…
– had my feet wet from 7 am to 10 pm in some days when the cyclone was active
– found myself surrounded by children monks. I was alone with them and I really enjoyed their curiosity and kindness. A great experience.
– ate 2 types of meat that are prohibited in the country (porcupine and deer). I did it just to respect to my host.
– looked for wild elephants in the forest but we only found their fingerprints
(From left to right: walking in the forest looking for wild elephants. Our guide sailing the small boat. Fresh fingerprints from wild elephants)
– played a traditional Sri Lankan board game and I won one of the games to the person who taught me how to play, yeah!
– woke up with rainwater drops hitting my face
– gave a piece of pineapple to a homeless and the man made the gesture of Buddha with his hands in return
– cooked in a Sri Lankan traditional kitchen with wood
– ate a sort of sundry fish for breakfast, lunch and dinner
– helped a monk to find nice flowers to the Buddisht offering
– was followed by a dog for more than 2 hours despite the risks of being bitten by other dogs and I felt extremely sad when I left her because I had to take a taxi
– was on a motorbike with 2 more people and nobody was having a helmet
– was invited to have dinner at a local house with a local couple and we finished dancing Sri Lankan dances while listening to 80’ and 90’ Western hits
– saw a curious elephant getting close to me and run away when I tried to touch him
– Discovered fruits that I have never seen before in a small weekly market
These are some of the people selling fruits and veggies in the market
The seagull has a small fish in the bill at Udawalawe National Park.
One of my favourites pictures taken in Sri Lanka.
I and Chris (at the right of the image) spent some hours with this great family and it was a very nice experience.