Wednesday, April 2

Sri Lanka, Day Eleven: The Elephants

Okay so I lied - yesterday wasn't the end per se. Those of us who are still in Sri Lanka began our mini tour of the country this morning and it was in the early hours that we packed into a van to head to Kandy.

On the way we stopped at Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, exactly what it says it is, and got to see a whole herd of elephants bathing and feeding by the river. Now I've certainly seen elephants before, usually in zoos and the like, but seeing so many of them so... free was quite special. You could almost feel the power these animals had. Going into full tourist mode we paid a few extra rupees in order to feed the animals, which was a surreal experience in itself.

More photos of the elephants at Pinnawala can be found here.

Since we were on an organised tour in Asia, we were fully expecting to be introduced/stitched up by various "cultural" shops along the way. The first of these was a herbal medicine shop where we were given a no obligation tour of a herbal garden and even a free massage before being given the hard sell. Judging by the amount we spent they seemed to have done a really good job (on us). I look forward to using the snake oil we were sold.

We eventually hit Kandy this evening where we caught a somewhat entertaining cultural show full of dance and acrobatics after which we called it a night and headed to our hotel. Oh and if you were looking for a place to stay in Kandy, the Earl's Regency is top notch.

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