Friday, October 23, 2009

Dambulla, A necessary stop on the way up north

Friday morning, 7th weeks touring, exploring, socialising, forgetting about my previous non exciting life !
I left early the guest house i was staying at for the past three days missing the chance to actually see the temple of tooth in kandy on thursday morning as i didnt have my trousers on and couldnt find a suitable drape to cover myself.
My last day in Kandy was well spent though since i went on visiting new areas , got lost just a little bit around before finding the tourist desk and the well sought after information needed for my next stop.
Exiting the office, i just couldnt resist the temptation of what was just looking at me for way too many days already, the buddah statue uphill !
Here i am then, full speed on, declining hundreds of tuk tuk offers on the way, making my path through traffic, pedestrians, sacred cow and dogs of all sorts and reaching out quite fast the base of the hill.
it was a very good hike, especially after some short eats (thats definitely a breakfast i am getting used to though a bit spicy making it quite fun at first for my empty stomach to enjoy.. internal curry burp as i like to call it those days).
I am getting quite fast climbing up and made it in barely 20 minutes but i was needing a rest to catch my breathe again especially under the hot sun , it was close to noon already.
The classic tourist entry fee was required to give a good look at the statue and smack buddah on the cheeks though it was much easier to access its rear this time around providing a very nice perspective of the city and a great panoramic angle too.
I stayed there for almost two hours relaxing and enjoying the fresh air of the city while the honking noise was finally being covered with the prayers of the monks.
Coming down to reality was not a choice i was willing to make but had no other solution and was definitely needing some internet time to finish uploading the dilmah pictures.
Finished that up under two hours, paid my dues and left back to the guest house by bus.
I was quite tired and felt asleep quite fast to in the end waking up too late to make it on time to the ceremony at 6.30pm at the temple. i guess i ll have to come again !

Today, i left the guest house deeply motivated at 6.30am and had to wait for 20 minutes to finally hop on in an empty bus..something really rare especially on a school day here !
Found my bus to dembulla , route 42 and had just no time to get some water or else to survive the trip ! 73 roupies for 2 hours, another good reason to chose the local bus here !
I crossed what seemed to be a never ending spices gardens territory and cities full of trees transforming shops. My great neighboor in the bus was even managing one of those in matale.

I made it to dambulla city center at 9.30 am and went for a well desserved breakfast, you know already what i had ! after this interesting break, being once again the center of all the attention (not so many western are stopping by or even eating out) i took my stuff out, looked around for a bit, chose a direction and few seconds after someone came to me asking if i was looking for accomodation !

Lucky me ! a tuk tuk driver who also owns a guest house... i am loving every second of that offer !
Jumped in the tuk tuk, found out that takeshi guest house was really clean, not so outcentered and very close to my connection to sirigaya by bus the day after !
Dropped my gear and my new friend drove me to the rock temple which i really enjoyed.
Spent a good hour resting on the steps, talking with the souvenirs salesmen, exchanging and even being invited to a house party tonight !
Too bad i already had an arrangement to sleep, i was being invited to stay with his family !
another thing i ll have to do next. "J'irai dormir chez vous in sri lanka ". I ll report this as soon as i succeeded in this new mission on that trip. knowing the good people around, it looks like an easy challenge.

The rock temple in dambulla was definitely worth stopping. Five caves in total, fully painted from ceiling to the floor, filled up of buddhas of all kind and all sizes, in a huge block of rock in the mountain. Photos to be followed soon but you can have a preview by clicking HERE.

I am now chilling again, certainly going soon to the guest house to meet up the family there and spent some good time before a good night out with my new friends here in dambulla !

From Sri Lanka with love !