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February 12, 2016 / Aware of the Void

Road Tripping

  
Day 8 begins with departures, Nivetha has secured transport aboard the good ship Toyota Townace, an ancient but sturdy ride. It has all the features we require, an experienced driver, a lot of room for the four of us the spread out and relax on the long drives ahead and most importantly in the 36c heat it has air conditioning. The cost of our car and driver is about €75/day and it allows us to cover a lot of the island in a very efficient manner.

We roll out of Colombo at 9:30 just in time to catch the last of the rush hour traffic, although I think rush hour never really ends, and we do a flat out burn to the Buddhist cave temple at  Dambulla.

   
    
    

    

Between long naps in the car I wake occasionally and press my phone against the window and try and capture a sense of the Srilankan countryside. We pass one town that seems to exclusively sell wicker chairs, another that has nothing but second hand car seats and oddest of all as we climb hight into the hillside rows and rows of stores that sell inflatable beach toys.

Progress on the roads is slow going. We have visited Srilanka during a period of growth. Many of the roads are getting widened and straightened. This will be great when the work is done. For us it meant long waits at contraflows as one side of the road is closed to allow the works progress.

At first the method of driving here seems lawless and crazy but when you study it for a while it becomes obvious that they all seem to know what they are doing. Faster cars and busses tear up behind us, beep their horns to let us know that they are there and wait for us to move over slightly. They then use the opposite side of the road to overtake regardless whether or not there is something on the road. The oncoming driver then has two choices, stand his ground and crash or break long enough to to let the car pass safely. The system seems to work but it does mean that for the entire journey we are either pushing hard on the accelerator or slamming on the breaks.

The slow driving process did have one massive advantage. It meant that when we finally reached the cave temple the sun was starting to set.

  

The temple its self was beautiful and has inspired me to try and learn some more about this religion.

        

Our final stop for the evening was our jungle cabins on the outskirts of Sirigija to have us close by for our 7am climb.

The cabins are beautiful and as we sat on the terrace sipping Srilankan tea listening to the wildlife all around it seemed like the perfect end to an amazing day and that was before yet another amazing feast!

    
 

2 Comments

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  1. David / Feb 12 2016 1:57 am

    I’m loving this series of posts. Keep them coming!

    • Aware of the Void / Feb 14 2016 10:52 am

      Thanks David, as we venture towards the uplands I think internet might be an issue but for now I’ll keep going

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