Sri Lanka Adventure (Part 2)

By March 4, 2016 Travel

Sri Uda Waluwe River Me

I am very excited to share this epic journey I’ve just had to Sri Lanka. It is a magical place which warmed my soul. Sri Lanka is an island about the size of England just south of India.

This was an adventure filled with yoga and meditation at the ancient ruins and Buddhist sites, hiking through the misty mountains, train rides, camping in the jungle, going on safari to see elephants and amazing food and people.

I learned how many of our favorite herbs and spices grow by visiting a spice garden and staying at a local organic farm. More importantly I learned more about myself.

Here you see gardens, pepper, nutmeg/mace and a vanilla plant.

Sri Jims Farm garden  sri Pepper  Sri Nutmeg and Mace  Sri Vanilla

Until a few years ago Sri Lanka was in a civil war which lasted almost 30 years. Fortunately the war is now over and it is safe to travel there.

Now let me take you with me through this amazing island.

Even though it is a small country it has an incredibly diverse array of climates. We stayed at a jungle resort sleeping in a tent near the Wilpattu National Park.  We went out on safari where we had the good fortune to see a leopard but only for a second. .  There were many birds including Bee Catchers and Peacocoks. Our naturalist guide was excited we saw a sloth bear which he said is very rare

Wilpattu Ingrid Sri Safari

Sri Peacock

Sri Sloth Bear 2

In the evening they served us dinner under the stars with a bonfire.  Just amazing.  After dinner our guide took us on a night jungle walk.  OMG snakes in the trees also birds sleeping and a loris (bush baby, very rare).  Truly magical.

Ah…Sri Lankan food!!! SO good.   At Jim’s Organic Farm I learned to make Sri Lanka style chicken curry, eggplant sambal, coconut sambal and more.  They use a wide variety of locally grown spices.  Sri cooking class

Sri Spices

 

Sri Chicken Curry

Sri Egglpant Sambal

Coconut sambal Hot Better

Everyday they make fresh coconut milk for the curries and sambal.  Coconut is a big part of their diet.  Sri Coconut Milk Delicious fruit for breakfast every morning.  The main ones available are pineapple, papaya and bananas, but there are others as well; wood apples and passion fruit.

The traditional lunch is rice and curry- which translates to many separate bowls brought out including dhal, a variety of local vegetables- such as beets, okra, pumpkin, and rice.

Sri Meal

While in the Unesco World Hertiage Fort area of Galle we found the best seafood restaurant in Sri Lanka, Elita, where I enjoyed a delicious whole fish.

Sri Galle fort

 

Sri Fish

Riding the train from Kandy to Haputale through the mountains and along the edges of the cliff was just beautiful. You  go through mountain tunnels, through the forest and the tea country…an amazing journey in itself. Here is a little video from the train.

We hiked through the misty mountains tea country, beautiful and exciting. Sri Trek MeSri Tea CountrySri Misty Mountain

Friendly butterflies.

Sri Butterfly on Hand

Langur monkeys hanging out with us at the pool.

We biked through the ancient ruins of Polonnaruwa, the royal capitol for 3 centuries. It is nearly 1000 years old and is much younger than Anuradhapura and in better repair. In 1982 Unesco added the ancient city of Polonnaruwa to it World heritage list.

Sri Polonura

This is the Gal Vihara, a group of beautiful Buddha images all cut from one long slab of granite.

Sri Gia Vihara

The Lankatilaka was once a temple with a roof. Now the cathedral like aisle leads to a huge standing headless Buddha.

Sri Dambula

The local people love taking pictures with foreigners, so cute!

Sri Lanka Ingrid with girls

Sigiriya is the iconic rocky outcrop rising from the central plains and is perhaps Sri Lanka’s most dramatic sight.  The vertical walls soar to a flat-topped summit that contains the ruins of an ancient civilization. You walk up various steps of steeps stairs, which at one point becomes a spiral, caged in staircase then more stairs to climb all the way to the top. The vista from the top is breath taking,  I had to do a little yoga!

Sri SigiriyaSri Sigiriya climb

sri lanka yoga sigiriya top

Sri Lanka is over 70% Buddhist, but there is also a Hindu, Muslim and Christian population. Look at these beautiful girls visiting the ruins.

Sri girls

These pictures were taken at the amazing Dambulla Caves- a series of 4 caves which protected these ancient Buddhas and paintings. It was mysterious and spiritual.

sri dambula 2Sri Dambula 1Dambula 4

I LOVED visiting the local markets and seeing all the beautiful colors, as well as the bustling, vibrant energy of the people

Sri Market Haputale

Sri Market 5Sri market 4 Sri Market 3Sri Market Man

For part of the journey we stayed near Uda Walawe National Park.  In the park we saw wild elephants. Then visited the elephant orphanage.  Here is a video taken at the elephant orphanage.

This is a beach we stayed at near Tangalle.  It was private with endless white sands, a perfect place for meditation and a great way to end our trip.

Sri Beach Tangale 2

Sri Meditation Beach

Sri Beach Circle

I’m so glad you came on this little journey with me, and hope that you feel inspired from seeing and hearing about this magical place…

Have a great day and see you soon!

Lots of love,

Ingrid

10 Comments

  • donnajordan says:

    Thanks Ingrid for sharing with us what seems to be a journey of a lifetime. What an itnerary! Are you sure you don’t want to be a travel guide? The country looks amazing………..and the food! all sources I am sure you will develop into recipes! Chicken curry Yum!
    What a trip you organized! I want to go!
    Thank you so much for sharing it!
    Best regards,
    donna jordan

    • Ingrid says:

      Hi Donna,

      Thank you for posting I love hearing from you, it inspires me. Today I am starting on the Sri Lankan recipes I learned, so excited to create them in my kitchen.

      Much love,
      Ingrid

  • estie says:

    I am speechless Ingrid. Thank you for sharing these pictures. What a great time you had! I would also add that you are brave! Snakes in trees? XO

    • Ingrid says:

      Hi Estie,

      Thanks for letting me know you enjoyed the photos. Yes it does require some courage to get out there and hike at night, good thing we had a fabulous guide. Much love.

  • Lynne says:

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful pictures and videos! I felt like I traveled along with you!

  • Trish Richardson says:

    I can be there vicariously now that you’ve shared your experience.

  • Debbie says:

    Beautiful and crazy! I’m guessing the monkeys don’t attack the people. Thanks for sharing!

    • Ingrid says:

      Hi Debbie,

      The langur monkeys in the video don’t come right up to you but there is another type of monkey you see on the balcony which is a macaque. They will grab things out of your purse if you are not looking, very funny but not dangerous. The monkeys were very entertaining. Thanks for your appreciation. Much love.

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