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.
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
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.
Everyday they make fresh coconut milk for the curries and sambal. Coconut is a big part of their diet. 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.
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.
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.
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.
This is the Gal Vihara, a group of beautiful Buddha images all cut from one long slab of granite.
The Lankatilaka was once a temple with a roof. Now the cathedral like aisle leads to a huge standing headless Buddha.
The local people love taking pictures with foreigners, so cute!
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 Lanka is over 70% Buddhist, but there is also a Hindu, Muslim and Christian population. Look at these beautiful girls visiting the ruins.
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.
I LOVED visiting the local markets and seeing all the beautiful colors, as well as the bustling, vibrant energy of the people.
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.
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,