Traveling is my passion, my breath of fresh air, and this time for a portion of inspiration, I went to Sri Lanka. No, it was not a beach holiday most are accustomed to, but a real mission for 12 days, an adventure that will be remembered for a lifetime.
You know, we used to travel to admire the works of art, original architecture, nature, but rarely we pay attention to the people. It was the locals whom I met on the way that are the spirit of the city, able to fill and inspire me. In Sri Lanka, on our way we have met really amazing people.
The first thing you notice – this sea of smiles and eyes glowing with happiness. It seems that the locals have no problems, because how else can you be so joyous? But there are no miracles here, sometimes their life is much more difficult than our own, but the perception is quite different. They meet the tourist with an unchanged sincere smile, always ready to help and make you happy however they can. I have also noticed that there are few divorces, families are strong enough and friendly. Perhaps it’s the result of the minimal influence of Western culture.
Virtually all the way we have met wonderful people who left their mark on our road and in our hearts. Sometimes these meetings were very spontaneous and turned all our plans upside down. So, on the plane, we met with a businessman and shared our plans about travel. Our wew friend has corrected our route and offered to spend the night at his home, and in the morning to go explore a new country. We were quite surprised and touched by such hospitality. His whole family greeted us very warmly and we spent the night in their large and bright house.
In the morning we went to the largest nursery of elephants in Asia called “Pinavella”. Imagine, there are 86 elephants, both adults and very young ones. Today it is the largest nursery in the world, where elephants live in captivity.
Initially, the nursery was founded in 1975 primarily to care for the baby elephants, who lived in the jungle without their mothers. A little later they began to take in elephants trapped in the clutches of poachers and those who suffered during the civil war. When we got here, we realized why this is one of the most popular destinations on the island.
We were able to see how to care for the elephants and even had a chance to become parties to this unusual process. But most of all I liked feeding the elephants and bathing, from which the rangers staged a real show. The smallest ones are bottle fed and it’s an incredibly touching spectacle. After feeding, the whole herd of elephants was sent from the nursery just for the city streets to the river, to swim. Impressions that day last long and, needless to say, I just fell in love with elephants.
After a visit to the nursery, we boarded a train and headed to the city of Nuwara Eliya. This is the most scenic route by train that we have seen. It was simply impossible to move away from the window. The road causes a storm of delight even for the seasoned traveler.
It seems that you’re in a wonderful, fabulous Narnia.
Lush greenery, tea estates, which seem to have no end in sight, mystical fog and tinkling waterfalls.
The city itself is located on 1884 meters above sea level at the foot of the mountain Pidurutalagala, the highest peak of Sri Lanka.
To visit Sri Lanka and not to visit the tea plantations is a crime. It was very informative to see how the beloved by millions Ceylon tea is being grown.
Plantations are striking in their scale, often you can’t even see where the end of the field is.
After that, we briefly stopped in the tiny town of Tissamaharama, which is located in the southern part of Sri Lanka. Most tourists come here with the purpose of visiting the Yala National Park, which is the second largest in the country. Having looked around a little, we immediately went to the safari.
Conventionally, the park is divided into five zones, but only two areas are accessible to tourists. The park Yala covers about 1,000 sq km. Here you can find amazing specimens of flora that resemble movies about the jungle.
Despite the rainy weather, we could see a huge number of animals, including leopards. It was very interesting to observe the animals in their natural habitat.
If you are lucky, you can meet elephants, leopards, deer, buffalo, wild boars, bears, crocodiles, turtles and other animals and exotic birds.
Then we went to the city of Mirissa where we met with the fisherman turned out to be the seeker on the ship, which carries people to look at the whales, so we saw a large blue whale. They are so majestic and powerful, an average blue whale is 28 meters long.
From what we saw I simply forgot how to breathe and I cannot believe that all of this I have seen with my own eyes.
After that, we visited the nursery in which the turtles, who fell victims to the human impact on nature, were being nursed. All conditions are created for the turtles, which, for example, became entangled in the nets of poachers. How beautiful these animals are and it seems to me that much wisdom is hidden in their eyes.
Here our expedition came to an end and we returned to Colombo by train that runs along the entire southern coast of the island of Sri Lanka. You know, for 12 days we managed not only to see incredible nature, but also came close to solving a riddle for a happy life, in spite of the material benefits.