Plan

Runt Sri Lanka

Sri Lankas kustområden koloniserades av Portugal under 1500-talet, och av Nederländerna under 1600-talet. Britterna kom till ön 1796 och 1815 lade de hela ön under sig. Sri Lanka, då Ceylon, var därefter en brittisk koloni fram till självständigheten 1948. Under 26 år (1983-2009) har ett våldsamt inbördeskrig rasat mellan regeringen och olika tamilska gerillagrupper, främst de tamilska tigrarna. 40.000 tamilska civila kan ha dödats i slutfasen av kriget. Det orsakade 294.000 människor på flykt. Tsunamin i Asien 2004 dödade över 35.000 i Sri Lanka.

Landet har nu runt tjugo miljoner invånare och består av en stor tropisk ö samt ett antal småöar. Landets viktigaste ekonomiska sektorer är turism, teexport, kläder, risproduktion och andra jordbruksprodukter. Sri Lanka ett av de snabbast växande ekonomierna i världen, inkomsten per capita har fördubblats sedan 2005.

 

10 mars

Colombo

After a very long flight from Sweden we arrive in the middle of the night in Colombo, the capitol of Sri Lanka. The flight was slightly delayed, but otherwise the trip went as smooth as one could wish for. We were picked up by our guide Lucky and driven quickly to our hotel where we arrived around 4.00 in the morning. No need to say I was totally exhausted and slept as soon as my head hit the pillow.
 
 

Yawn, it’s 11:30 almost lunchtime, but we are still tired after the long trip and the weird arrival time in the middle of the night. Outside it is hot, around 34C, but it feels warmer than that. Sticky hot and sweaty it is. Not that interested in seeing the dusty hot capitol, we decided to change the plans of the day and just relax and enjoy some good food instead of walking around the dusty streets of Colombo.

We already selected two restaurants that seemed very good. First stop for lunch is the Paradise Road Galary Cafe. And it lives up to its good reputation! The food was absolutely delicious and the setting was a tranquil inner-courtyard away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Enjoying some cool drinks. An ice tea with sugar sirop on the side to sweeten it to taste 🙂
Chilled and spicy gazpacho
The fish was absolutely to die for so delicious!
 
 
And of course they had a lot of choices for dessert! Above picture is the cake selection.
But my choice was a chocolate mouse that tasted fantastic.
 
 
 
We spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing at our hotel and went out again just before sunset to do a quick tour of the city by car. The main destination for the evening is a restaurant called ”The Ministry of Crab” famous for, as you probably guessed, the fresh and delicious crab.
 
 
 
Racing in a tuktuk through town back to our hotel.

On the way from Colombo

 

11 mars

Wilpattu National Park; Safari Drive

 

We make a very early morning start 5:30 so we are at the park entrance when the sun slowly starts to get up behind the horizon. The sounds outside are amazing, many birds singing in different tones, making a cacaphony of noise. Our driver is waiting patiently for us, and we drive over the bumpy road into the national park, curious what we might spot during this clear hot day. And yes, if you look very closely you can see the contour of sleepy me in the safari truck :-)

Indian Pond Heron
The Indian Pond Heron is quite common to see, and we saw quite a lot of them during our safari drives in Wilpattu National Park. This heron is widespread throughout the island up to the highlands, however it is the most likely to see in the lowlands in the rice paddies. We saw them mainly on the edges of the water ponds together with numurous other water birds hunting for fish. The Indian Pond Heron eats a wide variety of animals from insects to frogs, lizards and fish.
This heron is however very hard to spot, as the streaked brown upperparts make the bird vanish in grassy environments. But they were very easy to spot in flight with their bright white underwings against the blue sky, which was quite surprising and striking to see.
Crocodile
Crocodile seem to live in each an every pond. Sometimes very difficult to spot, some rather close by, with their beaks open, ready to strike when food comes within reach.
Around 9 o’clock we stopped to have some breakfast in the shade of some trees on the waters edge. Monkeys were plenty around as usual to try and steal some of the food.
Golden Jackal
The Golden Jackal is not uncommon to see in Wilpatty National Park. We saw them on several different occassions. In this early morning we saw a pair of 2 together, which is common to see. They sometimes even see them in small family groups of four. The other jackals we spotted were walking on the road alone. The jackal might also indicate that there are leopards around, as they are also are scavangers and after the carcass.
The golden jackal is very similar to the grey wolf in general appearance, but is distinguished by its smaller size, lighter weight, shorter legs, more elongated torso and shorter tail.
Crested Serpent-Eagle
Woolly-necked Stork
The Woolly-necked Stork used to be also known as the parson’s stork on account of its white collar, reminiscent of a parson. It’s a distinctive stork with its glossy back plumage and white back. Like all storks it builds a large untidy nest constructed from twigs and branches. It’s a scarse bird of the dry lowlands. We were lucky enough to see a pair of these storks higher up in a tree.
Indian Peafowl
White-throated Kingfisher
Spotted deer
Blue-tailed Bee-eater
Crocodile
Great Thick-knee
Little Green Bee-eater
Little Green Bee-eater
Black-winged Stilt
Indian Pond Heron
Brahminy Kite
Wild boar
Spotted deer
Crested Serpent-eagle
Tufted Grey Langur
Crested Serpent-eagle

13 mars

Anuradhpura, Mihintale

From Itinerary:
Morning departure for the region known as the Cultural Triangle, home to five of Sri Lanka’s seven UNESCO World Heritage sites. Stretching from Anuradhapura at its northern point, to Polonnarawa in the east and Kandy in the south, Sri Lanka’s Cultural Triangle covers approximately one thousand square miles, with the Sigiriya rock fortress and the cave temple of Dambulla sitting at its arid heart.In addition, there are literally scores of other temples, ruins and dagobas which, despite not holding the much revered UNESCO status, are still very much worth a visit.Your first stop is the ancient Sacred City of Anuradhapura, one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world and Sri Lanka’s capital back in the 4th century BC. Your tour of the city’s UNSECO protected ruins will include its gigantic Stupas, second in size only to the Pyramids of Egypt, and the Sri Maha Bodhi, said to be the oldest documented tree on earth.

14 mars

Vil Uyana (Hotel)

 

Polonnaruwa



Royal Palace
 Half-moon stone
A moonstone contains a number of arcs with several symbols. In the photo above you can see the horse and the elephant. The arc of four beasts, the elephant, lion, horse and bull represents the four mortal perils of birth, disease, decay and death.

Sigiriya Rock Climb

 

Rock Temple 

17 March

Tea Country Train, Tea Country, Ella


From Itinerary: 
Morning transfer to Kandy’s train station for a scenic train ride through the tea country thatsurrounds the city. From the comfort of your carriage, you will pass through mile after mile ofsome of the world’s finest tea, being picked by the colourfully dressed expert Tamil tea pickers. The region is dotted with numerous waterfalls & deep, picturesque valleys. Upon arrival at Ella train station, you will be met by your guide and continue by car to your hotel. The remainder of your day is at leisure.
Ella is a beautiful village with just a handful of shops, restaurants and guest-houses. It offers the perfect vantage point for views through Ella Gap, a picturesque valley that cuts through the hills and far into the distance..

Train from Kandy to Ella

21 March

Gal Oya National Park

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Afternoon:

Water Safari at the biggest man-made lake in Sri Lanka

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

22 March

Uda Walawe National Park

 

 

Garden lizzard
Painted Stork
Black-winged Stilt
Blue-tailed Bee-eater
Water Buffalo
Blue-tailed Bee-eater
Heron with two Black-winged Stilts
Rose-ringed Parakeet
Crested Hawk-eagle
Water Buffalo with an Egret
Red-wattled Lapwings

 

Painted Stork

 

Black-winged Stilts

 

 

 

 

Blue-winged Bee-eater
Common Kingfisher

23 March

Yala National Park