|Up at 4:45 am to catch the first train to Kandy. Booked to travel first class, which was an experience. First class to them, was seats that were soft and reclined a bit and had a fans on the ceiling for air conditioning. The big window was nice as well as we could see out the back of the train. 2nd and 3rd class, was all wooden upright seats. Not good for a bad back and 6 hours on a bumpy track!!
Eventually, we made it to Kandy and back into chaos of lots of people rushing round everywhere. Got into a tuk tuk and up the hill to our hotel, which was more like a building site. However, it was a lot nicer inside. We were given one of the newly refurbished rooms and was really nice.
That evening we went to a traditional Sri Lanken dance show, followed by a walk around the Temple of the Tooth. A huge temple to hold a small tooth of an old and ancient Buddha. It rained a lot that evening and watched the thunderstorm pass over.
The following day we had a little walk around the city taking photos of the monkeys playing in the trees and roadside. Then got a tuk tuk to the botanical gardens. Of all the places we have been to, every botanical garden was free to enter apart from this one. For locals it was about 100rp (10p). For tourists it was over 1000rp. Had a nice relaxing walk watching all the secret love affairs with the locals going on. We came to the conclusion that there are a lot of arranged marriages, but there appears to be a lot of secret relationships going on and they all seem to take place in the botanical gardens!!
After two weeks of eating Sri Lanken food, my stomach and digestive system was in need of something vaguely western. Luckily, we found a Pizza Hut and it was the most appreciative Pizza Hut I have ever had. I think the two Chinese monks on holiday also enjoyed their pizza's too!
Our final night and morning in Sri Lanka were spent in packing and getting rid of anything we no longer needed. We then had a long drive to the airport via the Elephant Orphanage.
Riding an elephant is an experience. It cost us £33 for a 30 minute ride, although we only got 20. Not that we minded. I was in so much pain from doing the splits for 20 minutes trying to stay on its back and Gemma was in pretty much the same position. It was quite scary being 10 feet in the air and if the elephant had a funny turn, we would be off. Everyone wanted tipping as well. The elephants master, the tour guide, the other owner that let us wash another elephant in the river and the woman taking our money!!!
Afterwards we went across the road to get a drink and a snake charmer and his monkey came over to try and get some money out of us, but by now we were quite wise to it, so just gave him a bit of change that we had left.
About 10 miles or so from the airport, we were involved in a car crash. There are no rules on the road and you take your own life into your hands on roundabouts. We were on the roundabout and we watched as this car decided to start moving and hit us. We then spent the next hour going back and fourth to the Police station as our driver was trying to get his licence back from the officer that had taken it. By this time our driver was very stressed and driving even more dangerously, so we were glad to be at the airport, all be it far to early.