Happy birthday Rajah!

So it’s back to the Rainforest Eco Lodge for a birthday celebration. This time, the Southern Expressway cuts down my travel time considerably although the last hour of the road condition leading up to the Lodge is pretty messed up.

Once I pass the Park Office gates and enter the protected forest area, the scenery changes dramatically. Driving through the forest is like entering a layered crayon box of green colors. From the differing shades of colors of the foliage, to the serenity, the fresh air, the sounds of birds, crickets and other small insects adds another dimension to this forest.

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At an altitude of  1280m, the Tillicoultry bungalow is located at a very picturesque setting. That, together with the chill in the air and the company is already making this weekend quite welcoming.

The Tillicoultry bungalow is located in Lindula, in the Nuwara Eliya district.  This colonial-styled estate bungalow has five large rooms, with a large garden that overlooks the Horana Plantation tea fields.

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It has not been easy staying indoors and being deprived of travel. Lockdowns, locked in, quarantine, and safety protocols have taken a toll on most travel during 2020, though I’ve had the good fortune of racking up the miles, locally.

One of my last trips in 2020 is to Mannar. Ideally it should have been Myanmar but I had to settle for Mannar. I am returning after one year and looking for different experiences.

On the main Madawachchiya- Mannar road, just in front of the turnoff to the revered Madhu Church is a small road that leads to the Kunchukulam Hanging Bridge.

Five-arch Bridge

 

But first I pass a concrete five-arch bridge. Built in 2013, this is a flow control bridge which possibly carries the excess water back to the main tributary.

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The CeyCat 53 has arrived at the coastline of Lanka Patuna, south of Trincomalee.

It took us almost six hours of sailing having seen the amazing whale shark and thousands of dolphins along the way. It is time to take a short ride in the dinghy and disembark on the sea shore because I have been told the temple here is worth visiting.

The beach is relatively deserted except for some fisherfolk mending their nets, and some curious village children, peering at us from their perch atop an upturned boat.

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The catamaran bobs gently in the sea. The sky is overcast, the wind is dying down and the evening is pleasantly cooling.

We are anchored out at sea, at the foot of the Koneshwaran temple in Trincomalee. I am onboard the Emerald CeyCat 53, a custom built, six-cabin catamaran belonging to Sail Lanka. This is just day one of our three day cruise along Sri Lanka’s renowned east coast.

This afternoon, having traveled from Colombo, we arrive at the Dutch Bay Trincomalee by 3:45 p.m.

Three Sail Lanka vessels are anchored off site waiting for their next passengers.

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