175KM Tuk Tuk From Kandy to Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka

Good day,

I write this from Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka. Today was one of those days on a trip around the world that is just a comedy of errors. It started in Kandy and lead us here. From a western perspective, this country could be considered overwhelming by many. I’ve been in this type of environment a while and find it endearing.

Kandy is a magical place where Sri Lankan people skip through fields of sugar cane and ride on gum drop elephants while booking dental appointments on their way to the sugar factory aka gum drop elephant slaughter house. Did see some cool sights though and had an enjoyable day, let us get into that, shall we? I kid, obviously.

First off, got the bank card back. If you forget one in a machine, just go to the branch the next day. Tip – Hit up places attached to a bank, not sure how we’d do it from a random terminal. While doing that there were gents lighting massive fire crackers that sounded like AK47’s going off. Supposedly it was some protest. Check the pic below, dude was loving it, so was I.

After that ran ito a tuk tuk driver and decided it was fate, so we went with him on a tour of the central part of Sri Lanka. Went to Matale and saw a temple. Then hit up the Golden Temple which was alright. Good view from the top after a h3ll climb, afterwards headed to Sigiriya to see the old ancient Palace…

Tuk tuk driver wanted to drop us off there at this guest house. Didn’t want to stay as there was nothing going on. As a result we paid him more to take us here, a mistake. This town has little to nothing going on.. This is one of those towns that makes you realize how many opportunities we have back home. Very nice people but not a lot going on at all.

I come to countries to meet some local people, see what life is like, have some laughs, have a few drinks and eat the local foods while hanging out in interesting places, not to see tourist attractions that are well documented on the web. What makes my trip is the little encounters I have on a daily basis with random people. Those short moments and positive vibes are the priceless memories in my estimation and make you realize we’re all the same regardless of ethnicity, religion, culture…

Tomorrow we catch a bus outta here. One cool thing about today was the 175km tuk tuk ride through really rural parts of Sri Lanka. Talking dirt roads and stuff here. I reckon you get a better feel for the culture, the people and the landscape doing that then some large tour. The people are really friendly, can’t count how many people smiled or waved. Then again, I’m insanely friendly so maybe it would be different for you. I will note that they are NOT perfectionists. Many half constructed buildings, I can relate to these people.

While in the wild life park we drove through, saw an elephant in the wild which was a first, they are massive compared to all else. Also countless monkeys everywhere. Those mischievous little creatures wreak havoc. The nature is unreal here and every tree is teeming with life.

One weird thing was this… I have a hole in my boxers, I noticed this morning… Half way through the trip today I was adjusting my pants and I felt this slimy thing in my boxers. Some leech got in my pants, through the hole and attached itself to my backside. I flicked it off (kinda like a scared school girl) and the guide stepped on it. It just oozed blood and my pants / boxers were covered in blood.

Bizarre.

This room is less than optimal, I think it gave me bed bugs.

Can’t wait to make it to the beach.

On a positive note, favorite thing though was the temple in Matale. The art work and attention to detail is out of this world. It’s massive with all these individual characters and scenes going on. Think of a massive mural but actual carvings, it was something I won’t soon forget, coolest temple I’ve seen on this trip. Still templed out though.

In closing, the plateau that hosted the ruins of an ancient palace was something special. It’s just a massive rock formation in the middle of nowhere. If I had access to a time machine, I’d love to see it while it was going. A massive palace on this formation… Talk about a fortress.

It was an interesting day and the guide was super nice as most are in this country I have found. Obviously there are pushy salesman but I can respect that, they are hustling to make a living. Will also note that most of the people I have encountered had an easy going and humble demeanor.

Many of these towns are lively during the day but ghost towns at night. Getting a good nights rest and making the most of the day seems to be the way of life here, from what I’ve seen. A happy change from Thailand.

I just re-read it this, today was quite special.

Tips hat,

P.S: Please remember that in most places of the world, if you send a smile you’ll get one back. If you act friendly you’ll probably find friends. Language helps but most communication is non-verbal anyways.

8 Comments

  1. Diana

    November 21, 2010 at 6:25 am

    Hi, really enjoy reading your site, esp while I’m here having a slightly boring life! (At the moment anyways). You should make a visit to Scotland and I can recommend Lebanon too 🙂

  2. Rob

    November 21, 2010 at 6:47 am

    Thanks Diana.

    Boring is relative, I was kinda bored with mine so made a change.

    Love golf, it’s in the cards. Lebanon seems interesting, know many Lebs from Ottawa. Arabic is the 3rd most popular language there.

    Thanks for making your presence known and not being a lurker.

  3. Laurie Ashton Farook

    November 21, 2010 at 8:15 pm

    If you want to experience truly pushy salespeople, go to the Pettah market in Colombo. I’ve had them chase me to my trishaw and down the street as we left.

  4. Rob

    November 22, 2010 at 2:55 am

    LOL, will most certainly keep that in mind. Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Matty Lynch

    November 22, 2010 at 9:22 am

    The old bed bugs bro?i hate those little pricks!

  6. Rob

    November 22, 2010 at 11:40 pm

    haha me too, not bed bugs just some allergic reaction.

    Travel.again.soon!

  7. Casey

    October 19, 2013 at 11:11 am

    What a fantastic trip! I love tuk tuks, though its hard to imagine traveling 175km in one. Keep the dream alive man!

    • Rob

      October 21, 2013 at 1:38 am

      Haha yeah, hopefully I won’t be doing that again anyone soon. Expensive too!! 🙂

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