25th October 2010 - The Lull Before the Storm

OceanStars :: Tuesday 26th October 2010 :: This Story

Today was the day to ‘rest’ and transfer from Dambulla to Batticaloa. To start the day we split into two, either visiting the fruit and vegetable market or ( for the more cultured amongst us) visiting the Golden Temple at Dambulla.

At the market they apparently saw: mangoes, papaya, mangoes, jack fruit, mangoes, pineapples, mangoes and some more mangoes. Apparently it is the mango season.

For the cultured few we saw statues of Buddha, Buddha and Buddha. However they were truly amazing. Danny and Ben, having committed the faux pas of arriving in shorts had to some how manage to lower their waist sufficiently to allow a slight covering of the knees, thus preserving their dignity and that of Buddha. Passing the fabulous Golden Buddha which glowed in the morning sunlight we climbed higher and higher to reach the caves both natural and manmade. Words cannot describe the wonder of the sight. A picture or two may help. Suffice it to say that it was a beautiful and enlightening. Should you ever make it to Sri Lanka, this is a ‘must see’ site.

Then we started the long journey to Batticaloa broken only for CHIPS at Polonnaruwa.

This year the distance seemed to have shrunk as a huge amount of road construction has taken place and it was possible to travel at twice the speed of previous years. The vans suspension units heaved a great sigh of relief.

Sadly the military presence both here and on the road to Trinco is still in evidence. Road blocks have almost disappeared and we were waved through the ones remaining, but it must be a continuing reminder to the local people that the conflict has only recently ended. Hopefully the rebuilding and reconstruction work will lead to a more stable future.

Arrival at Batti and Joseph’s marked the start of the ‘storm’. Bags are unpacked and repacked, teddies, fish, crayons and gifts are all sorted and counted ready for our first real challenge……playgroups full of wonderful little people.


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