Friday 22nd October - The longest day...

OceanStars :: Friday 22nd October 2010 :: This Story

Sri Lanka elephant

Sri Lanka Children

Paradise Beach Hotel in Negombo

It has been a long day (or two) and we are sitting outside with a full moon overhead and drinks in our hands. The excitement started at Heathrow airport in Security when a Semtex scare turned out to be Maureen’s home made playdoh and Dilanee’s bubbles set the staff smelling, looking and wondering what she was up to.

We arrived in Sri Lanka at 5.30 this morning and eventually found the three drivers who presented us with beautiful purple frangipani garlands before whisking us to a beach side Paradise Beach Hotel in Negombo where we were able to swim, shower and sleep or shop. We left the hotel four hours later to go to a delicious lunch prepared by Ranga, his wife and Janaka’s wife while we were entertained by the two delightful daughters of Ranga and Janaka. It was a privilege to have been invited into his home and to wander around his local Buddhist temple where a number of us were blessed by a Buddhist monk.

After lunch we left for Dambulla along the A3, a four hour drive which was down to the skill and expertise of our three drivers, Ranga, Janaka and Sudah. Traffic was as usual chaotic with overtaking on blind bends and in the path of fast moving tuk-tuks and busses. On route Dilanee laid on a procession of elephants, dancers, monks and children who were all celebrating the full moon – a public holiday here in Sri Lanka. We eventually arrived at the hotel in Dambulla where our newly elected wild life photographer, Georgia, went round taking photos of anything that moved. Matt has decided to compete for the title and was last seen taking photographs of cockroaches in his room and a frog down his toilet.

We have now eaten and are looking forward to getting up at 6am tomorrow for the three hour drive to Vavuniya to visit the boys at the Grace Children’s Home.

Love to everyone at home