Kandy, Sri Lanka
The room might not be secure… From insects… Woke up and I have a few mosquito bites…. #malaria 6:15am – Our guide Suresh arranged for a yogini to come in and teach a 1.5 hour yoga class and reiki healing. So zen right now – I’m on another planet. This is a great way to start a day. Prior to the “Tooth” temple visit, we get out of the bus at a lake filled with trout. I asked the guide if anyone fishes in the lake, he replied, “No, not allowed – one lady a few weeks ago did and landed in lock up”… Later confirmed it was an Asian tourist and she wanted to make sushi.. The Tooth Temple, built in 1602, was last temple for the entire Sri Lanka tour. It’s the home of the tooth of the original Buddha (unsure what happened to the rest of his teeth?). Not going to lie, I was happy for this to be the last temple visit. Kandy Botanical gardens – bamboo trunks are the size of coconut palms and Kandy’s even has its own flying fox colony. Had another wild life encounter at the gardens – A giant snake! I’m sure it was venomous however, in real Steve Irwin style, I still paparazzi’d (followed) it for a few minutes to get a picture. Suresh said that 30-35% of the population in Kandy are Muslims so it was no surprise to see a number of Muslim women in the city… But in the heat of the day, wearing their grim reaper attire. How do they do it? I struggled in a singlet and Aladdin pants. Do Muslim women have some kind of air conditioning unit built into their black cloaks of doom? In one area, grounds keepers are manicuring the lawns with whipper snippers (Not hand, or ride on mowers). I close my eyes… The smell of freshly cut grass and 2 stroke emissions transport me back home, to my own parents yard and gardens. I’m all about horticulture, so I spend most of my time in the gardens wandering solo, before meeting up with the rest of the group. Now the group invades Kandy City markets and shopping precinct. The pickings are slim if you’re not in the market for circa 1970’s curtain material or junk jewellery. I did manage to pick up some jasmine oil and rose water from a herbal medicine shop. My goodness, i smell like Jasmine and am wearing Aladdin pants… match.com! An hour or so later, the majority of the group had been lost to the city of Kandy… Or had taken a tuk tuk back to the hotel. The only people left were Dan (Guy from Brissy – such a dude) and I. We trawled the streets, looking for action and excitement… All we saw was a vehicle crash (truck reversing into a giant rollerskate/ Toyota Yaris type vehicle). The graffiti is almost non existent and the streets had more shops for light fittings and home hardware than anything else.. Poor Dan couldn’t even get a bar to serve him a beer before 5pm… And poor me, I couldn’t find a Pepsi Max. We began walking back to the hotel, past the trout lake, where I got assaulted by a giant duck… The things I’d do to that duck if I had a hot wok and and a honey orange glaze…. Then I had a monkey try and snatch and grab my market & pharmaceutical purchases. Fought the monkey off with the very bag he was trying to steal from me. So there was some…. excitement. Got back to the hotel and one of the girls had bought a can of diet Pepsi for me. Legend! I did, squeal like a girl at a Justin Bieber concert, before running upstairs to chill it in the freezer. Counting down the minutes til I can crack that sweet Kandy can of Pepsi delight, purse the aluminium to my lips and drink.it.in. Carbonated, sugar free, glory. Dinner – A street food delight – Egg hoppers with all the trimmings. The best food in Sri Lanka – hands down. This is Kandy’s sweet spot. Until now, I was thinking I could totally have skipped this city til now and it wasn’t as sweet as its name suggests. What I’ll take from Kandy is a new food obsession, and the urge to scratch – I got covered in mosquito bites. From my face, to my toes.