Taming the elephant

I had long dreaded our climb up Sirigiya elephant rock.

Sirigiya elephant rock – I climbed this!

Touted to be 1200 steps and hard to very hard in places, it was actually eased by being very crowded with visitors such that while it was steep at times and some of the steps were quite treacherous, it was at least slow.

Climbing Sirigiya
The climb to the top of Sirigiya was interesting to say the least

Again, it was great to see so many local schoolchildren visiting on a school trip. We celebrated our climb to the top with a few more photos in our pink sarongs and took in the spectacular views to which no photos could possibly do justice.

Me in a giant banyan tree

Sirigiya viewThe land below looked like dense forest but the other thing of note was the obvious fact that more raining was imminent.

Back on the road, we were due a shorter cycle due to the length of time the climb had taken. The heavens opened, me sacrificing yet another pair of shoes to the rain and unfortunately we got separated again. The faster lady followed our minibus and went the correct way while the rest of us went with the cycle guide the wrong way. We had a long double back and consequently just got more and more drenched.

Lunch was in a traditional village accessed by a tractor powered by a handheld plough and a dug out canoe.

A canoe ride in the rain was not as much fun as it might have been

This transportation was quaint and vaguely interesting but meant a long journey during which we only managed to get wetter. Lunch was served on a lily pad leaf in a wicker basket and was very tasty indeed but did not last long enough for us to dry off.

Lily pad leaf lunch
The ultimate eco lunch – served in a lily pad leaf in a wicker basket

Then we were back in the canoes for a longer ride across the Habarana Tank, hampered by a head wind. But his point I was absolutely freezing and shivering as I had never shivered before.

Back at the bus some of us decided we had already cycled much further than intended today so we could be forgiven a quick trip in the minibus back to the hotel in the name of trying to dry off and warm up more quickly. Thereupon I indulged in another massage which was very lovely. Or at least, I think it was. It was in fact so lovely that I kept falling asleep and waking myself up with giant snorts. Please don’t tell Gary, Millennial back at home, as he has never forgiven me for doing this in the middle of (and the quietest part of) a Noel Coward play in the west end of London.

After this, it was the by now usual buffet and much wishing that tomorrow would be a dry day…

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