Tuesday, September 27, 2016
Sri Lanka Post 4
OKAY so back to the vacation recapping!
After we completed our time with the elephants, we did a little purchasing of goods at the shops and outdoor markets around town.
We'd told the kids they could pick out two souvenirs while we were in Sri Lanka, and I was impressed by their ability to really give this some thought.
I however, was less choosy and knew exactly what I wanted...
Hello, elephant palazzo pants, welcome to my closet.
A picked out a little pink carved elephant, and L picked out a carved tooth necklace.
We'd picked up some tshirts at the elephant orphanage as well.
Then it was back in the van with Sugee to travel through Kandy to a gem museum.
On the roads in Kandy...
We had a tour of a gem factory...
...learned all about the polishing of gems and making of jewelry...
Apparently Sri Lanka is famous for blue sapphires, and they are most commonly found through mining underground...some in the oceans though as well. We got to see how the mines are set up and learn about the mining process. The most interesting part to me was hearing about the candles the miners take down with them. This is not only for light purposes, but also to detect dangerous gases...if the candles go out, it indicates a lack of oxygen. If the flame gets larger or changes color, it indicates dangerous gases are in the area.
We went inside the gem museum and learned all about different gems...
After this, we were KICKED. It had been a long, fun-filled day, and we were exhausted!
We made it back to our hotel, said farewell to Sugee...
Took showers, ordered dinner to our room, and crashed in our beds.
The next morning we got up, packed our stuff, and headed down to enjoy the breakfast buffet (BACON) and play a little bit before we started on our next adventure.
Every single person we met at the hotel was incredibly kind. After the kids finished eating breakfast, our son said "hey, I see my friend, can I go say hi?" and ran off to play with this sweet staff member, who proceeded to play catch with our kids for the next 15 minutes while David and I finished up...
Next up: a four hour taxi ride to Unawatuna Beach!
Check out these two cute globe trotters...
We had a really nice guy to drive us from Kandy to Galle, and the four of us settled in for a long ride...
...when all of a sudden...
Ok so the day before, in between one of our many tour stops, I'd been staring out the window as Sugee drove, and at one point I swear I saw a smallish alligator (which Sugee totally confirmed is likely in the area we were in) on the side of the road, AND later swore I saw a monkey on the side of the road!
Of course, no one else in my family saw either of these things, and all teased me about making it up.
I present to you, MONKEYS.
ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD.
Whose making things up now!?!?!
Our driver sweetly pulled over and let us get a better view.
These were right outside our car window, just chillin' on the side of the road!
A stray dog wandered over and started barking near them, and I asked the driver if the monkeys were afraid of the dogs, to which he replied it's actually the opposite! Apparently, awhile back a momma monkey had her baby die...so she scampered over into a nearby area and stole a puppy!! She carried it back to her tree and tried to raise it!
I guess word got out among the dogs, because now they never get too close =)
Some pretty views (GREEN) on the drive to Galle...
Finally, we reached Galle, and Unawatuna beach.
When we planned our trip to Sri Lanka, we knew we wanted to see some inner country areas with cultural history, visit the elephants, and also see some beaches. This meant we'd need to break the trip up into multiple locations, as Kandy is rich in history and culture (and elephants!) but is inland. While Kuwait has many beaches, they are not very well kept. The sand is littered with trash, and the ocean can be as well. Don't get me wrong, we enjoy going and digging in the sand and playing, we've gotten used to tossing the cigarette butts and cups and cans =). But one thing we longed for on vacation was a beautiful, clean beach to play on!
David researched Unawatuna, and found it was deemed the World's Best Beach by The Discovery Channel awhile back.
Um, okay. We can probably make that work for our vacation =)
As we neared the beach, the four of us were getting more and more excited about the sights of the Indian Ocean and some golden sand!
After turning down a little gravel road, we entered a small gated parking area...and this view greeted us...
We'd arrived!!! Five days and four nights in paradise!