One morning I was just sitting with a cup of coffee and was looking at the list of topics about Sri Lanka and I thought that some of the things that happened to me made this trip even better. So I put them in one place, here, to make an official opening entry to the series of articles about this island country. Enjoy! 🙂
1. My bucket list dream: first solo trip outside Europe
I did it! I had some concerns if I get by totally alone, I admit it. But now I think that I couldn’t choose better destination. Sri Lanka is very easy and friendly country for solo female travellers (contrary to the opinion of Lonely Planet guide’s author). I saw many beautiful places and met a lot of amazing people, equally locals and travellers. I want to go back there. And I want to go alone somewhere again!
You can see my whole Bucket List Challenge here!
2. My first safari ever
I will never go to the zoo again. Safari is the best thing, which a nature lover can take part in! You’re just seeting in a jeep (ok, it’s a bit crowded and commercialized, but animals seem to not pay attention to people at all so it’s fine) and you’re just looking around for a skulking leopard or a crocodile lounging in shallow water. Watching animals in their natural habitat is a very pleasant experience and I’d love to repeat it, this time for the whole day!
3. Sightseeing in Dambulla, Sigiriya and Polonnaruwa
Sri Lanka is not only beaches and leisure. I recommend to visit this country deeper and learn more about it. That’s amazing that on such a small island you can experience so many diverse things! Above all I liked places from UNESCO list: cave temples in Dambulla, an unique palace complex in Sigiriya and spread ruins of the medieval city in Polonnaruwa. It’s a good idea to visit those historical sights and listen to the guides who walk tourists around just for tip. And even if I admit that it is really hot here and at some point you’re just sick of sightseeing, satisfaction is guaranteed.
4. Meeting Chaminda in Polonnaruwa
I believe people are good so I trust them. Without this trust I wouldn’t have experienced so many things during my journeys. This time I met Chaminda who sells figures made from ebony wood and… I went with him to the jungle! Crazy, huh? 😀 He showed me there houses of simple people, who make those sculptures, and he said that ordinary tourists cannot see those places, because for them there is an official factory (with entrance fee…). I had great time, saw how Lankans live and learned a lot about ebony industry. It’s good to trust strangers! 🙂
You can read the whole story here!
5. Train journey from Kandy to Ella
True, it wasn’t the most comfortable experience and it was quite long (about 5 hours) but I love trains and this particular route is worth seeing! It goes through the mountains covered with jungle, tea estates and sometimes rice tarraces. It’s green, rural and simply breathtaking. And extremely cheap! 🙂
6. An adventure before climbing Adam’s Peak
It was REALLY an adventure. I mean, it could be a good story for a book or a film. A short one, though. 🙂 I’ll not tell you the details here, but I’ll just say that it took us 8 hours to get from Mount Lavinia near Colombo to the town near Adam’s Peak (and the distance is just 130 km…). We planned to start climbing at midnight to get on the top at 5 a.m. and see the sunrise at 6 a.m. Finally, we started climbing at 5 a.m…. But what happened to us on the road is just unforgettable! 😀 And I’ll tell you this story soon!
7. Cuisine of Sri Lanka
Oh my! Food in Sri Lanka is just amazing! I admit that sometimes I was already fed up with rice & curry because it was just too hot for me to eat spicy food (I thought that I like spicy food but in Sri Lanka I realized that I hadn’t known before what does mean spicy…) but now I’d love to have some more! And fruits? Colourful, juicy and… so cheap! I hate bananas that we have in Poland but in Sri Lanka I ate so many bananas! (Especially that per 1 kilo you pay only 50 cents…) And what about fresh fruits juices? My favourite is lime juice (I mean ONLY lime juice, with no soda), very sour and delicious and for big glass you pay only about 1 euro! Oh my, oh my, oh my!
8. No worries in the south 🙂
After two weeks of sightseeing I definitely deserved one week of doing nothing in Unawatuna. We (me and my two friends from Australia) spent just perfect time spotting turtles in the ocean and swimming in a big warm bath (with a big rubber duck) and eating cheap sea food. And because it’s already low season, sometimes we were the only people in a bar or restaurant! It was so wonderful time with no worries and problems! 🙂
9. Meeting two great girls from Australia!
If you are open to meet other people, you will. This time I met in Kandy two amazing girls from Australia, Robyn and Kirrilea, and after one evening of talking we agreed to continue our journey together. And it was just great and funny time! 🙂 And later we realized that we’re even flying to Dubai by the same plane. 🙂 So girls, if you’re reading this, greetings to you! 🙂
10. Finding answers and inspirations
I expected to think about some issues, distance myself from problems of normal life, make some decisions. And I succeed. I think I’m mature enough to act. I’m in the best moment of my life and I want to use it the most efficiently. I’ve written quite mysteriously but – forgive me! – this time I cannot share the details with you. 🙂 The most important is that this travel gave my just what I expected! 🙂