Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Vacation

This is the accompanying text for the images posted earlier, also a short commentary on the whole thing. Brought to you by popular demand! ( =I just wanted to, so shut up and read it)

Anyway, I started on Friday, Got up, dressed, replied to all messages, got into the bus and went to the meeting place. Halfway there I remembered I'd left my cell phone charger back home. So, off the bus and back home. I eventually met up with my friend and we set off.

After an uneventful couple of hours we got to Kandy. Filled up gas(no, it actually WAS gas, LPG), and set off for Nuwara Eliya after stretching our legs. Now, Nuwara Eliya is a weird place. It's a place where you actually get more cold when you walk fast, because that way the wind is blowing at you faster. You'd understand this phenomenon if you did your Relative Velocity at school.

While in Nuwara Eliya, we climbed a mountain(A real one, without any ready made paths, just trees, trees and more trees), shivered, and were chased away by ghosts(Well, the sign said "Abandoned : Dangerous. Keep Away", so we assumed anyone else would keep away). All of which didn't raise our body temperature by even a fraction of a degree. People here must be having a hell of a hard tie losing weight, since sweating certainly can't be achieved unless you tie yourself to a horse and kick it in the noggin. We also went through a Children's Home, I think, In our attempt to get down off the mountain. We had to jump over a couple of gates, but we made it, Albeit running into the caretakers. Tried to play the dumb tourist, but he kept asking how we had got there when the gates were all closed. How do you think? Gravitating? Sheesh...

Then, after two days of freezing, it was off to Bandarawela and climes more habitable. Here, we set off to conquer yet another mountain, but found that the grass which looked about two feet high from the Bungalow was, in fact an astounding 7 feet or longer. But deterred we were not! Just a little itchy by the end of it, when we found we had barked up a completely different tree, so to speak. We were on top of yet another hill, not our intended one, and faced with the prospect of going through all the murderous man-eating grass below us. So we did what any straight thinking individual would do. We stayed there. Eventually it started getting dark, so we had to come down of the thing and find a path back, which we did.

Next day, off to Yala. It's Monday by now. As we absceil the slopes, I start feeling more and more uncomfortable. Sweat! Actual liquid off my skin! Whoa... Anyway, As the flora, and the fauna started looking more de-hydrated, we entered the [Whatever district Yala is in] District. Eventually got to Yala!
We got a jeep and started off. Drove for a few miles without anything in sight, except the usual dry bushes, which seem to fill in as the horizon round these parts. Finally we got to the check in. Or registration thing. There was a museum there too, full of skeletons of animals who'd got too friendly with the humans.

The most abundant quadruped in Yala seemed to be the Elephants. The most abundant biped being Humans. Peacocks, too were common. The highlight of the journey was, though the Leopard. This carefree predator just strolled across the trail and walked leisurely into the bush across. But I still couldn't get any decent images of it thanks to the dinky little 3x zoom lens on the compact. And I had to use digital zoom(High tech image ruining software) to actually see it. I DID get it on film on the SLR too, but I still haven't processed it yet. These Leopards seem a little too calm, probably the reason their nearing extinction... Probably strike a pose when the poachers get near...

Anyway, by the time we were leaving, we were all covered in dust from head to toe and thoroughly shook up by the Defenders' movement. Then on to Kataragama to stay the night. When we got there, we cleaned up and went for a romp about town. So far so good, but little did we know there was no such "town", to romp about. We just got to a place called "Round Kade" and went in towards the gazillions of shops selling fruits and things as offerings to the various deities. Also a lot of bangles and chains and things.

The next morning, I went over to the restaurant looking to eat a hearty meal in preparation for the long drive home. But it was not to be so. The powers that be had decreed that whoever stays in this place should eat good ol' local/vegetarian food. Are not the worshipers pious enough to not eat the meat? And let the tourists have a regular meal, rather than eat grass? After the "meal", we set off for the temples. Yes, it's practically a mall full of places of worship. Look one way you see a mosque, the other way and you see a temple(Hindu or Buddhist). The architecture seemed a little, varied. At one point I saw a Snake doing something very questionable to a Swan, under it's belly. Saw a guy crack a coconut after shaking his booty for a while, purportedly to make a wish come true...

All in all, It was quite eventful, even on the way back. Just too lazy to describe any more. So people, there you go!


Mia said...

How cold was Nuwara Eliya?
I bet you are not scared of snakes, to walk through overgrown grass.
I saw a doco while back on SL leopards and how they are near extinction thanks to ruthless human predators

the_jester said...

Snakes? We didn't see any in the earlier mountain, which was more or less clear, ground wise. Also, Snakes would require fur to live in that place.

Ruthless human predators?

Mia said...

Poachers, in other words. : ) Apparently it is a big problem.

A group of leopard lovers from Colombo(forget what they call themselves) are monitoring the movement of the leopards and keeping a tab on the cubs to protect them.

It was a good while ago that I saw the doco,so can't remember the specifics.

the_jester said...

Ohh... Poachers. I thought you were talking about some of my teachers.

Leopard lovers in SL? Hmmm...