A Travellerspoint blog

JAN 15 GALLE AND DEVIL DANCE

Sharing Photo Opportunities

sunny 32 °C

GALLE
We wake up to purple face leaf monkeys swinging in the branches outside our room.
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We finish breakfast and catch a bus to Galle about 5 kilometres down the road. Bus transport is a bargain here. The ticket costs 15 cents each. GALLE is an old Portugese and then Dutch trading town and the Dutch built a substantial fortress around the original GALLE settlement to protect there interests in GALLE which was a critical link to the spice and gem trade in the region. The area in now an UNESCO heritage site and is gradually being restored.
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We walked the perimeter wall with lots of other tourists both local and from countries all over the world. We would take photos of them but more often than not others wanted to take photos of us posing with them.
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We visited the local temple.
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Many of the buildings are being turned into trendy shops and we window shopped looking at local art, woodcarvings, lace and fabric stores. We have a 10 course curry meal with rice shared for 2 for $10.
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We checked out art galleries and lace shops. Later in the afternoon we catch the bus home.

THE DEVIL DANCE
That evening we attend a local performance of the Sri Lankan devil dance at the Temple of Sri Celuththara Ramayana. It is just a 5 minute walk up the road to the temple. The show starts at 7:30 pm. Monks and dignitaries are on one side, paying guests on the other and a throng of non paying locals waiting breathlessly between us. The first hour or so various dignitaries give speeches in Sinhalese. Finally the show starts There are 18 sections to the stiory with 2 drummers and two dancers telling the story. We are served tea and various treats throughout the performance. We leave before midnight after 7 or 8 sections are danced but can hear the drumming into the wee hours of the morning.
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Posted by RDILL 17:05 Archived in Sri Lanka Tagged galle Comments (0)

JAN 13 - JAN 14 LEAVING BARBERYN

The Complete Deal

sunny 33 °C

AYURVEDA AT ITS BEST
Our last days ar Barberyn. The last yoga class this morning. I share hugs with Anoja and we share stories of our connections to shivananda yoga. How she was a brilliant actress and when her life unravelled found yoga. I share my meeting with Swami Vishnudevananda back in the 1970's as my first yoga teacher and how he would bark out postures in Sanskrit and come around and lovingly kick me into the poses. We have our last massages and herbal packs and tea bathes. We have a final consultation with the Ayurvedic Doctor and are given oils and concoctions to use when we get home. We answer a bunch of questions and she determines our constitutions. I am a pitha kapha dominant. Mani is a vatha kapha dominant. We are given lists of what foods are good for us and what are not so good. I am relieved to find that most foods I like are encouraged. I am somewhat dismayed that a few foods do not make the list - chocolate and alcohol among them. Shucks. We have lunch , check out and I say goodbye to my masseurs and staff and guests we have met.

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OUR MASSEURS

They resort has graciously agreed as part of our package with them to drive us an hour and a quarter south to our next destination in the Unawatuna area and our meeting up with Don and Kathy. I am impressed by their generosity. They respond saying they would have taken us back to the airport and this is no further in driving time for their driver, so we head south in plush air conditioned luxury.

By 3 we arrive at Dallawalla Beach and find our new accomodation. Not quite the same standard we have grown accustomed to, but the Summer Valley Boutique Inn is on a quiet road just minutes away from the beach on the south east tip of Sri Lanka and has convenient internet connection. We meet up with brother Don and Kathy, spend the later part of the afternoon getting caught up on our travels to date, then head out for dinner joining the tourist circuit at a swinging restaurant with a young surfer energy, and return after dark to get caught up on our travel blog.

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OUR NEW DIGS .................NADEE OUR HOST

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EATING OUT

Posted by RDILL 07:22 Archived in Sri Lanka Tagged dallewalla Comments (0)

JAN 12: TEA PLANTATION

What One Won't Do For A Good Cup of Tea

sunny 33 °C

THE TSARA TEA PLANTATION
We are getting into a rhythm now. Yoga from 6 to 8. Breakfast. Swim. Treatments from 10 to 12. Lunch. Afternoon excursion. Today we catch a bus that takes us for a 90 minute drive into the hills to visit a tea plantation - tour the site and premises for a couple of hours - and then drive back again. We learn the 5 stages of tea making : the whole process to prepare tea once the leaves are picked and brought to the facility takes 24 hours or less.
1: Plucking- 1 1/2 leaves for green, 3 1/2 for black
2: Withering - air drying in large trays and turned frequently
3: Rolling - the leaves are put in a big machine that rolls them into curls to break down the fibre
4: Drying - the leaves go through a drying process that dry heats them to a 90C high temp for a few minutes. This is the only process that differentiates green and black tea Green tea is steamed for 90 seconds instead of heat dried
5: Sorting - the leaves are sorted based on size to make 24 types of black tea

They didn't include this in the process but it was an integral part of the process.
6: Tasting - we then sampled as many of the teas as we wanted.
Only problem was I didn't really like any of them. Realized I am not a serious tea drinker but the ginger cookies they served with the tea was great, even though it would not of passed the Ayurvedic diet test.

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TEA PLANTATION. TEA LEAVES

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BRINGING THE HARVEST IN

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WITHERING TRAYS ............. THE ROLLING MACHINE

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SORTING MACHINE

Posted by RDILL 08:54 Archived in Sri Lanka Tagged tea country Comments (0)

JAN 11 - MARKET DAY

Everyone Comes To Aluthgama on Mondays

sunny 33 °C

OUR BEACH
Monday is market day. All treatments are done by lunch. There is just enough time to take a leisurely dip in the ocean. There is a reef just offshore that breaks the waves and a wonderful sandy beach and bottom behind. Perfect for a nice swim. The water temperature must be around 28C.
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BENTOTA BEACH

MARKET DAY
In the afternoon we catch a tuc tuc that takes us to the market in Aluthgama the closest commercial centre about 2 kilometres from where we stay. The market is fun and our driver takes us around and explains different exotic veggies and fruits. We taste three of the many types of bananas. We go into a spice shop and see spices being ground. Mani wants a hat and comes out of a small boutique with a dress and pants as well. It is a chance to see the Sri Lankan village life in action. There are tuc tuc and cars and people everywhere. A new tuc tuc costs $3500 so they are not real cheap but fun to weave in and out of traffic with. We share the tuc tuc with a woman from Tokyo and quickly become best friends. Back home for a final swim before dinner.
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TUC TUC BABIES

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MARKET STALLS

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DIFFERENT RICES............FISHY GREETINGS

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BAGS OF SPICES ............. SNIFFING CORIANDER

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OUR NEW FRIEND TEKATA

Posted by RDILL 08:23 Archived in Sri Lanka Tagged and swim shop Comments (0)

JAN 10 BOATING UP THE BENTOTA RIVER

You Never Know What You May Find

THE BENTOTA
Our Sunday excursion is a boat outing up the nearby Bentota River. We catch a bus and are deposited at the mouth of the river transferred into small water craft and spend a couple of hours exploring the river. It's a great way to see the countryside from a new perspective. Here is the BENTOTA in photos.
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MANI WITH HER NEW OILED HAIRDO. ........OUR TRUSTY GUIDE - CAN YOU SPOT THE IGUANA

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THE MANGROVE SWAMP ............ BUDDHA ARISING

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THE MORNING AFTER................. THE HANGOVER IS GONE

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BEST RESTING PLACE ON THE BENTOTA

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A FAMILY OUTING. ......... GREETINGS FROM A FELLOW TRAVELLER

Posted by RDILL 09:53 Archived in Sri Lanka Comments (0)

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