5 o’clock in the morning and the alarm clock is ringing. It’s still dark outside when we grab our breakfast package and step inside the jeep. Safari time! Sitting in the closed back of the car this early morning, going fast on the Sri Lankan streets while it starts raining a little (some say it was just heavy fog) can be a little scary. On the other side: the faster we go the faster we arrive at the entrance to the national park! We are the first jeep arriving there and so there is no queue to get the tickets. Around 1000 Rupees each (~7 Swiss francs) is quite a bargain compared to Yala national park in the south of Sri Lanka where the entrance fee is around 40US$!
Short after entering the park our driver got really fast on the dirty and from the nightly heavy rains deformed roads as he spotted some elephants far away.
After the 3-4 elephants, every by himself, there were “only” peacocks and eagles sitting in the trees beside the road. But the road and the way crossing bridges flooded by water was adventure enough too. We were joking about getting attacked by an elephant standing in our way or something similar when there was suddenly a family of about 10 of the big grey animals blocking the street. With two or tree children, the smallest protected in the middle of the herd, we thought: that can be really dangerous! And so the big “father” started shaking his ears to tell us to be aware and not to come closer! But they were eating in front of us for at least 10-15 minutes, amazing!
After this we returned to the hotel to check out and to get prepared for the long way to Bentota. On the way to the hotel there was heavy rain. So we decided to not go to see the rock of Sigiriya. I really like this place and also the view from the top! But on a rainy day we thought going to visit the rock temple of Dambula would be the better idea.
Sarah didn’t come with us to the top because of she’s to afraid of the men with flute and cobra in a box. Ok, the man is not the problem, it’s more the snake. The entrance fee per person is 1100 rupees and after paying this we start to walk up the stairs to the top. No snake men were to see but a lot of monkeys playing around.
When we entered the temple we got also a guide how explained us about the history of the 2100 years old temple. This place is a place for Buddhism and Hinduism in the same temples. The old paintings ind the in stoned carved temple are amazing as the Buddha statues are. There are 153 Buddha statues in total in the 4 different caves of the temple.
Back outside of the temple we started playing around with the monkeys and took some pictures of this funny animals before walking back down to the car. Now we headed directly to Bentota what was about a 4.5 – 5 hour drive with one stop for deviled chicken and toilet. Arriving in Bentota we first visited the fish market to buy some red snapper and prawns for the beach barbecue coming up this evening.