31.03.2009 - 03.03.2009
View Asia 2009 on chrisalex's travel map.
From Kandy we got a bus slightly further north to Dambulla, which is a small town famous for its caves up in the hills. We arrived late at night, so just went straight to bed (after chris removed a frog from under the bed!). The next morning, at about 6am we left and got a rickshaw to the nearby town of Sigiriya, which is a famous large rock, which ancient civilisations once inhabited. We set off early in order to avoid the heat, it was a half hour journey to get there and then we started the long climb up. It took us over an hour to climb to the very top, it was rather steep and getting gradually hotter all the time. Just towards the base of the summit, there are a famous pair of lions paws which have been carved into the rock, the clever people say that some kind of civilisation once lived there and this was possibly a temple or gateway. We managed to make it to the top, and the views were stunning, we had the whole top of the rock to ourselves as well, which was an added bonus. All the way up the guides tell people to not go to the very summit of the rock as there are swarms of hornets up there, its all scare tactics. Most people climbed halfway up and then got scared of the hornet warning. The ticket to get in cost us $25, so we marched dutifully to the top to get our moneys worth. Surprisingly there were no hornets at the top. There were foundations of old buildings up there, but other than that it was just us two and a very green valley ahead of us!
Then we climb down, always annoyingly quicker, and passed some tourists who were just starting the climb then. Chris and I doubt they made it, it was nearly 35 degrees at that time. After that we headed back for a shower and a rest to avoid the midday sun. In the evening we climbed the hill in Dambulla, which was just up the road, in order to see the famous Dambulla caves, which contain many statues of Buddha, carved into the rock. The climb was tiring, but we made it all the way to the top. The caves were amazing, in very good condition due to lack of sun exposure, and the first cave (there were 5) was a huge reclining Buddha, 15 metres long! We stayed up there and watched sunset before plodding back down to bed!
Today we got a local bus 2 hours down the road to Polonnaruwa, which is an old acient city. It's spread out over a large area and they suggest getting a bicycle or a rickshaw in order to see it all in a day, but Chris and I decided to walk it instead, which we managed well I must say! Very hot work though and we are both now the colour of raspberries, as sun tan lotion is useless in this heat, you just sweat it off straight away! The ancient city contains lots of old temples and palaces, most of which have unfortunatly collapsed, but some remain pretty well intact! As expected, we saw a hell of a lot of Buddhas, but also many Dagobas, which are the big round temple things!
We are getting the bus back to Dambulla this afternoon, and then will pack up for our journey tomorrow to Anuradhapura, which is also Chris' birthday!!
Miss you all lots,
Lots of Love
Chris and Alex xxx