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Sri Lanka 2022

Sri Lanka Day 13 – Aukana, Dambulla and Giritale

I settled the bill for the two days extras by card – 13,000 rupees. Amazingly due to the devaluation of the currency (the third one in a week?) what would have cost us £52 a week ago, now cost £40, the difference effectively paying for the washing.

We stopped at a giant standing Buddha in the jungle setting of Aukana, then going on to Dambulla, with an amazing collection of Buddhas within the ancient caves – one of the most atmospheric places we had been so far.

Afterwards we were taken to a jungle setting restaurant with a farm homestead feel and a large organic vegetable garden reached after crossing a swaying rope bridge. A good lunch of – guess what – rice and curry followed. We tried rose apples – picked fresh from the tree and the ants cut out deftly from the core with a penknife.

An optional extra this afternoon was to do a village visit. We opted instead for an afternoon at the hotel in Giritale – even though we went direct by unloading much of the luggage and taking the 6 of us in the small luggage carrying bus, we were still after 3.30pm by the time we arrived, having sought out ATMs that worked and snacks at the supermarket and wine at the wine shop.

It was a very pleasant hotel in a stunning location overlooking the lake. We think we made the right choice although those that went said they had enjoyed their village experience. We didn’t swim, choosing instead to relish the view and enjoy a bottle of wine on the patio after the sunset.

The others went in to dinner, but we chose to skip that, having had enough food at lunch to take us through to breakfast. Again we made a good choice as apparently the food wasn’t good although the breakfast the next morning was very acceptable.

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