Exploring sri lanka’s western Province Part II
“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.”
We arrived in Ambalangoda around an hour after leaving Panadura, the nice chap who suggested we stopped here came out and negotiated good rates with a couple of local Tuk Tuks which were waiting outside before he disappeared to catch another connecting train to his home town. I am not sure if he had any vested interest in us visiting these places or not. After a while you do become a little suspicious and wonder if they are being friendly or just want something from you. At face value he didn’t as he vanished after helping us out with the Tuk Tuks, I guess we will never know!
A short Tuk Tuk ride from the station we arrived at the river cruise place. The cruise was a couple of hours long and you visited the numerous islands on the way. The nice chap on the train had told us what the price was but just to be on the safe side I checked with the people there first. They quoted me a slightly higher price; I soon sorted that out and we were charged the price the chap on the train had told us. We set off on our boat cruise and shortly after leaving and much to Katja’s delight, we came across someone on a boat with a monkey, yes, I know, very random! But for a small fee we could hold the monkey and take photos etc, etc! After giving this random chap some money for letting us hold his monkey, we were off again. The next stop was at a river fish foot massage place. It was quite an interesting experience to dip our feet and have fish come up to us and nibble at our feet. This was then followed by a yet another random moment in which they brought out a baby crocodile which we could pet, this baby crocodile eventually made it onto my head. As you can probably guess, they too wanted some money! The tour took us to another island where we visited a temple and had some string bracelets given to us by a monk. This was then followed by Cinamon island and then back to base. Katja charmed the guide and he let her steer the boat, once again, much to her delight!
Our Tuk Tuk drivers were waiting for us and were ready to hit the road once again. We decided to scrap the turtles and mine, and just go to another temple which was highly recommended before heading back to the train station. The temple was located in a pretty remote area, I was wondering if the 100 cc Tuk Tuk would actually make it all the way there! Fortunately it did. This temple is currently undergoing work as you can see from the scaffolding but houses some amazing paintings and sculptures. The views from the surrounding gardens were amazing. The whole place offered peace and tranquility which was a very welcome change from the hustle and bustle of the roads and trains. We then headed back down the hill, made a quick stop at a local bakery and headed off to the train station. The ride home wasn’t as busy as the way out, Cathy even manage to have a seat, this was thanks to a local who gave her his seat! This meant we could take in the beautiful scenery throughout the trip. The train runs pretty much parallel to the beach; so as you can probably imagine, the views are simply breath-taking pretty much all along the way. As we pulled into Panadura station, I decided to do a little video which is just below:
Panadura Train Station
Part V – Exploring the western Province