AKL Adventurers - Aug 19 - Aug 29, 2018
Chaminda was our excellent Tour Guide with Atullah the Coach Driver & Sushi the Luggage/spare driver assistant. They were a top team that just got better & better every day of our intensive tour. Chaminda in particular led the way with a passion for everything about Sri Lanka. His knowledge was v wide & informative & could answer any query !! He couldn't do enough for us often going to a lot of trouble to make sure stays at hotels etc were the best they could be. All of us will recommend him to anyone we know who'll visit Sri Lanka in the future as we'll be confident they'll be so well looked after by Chaminda.
Brief precis of highlights; Galle Fort & history that set the scene for understanding recent Sri Lankan settlement history. Then because a couple of us had heard about Horseshoe Bay on the way to Yalla Nat Park, the Coach stopped there for a couple of hours. Stunning surf/beach setting.........just idyllic & one of us surfed & another swam out to enjoy a beaut swim. We all liked Ella v much + trek up Little Adams Peak. After that, a short walk to nine arches railway bridge was stunning where we watched train go over. V nice stay at Mountain Heaven too. Sigiriya Rock an outstanding visit. Spent a while there & at the summit. Afterwards a lunch put on by Villagers near a lake in their humble place was a real highlight. At least 8 ethnic dishes cooked over open fire & mostly prepared in front of us, that were delicious.........all of us declared best Sri Lankan meal by far !! Dambulla was good with the Cave Temples. While in Kandy went to an excellent Cultural show in a local hall prior to the Perahara Festival that night. Visit to the Tooth Relic Temple as well as watching all the elephants in the surrounds was great. Visit to Polonnaruwa was good even though v v hot !! Chaminda knew the history so well. We wanted to go to the Pilliwarra Elephant orphanage as a side trip & what a terrific occasion that was !! 3 of us drew tickets to bottle feed elephants, watched up to 40 elephants in river, then they all walked freely right past us in the access lane back to enclosures. Breathtaking !! Finally a drive around Colombo at finish excellent with a stay at Mandarina just beaut.....................best pool ever too on rooftop !!