Siguriya to Kandy

August 15

Up and out after breakfast, but I wasn’t up to the climb to Dambulla Cave Temple, so we just stopped and took a couple photos. Then we headed toward Kandy. We stopped at a few Hindu temples as we approached Kandy.

On the way we also stopped at a wood carving factory and I saw the multitude of woods they have in Sri Lanka and use to carve anything from furniture to masks. They use the wood of what we call the rainbow tree to make the natural paints. It was fascinating to watch as he shaved some sawdust off of a piece and then added hot water to it (red), then rubbed lime/lemon on a strip of iron and stirred it in to make a blue/purple, then sprinkle in a little lime powder and stir to make a yellow/gold. Coconut milk is used for white and boiled to make black and green is made using leaves. They had people sitting at tables working on various carvings. Of course I bought a mask!

When we arrived in Kandy

we stopped at a Batik Factory where the process was demonstrated. It was also really interesting to see what a difference it made in how well the fabric (silk or cotton) took the color to run it through a bath of either vinegar or salt before putting it in the dye bath. The process is exactly the same as I use for the Ukrainian Easter eggs. Even the tool they use to apply small details looks like the one I use to apply the wax on the eggs.

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Batik factory in Kandy with samples of each step and an illustration of the process.

We also stopped at a spice and herbal garden. It was so interesting to see a rubber tree up close and personal and I had never seen what the pepper plant looks like so I enjoyed that too. So many different herbs and spices all grown in one garden area: cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and vanilla to name a few. They brew/mix and of course, sell all manner of salves and potions, scents and medicinal treatments.

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This lovely man was my guide through the spice garden. He is holding either a nutmeg seed or a rubber seed.

Finally, a stop at the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens. These gorgeous gardens were first planned out in the mid-1700s. They cover about 150 acres of trees, lawns and flowering shrubs, including 50 acres of arboretum with more than 10,000 trees. In 1821, under British rule, the park became a botanical garden. It is the largest of Sri Lanka’s three main gardens. There was an Orchid house, which has more than 300 varieties. Here the thing that stood out the most to me were the “bat trees.” I called them this because there were literally hundreds of fruit bats roosting in them. They were noisy as they jostled for spots or just hung from branches. There were many within the arboretum.

Then up a VERY narrow road to the hotel where I had a little time to relax before dinner on the roof top.

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. adriannderson
    Sep 23, 2016 @ 10:41:08

    The Hindu temple is so colorful! I love how vivid the colors are. And the bat trees remind me of Stellaluna! How cool.

    Reply

  2. allaboardforadventure
    Sep 23, 2016 @ 10:45:05

    Right? I thought of Stellaluna too and it made me giggle to myself.

    Reply

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