THE ROAD TRIP TO KANDY BEGINS!
We knew we had a long old journey ahead of us on the coach to Kandy, I believe from Colombo we are looking at a 5-6 hour journey with a coach full of sleepy and hungry students in this absolute heat.
Luckily for us Martin had planned to split the journey up with 3 pit stops on the way.
Pit stop number one?
THE MILLENNIUM ELEPHANT FOUNDATION!
We had been driving for about 3 or 4 hours when we arrived at The Pinnawala Elephant foundation!
There is a huge difference between orphanages, freedom sanctuaries and foundations. Each place is different but where we were the elephants were able to roam and wander. I have always found it a difficult situation for such beautiful creatures to be around!
We bathed with these elephants and gave them a good scrub down, saw where they slept each night and watched as they wondered around the area whilst a member of staff followed them around. They had chains around their neck, but these weren’t tight, and they weren’t being pulled on.
They were free to roam, but, with these on. Although it wasn’t nice to see it was better than being tightly chained and prodded And jabbed, unable to move at all. They are being rehabilitated, whereas the elephant orphanage down the road had the most terrible reputation. It’s such a touchy and difficult situation but I loved seeing the elephants none the less!
Some of my course mates rode the elephants because you had the opportunity to! For me I don’t agree with this but everyone is different. To be able to feed them their fruit and stand beside them and have pictures with my girls was an experience and a half, I am so glad it did it.
The elephants at this sanctuary will be released back into the wild once rehabilitated. One elephant was a log puller whilst another one came from a circus, better than where they were beforehand. I am really grateful I got to experience this with the girlies!
LUNCH AT PINNAWALA REACH!
Pinnawala Reach for lunch was really tasty, this was a lovely buffet at the Pinnawala Reach hotel so you can stay overnight if you wish!
This backed onto a stream and where you could see the elephants in the trees behind the restaurant. This was just around the corner from the Millennium Sanctuary and the food was SO Tasty. Another great stop to the trip to break up the long journey.
ST JOHNS BOYS SCHOOL
Before we arrived in Kandy we had to stop at St Johns Boys school, where these boys were brought up and taught and lived here. This was incredibly sad visiting this orphanage but also really heart warming.
We brought toys for the kids and they did a big show for us by singing and dancing on stage, we then swapped over and performed the cha cha slide for them and then the Macarena and a few other nursery rhymes. We blew bubbles and ate custard creams and tried some of their tea. They showed us to their dorm rooms and showed us their beds, their tiny mattresses and it really just broke my heart.
They were the happiest of boys and it was so lovely to spend time with them. They showed us their church and where they pray and then we played volleyball in a circle in their play area together. I definitely shed a tear, and it left me with food for thought.
ARRIVAL at KANDY CITY MISSION
We arrived at Kandy City Mission in the evening time which means we were to head out and explore for some dinner!
But before we could do that we had to climb up 4 flights of stairs to get to our bedroom! Me, Mel and El were all sharing a room which was nice, spacious and basic! 3 single beds with duvet and a pillow, an en suite with a shower and all the trimmings! It was perfect for our stay and we weren’t there long. We also had a balcony as well so we could step outside if the room was too warm or we could let some air in!
We had multiple pets for the duration of our stay including Gary the Gecko who lived in the shower and a lovely cockroach that we very quickly murdered in a plastic cup (sorry mate).
DINNER at the SKY LOUNGE
So after much exploring of Kandy restaurants, wandering up and down the same road, getting lost even following maps and taking a weak lift up to the top of a building that DEFINITELY wasn’t where we were supposed to be! We eventually found our way to the Sky Lounge!
For us I believe this felt like home comforts, Pizza, spring rolls and pasta dishes, your basic english food could be very easily purchased and I think after a full day of travel we just wanted something familiar and it was nice and not to expensive, easy to find too once you knew where you were going!
After a long old journey from Negombo to Kandy we were glad to have arrived and certainly slept well afterwards!
Stay tuned for our adventures and exploring Kandy!