7 Days Sri Lanka – the “gifted” trip begins…

Finally I’ve got the time and mood to sort out the photos for our Sri Lankan trip which was at the beginning of this year. Just 2 weeks 4 days before my EDD – if I don’t do it now, I don’t think I’ll have much free time to even think about doing it for at least the next couple of months.

God works in unexpectedly amazing way that brings pleasant surprises to our lives.

Melvin and I were trying to 避年 (avoid the usual talks about starting a family topic) during CNY – certainly not the topic we wanna talk about especially after the miscarriage not too long ago. Hence, we planned a 7D7N trip  (6-14 Feb 2016) to Sri Lanka during the CNY period this year.

We engaged a personal driver cum local guide, Neel Lambert, to drive us from the North of the country down to the South and back… Yup, I know, it was such a short span of time and we had a lot to cover… probably not the wisest choice, but Mel and I was thinking we’re never gonna come back again (hubby don’t like to re-visit countries, especially when they are not that city-ish) so let’s just try to cover the prominent touristy places will do. Hence, our road trip begins…

We visited Sigiriya early the following morning after taking a brief night rest at a beach B&B in Colombo. While the scenery at Sigiriya was definitely worth the walk and hike, the heat there was unforgiving – freaking 37 degrees scotching sun!

After a stay at the pretty neat Sigiriya Thilanka Resort and Spa for the night, we continue our day 2 of trip to the Temple of the Tooth Relic, before we make our trip down to Kandy to see the Royal Palace of Kandy, Kandy town market, and watched their cultural dance program before we called it a day.

We started our third day with Peradeniya Botanical Gardens and then took a 3 hours drive to the foot of Adam’s Peak for our morning climb the following day. We had an early rest that day as we were told to wake up at 1.30am for the hike up Adam’s Peak the morning morning in order to be in time to catch the sunrise, the weather at the foot of the mountain was cooling around the 20 degrees and it was an easy 3rd day for us.

It’s THE DAY (4th day) of the climb! We dragged ourselves out of our bed at 1.30am. It was rather cold, temperature dropped to below 20. But we dressed lightly as we expect lots of sweat and heat from the long hike up Adam’s Peak ahead. The journey up was tired as the steps were steep, it took us 4 hours to hike up. Caught the sunrise and then went down quickly as we’re freezing by then at the tip of the mountain in our perspiration-soaked tees. The journey down was even more arduous – our legs were already protesting from our hike up and shook uncontrollably the whole way down (about 3 hours). It was an amazing experience nonetheless. Little did I know that, I was already carrying Little Matthew then (about 3 weeks pregnant) – I’m glad the three of us all made it to the top together and down – a whole 8 hours of hard work! 😀 Well done my strong little boy – so strong even in mummy’s womb!

After a shower and brief breakfast at the inn, we left the Adam’s Peak region and head to Nuwara Eliya – commonly known as the “Little England” where it’s surrounded by layers after layers of tea plantations. We were rewarded for our hardwork earlier that morning by luxurious greenery (Tea Castle), waterfalls (Devon falls), and great cooling weather! The hotel we had for night was at the city central of Nuwara, it was really nice and comfy – Grand Hotel, Nuwara Eliya.

After a good night’s rest, we are all ready for our next adventure (5th day) in the city of Tissamaharama , and the main item will be it’s Yala Safari. After a sumptuous lunch at Tissamahara city center, we took a Jeep towards Yala Safari! Among the many animals, we were really lucky to see the Leopard!  (However, my camera wasn’t ready enough to capture a glimpse of the leopard before it sprinted off 😦 ) It was a great adventure, but as it was drought season, most animals we saw looked rather skinny and malnutrition 😦 I hope they can become chubbier during the better seasons.

Melvin and I booked a “Treehouse” for our night in Tissamaharama – Saraii Village. The place is a little difficult to find, and access as it’s pretty inside (from the main road) we drove past it several times before actually finding it after some help from the locals staying around the area. It was a unique experience, rustic but well furnished. The only part that was slight difficult was the “cold water shower” – no heater, no aircon (but was given mosquito net). It wasn’t that bad as it was rather cooling at night. Beware, there’ll be bugs flying outside the mosquito net, and you’re sleeping to the sound of bugs and croaking toads…

We headed towards Bentota for our 6th day of adventure in Sri Lanka. Apparently this place is famous for its beautiful waters – beaches and a large lake, and of course SEA FOOD! Oh man – finally something different to look forward to besides curry and rice for our meals 😀 (honestly, my body was already rejecting curry by day 3). Love the fresh seafood at Bentota – enjoying every meal! We first visited the Galle Fort, along with a couple of Bentota beaches as we drove along the costal area. We manage to caught a glimpse of traditional fishing practices by the locals. We stopped for lunch at Mama’s – apparently a rather famous place for it’s fresh sea food 😀 Slurps!

After lunch at Mama’s we continue our trip with the Mangrove Bentota River Safari where we ducked pass bridges and through into the mangrove jungles. We saw some awesome wildlife and baby crocodiles and watched the sunset on our return back to the port.

The highlight this day was our 1 night stay at Jetwing Boathouse by Yathra! We had the entire boat to ourselves, with our dedicated service crew, security and captain to sail us through the long lake that passes through the city. Totally worth the $$$! Did I mentioned that the seafood meals were delicious too?!

For the last day, we were mainly chilling on the boat and at the beaches in Bentota. Our driver-guide was kind enough to invite us to his house for a refreshing homecook dinner by his wife and mother-in-law. We had a great adventure in Sri Lanka and would certainly miss this place deeply! After all, we were so blessed in this trip – this trip is technically our first family trip together with our little Matthew (in my womb) – our precious gift from God 😀

Thank God for keep us safe and sound 😀

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