Last time I posted I’d given you all the highlights of the first week of my trip. Another week has flown by and I can’t believe I’m already writing the second instalment of my adventure.
So last Friday me and 23 of the other volunteers went on a weekend trip to explore more of this beautiful Island.
The first stop was white water rafting – this was incredible. The slight fear of death by crocodile was put by to paddle our way down some pretty angry rapids. Near the end the guy in charge of our boat told us to jump out and float the rest of the way. It was like something out of Jurassic park, this winding river surrounded by lusciously green mountains. I was half expecting a teradactile to fly over and take me away.
Then we headed on to our next point of call which was Mackwoods tea factory. Deep into the hills, the smell of tea did remind me of home but then I saw cake and my minor moment of home heart ache was soon subdued – it was chocolate, enough said. The woman who showed us around was adorable and she had such a knowledge of the process and they were very proud of the company that was originally British, you know from back in the day when we wanted to own everything! I did end up buying some tea which is going to be a pain to carry around for the next two months but it is so tasty I couldn’t leave it behind.
After this we headed to our hotel for the night. It was pretty basic but I was sharing a room with Imogen and it was kind of just like having teenage a sleepover we put the world to rights and then headed to sleep. The area we were staying was called little England because it was bloody freezing compared to everything else. I actually slept with a blanket on for the first time in a week!
Next morning we woke up at half 4 to get to the start of the worlds end hike for 6. If anyone is ever in Sri Lanka you have to do this! It’s only a 9km round trip and I saw the most beautiful landscapes I think I’ve ever seen. I also braved these ridiculously heavy breath inducing steps to get a sneak peak at a gorgeous water fall.
After that we headed back on the coach for what felt like forever. But we did stop at another waterfall and see some monkeys which was pretty crazy. The next hotel was gorgeous and we had little villas between four of us, and there was a pool!
We then headed out to see the Hindu and Buddhist temple, this was one of the most humbling and culturally eye opening things I’ve ever done. There were hundreds of people dressed in white and offering flowers and food to the temple. There was an elephant as well, I think it’s meant to show the wealth of a temple if they have an elephant but my mind was pretty much blown from walking a metre away from the thing.
We got given bindi’s by local children and we all placed a lotus flower at the temple as a sign of respect. It was an amazing sight and completely takes over all your senses. The faith and community is so beautiful to see.
The next day we did a safari in the national park. This was really cool to do but I didn’t overly agree with how the jeeps charged at the elephants, it all felt a bit tourist fuelled, I did also fall asleep. It was warm and fairly long and we had an early start, I definitely wasn’t the only one!
We then got to go to another hotel for a gorgeous buffet of food and another chill round the pool before heading back to the house.
Me, Imogen, Anna, Molly, Lucy, Katherine and Aimee all moved to the bigger volunteer house on Sunday which after a slightly awkward first night was definitely the best decision. It was so much easier to chill with everyone and nice to get to know more people around meal times. Only downside was the new addition to the girls room, rats. They ran across a ledge near the ceiling, it wasn’t great to hear their feet at night whilst trying to sleep!
I’m splitting this week into two posts because so much happened and if anyone is still reading I would truly be very surprised!