Thursday, April 14, 2011

+1 Holiday

As the Hong Kong winter dragged on with absolutely no indication of respite, the Hubs and I grew increasingly desperate for our last just the two of us holiday. We had been planning to go to Osaka for Sumo and cherry blossoms, with a side trip to Kyoto to see Maiko. With the earthquake and domestic refugees in Japan, it just didn't feel right to do that. We considered volunteering for a week, but then were advised that I wouldn't be allowed to travel there pregnant. So we parked Japan and pulled together a trip to Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka has been on my list of locations for some time now, though I knew nothing about it. Thankfully, it was a surprisingly easy trip to organise.

The flights were split HK-SG to Colombo, so I managed to squeeze in a quick visit home, which was an immediate plus for me. It was a three and half hour trip on both legs, a nice amount of time. Unfortunately, it was an awkward arrival time into Sri Lanka, with the plane landing just after midnight. In Sri Lanka, the convention is for drivers to be hired to take tourists around. It is possible for cars to be rented, but roads are mainly signposted in Sinhalese, and so it would be nigh on impossible for someone without knowledge of Sinhalese to navigate them. We were picked up by our driver at the airport and driven three hours from Colombo to Pinnawala. Why Pinnawala? This is why

What was that? Here's another clue

I'm sure it's obvious what Pinnawala's main attraction is now, but I have to pay tribute to my favourite elephants from the trip

First up was the slightly older elephant who had three legs. He lost one to a landmine in the civil war and it left him with a protective side. He now stands on the road and holds off oncoming traffic while the other elephants cross.

Next up is the determined elephant. This one was trying hard to get a log to play with. Sadly, he was chained and the log was just that little bit out of reach. He tried, and tried and stretched, and stretched.

Finally, the little one. Baby elephants were surprisingly sweet. Incredibly hairy and wrinkled.

The Pinnawala orphanage allows for bottle feeding the elephants, which gave me some opportunity to play maternal. All in though, it was a good trip and good fun. Perfect for a half day at US$20!

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