Kandy was a washout. The rain that has made the east coast a no go zone, hit the hill country with all it’s force. So bad was It that I purchased my first ever umbrella. It kept me dry but also in a perpetual battle against every other pedestrian, who were also wielding umbrellas. At times the pavements came to a standstill as they became locked together!

Two memories stick in mind. The first was going to visit a rather strange religious site. Of all the countries in the world to have Buddhas tooth in it’s sweet box, Sri Lanka would he low on the list. However despite nearly every colonial power attempting to steal it off of them, it now sits in an elaborate golden chest in the temple of the sacred tooth relic. It’s a bizarre affair as you wonder around the beautifully decorated interior where monks are drumming and distributing kilos of rice to the shrines. When you finally find your way to where the tooth is stored, you queue alongside hoards of locals each carrying a gift. The queue moves quickly though as you only  have five or so seconds to gaze upon the incredible golden chest (the tooth is apparently inside), surrounded by elephant tusks, before being moved on by security. If your Japanese you get longer. Sri Lanka loves the Japanese. As an attraction it’s one of the most confusing that I have seen. To set eyes upon such beauty, before having the door slammed in your face, without fully comprehending what you have seen, leaves you with mixed impressions.

The second memory was when walking to the tooth relic. Upon peering into the lake we found ourselves two meters away from a meter and a half lizard. What turned out to be a water monitor lizard resembled a crocodile when swimming and when attracted to our presence, a Komodo dragon, tongue and all as it edged out of the water. An amazing site to see something like that in the wild.

With the weather not looking like it was going to improve, I left Kandy and spent a day travelling up north to Sigiriya. It was a shame to leave so soon as it looked like it had a lot to offer in the dry but it gives me an excuse to return on another trip.


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