A hearty breakfast it was, and the local cuisine breakfast was an epic one.
I have a suspicion that the staff at Nice Place is secretly plotting to make me fat! Last night, my order of curry (it said egg curry & rice) came with 5 other accompanied dished!! Here I am again feeling obliged to eat and trying not to waste too much food. Seriously, this stuffing-me business is getting a tad bit out of hand. Plus it's not like I'm a walking twig, I have sufficient meat in all the right places and I don't need stuffing!
You can imagine my excitement when I spotted elephant poop! Elephant poop = elephants close by! My excitement was soon frizzled out when Kalum said it was at least 12 hours old, meaning it was from last night. Also, I got a lesson on how to read elephant poop as we saw more than one pile along the way. How exciting…
*feeling like a 5-year-old all over again*
"STOOOPPP! Hey! stop, stop, stop, stop, STOOOPP!"
Here I was all excited, my tuk tuk driver kept driving! Aiyo!! My tuk tuk driver, being the chicken that he is stopped way out from the elephant, and he had good reason too. Although the elephant looked harmless, it was on its own. And a solo elephant is known to strike without warning as to it, everything that gets closer to it, is a threat. Regardless, we sat and watched this gentle giant eat, and I felt like a Japanese tourist.
“Maadaam, it takes 2 hours to cover the site and its 8 kilometres long. You will need a guide as we can better explain this place to you and its history”
“Thank you, but I have this (waving my guidebook) and I’d like to take my time”
“No, the guidebook doesn’t tell you everything and you will miss a few things. You pay so much, it’s better you take a guide. And my fee is not expensive”
Yeah right. He was charging almost the same price as my entrance ticket! Forget it, the guidebook was sufficient and Kalum had some knowledge of the place too. And all of the guides will pester you and keep going on of how you should hire them, blah, blah, bloody blah. After successfully wading them off, with Kalum in tow, we started with the palace grounds.
Vatadage sits within this quadrangle and has 4 different Buddha statues, facing north, south, west and east. It has some of the most beautiful carvings I’ve ever seen. The pictures I took, came at the price tag of burning feet. Like I said, you have to take your shoes off. With the afternoon sun up, the stones were nice and hot. Combine that to bare feet, and you get a Malaysian fidgeting to get a good picture all over the quadrangle.
If you don’t have a tuk tuk like me, you could always rent a bike, which is located at the guardhouse as you approach, and cycle to Rankot Vihara. Now guides would either let you rent the bikes and follow you or take you on a tuk tuk or whatever vehicle you are in.
“I is sacurity! I follow you, whare you go”.
And he did. He kept me company on my long walk from Rankot Vihara to Gal Vihara.
Also do watch out for hornets… they seem to have nests all over the place. Lankatilaka temple is where you would end up just before Gal Vihara where the hustle and bustle of tourist returns. From there to Gal Vihara is just another 5 minutes; also all your transportation will be waiting for you at this point.
Maybe tomorrow, if he comes along, I could perhaps get him something or buy him lunch?
Next up: Village experience!