Sri Lanka 10: Notes on the South Coast

Sri Lanka 10: Notes on the South Coast TANGALLE BLOWHOLE “This is ridiculous,” I hissed. “This is the most—” “Smile and say, ‘Rupees!’” Andy snapped the photo of the feeble jet of water squirting from the rocks. “Relax. At least it’s not the gouging we got at Sigirya.” “Wait,” said the park ranger. “Another is… Continue reading Sri Lanka 10: Notes on the South Coast

Sri Lanka 9: A Drive on the Wild Side

Craziest New Year’s ever? Well, how about the crashing surf roaring through the midnight black, and mosquitoes hounding your haggard face? How about volcano-spicy shrimp peeled apart in ratty lawn furniture and a glassy-eyed chef staring at you over his motorcycle? How about a dingy backpacker dive with lizards and spiders crawling the walls, a… Continue reading Sri Lanka 9: A Drive on the Wild Side

Sri Lanka 7: Kandy Botanical Gardens

I’ve witnessed a million bats tear-drop from limbs of a hundred ancient trees, and I’ve heard their godless squawking ringing through mid-morning’s breeze, and I’ve turned to my wife and said I thought these crazy guys belonged to the night.  Why won’t they shut up? I’ve strolled beneath the zig-limbs’-zag of squat trees growing themselves… Continue reading Sri Lanka 7: Kandy Botanical Gardens

Sri Lanka 6: Nuraw Eliya Road

“I am a silly father,” he tells me from the blackness of the driver’s seat.  And then he whips the wheel around another loop of a hairpin curve.  It’s grave dark outside, and our headlights feebly crawl down the mountain passes from the heights of Nuraw Eliya. The others are asleep, and he tells me… Continue reading Sri Lanka 6: Nuraw Eliya Road

Sri Lanka 5: Kaudulla Crazy Right

Crazy Right My first safari, and we hit the trail in the family car. Crazy, right? Right. Here’s what I remember: Late afternoon, sun washing over Ceylon plains and golden light spilling through humid treetops and I rush to buy park passes. A driveway loaded with jeeps and one family’s compact SUV because we thought… Continue reading Sri Lanka 5: Kaudulla Crazy Right

Sri Lanka 4: The Sigiriya Report

Crumpled, stained with footprints, and pockmarked with red slashes, this document lay wounded in a back corner of the Sigiriya Museum. I don’t know why I did it.  Maybe because I was sweaty and thirsty and more than a little sunburned. Maybe because I was still tingling with the thrill of stomping through one of… Continue reading Sri Lanka 4: The Sigiriya Report

Sri Lanka 2: James Taylor’s Legacy

His plaster bust watches over the entrance to the Hanthana Tea Museum: James Taylor, Scotsman, emigrant to Ceylon, promulgator of tea, father of the island’s most famous and marketable commodity. The placard at his cold, white side lists basic biographical data: the guy stood 6’4”, weighed two-sixty-something, and died at the relatively young age of… Continue reading Sri Lanka 2: James Taylor’s Legacy