This beautiful county has been on our list for a while, a long while. When Delta airlines gave us a generous travel voucher in return for volunteering our seats and waiting for the next flight (9 hours later), we knew exactly where those funds would take us.
And so our journey started in Colombo, where upon exiting the airport we had a taxi driver take us inland and north to Sigiriya. Three hours later, we arrived to our guesthouse, a no frills but clean and accommodating place. We were all pretty exhausted and were content to lounge around and soak in the new sights and smells. There was a sweet Sri Lankan little boy that spoke no English but was eager to play with Violet and Leo. After an hour or so of play, he learned to say “ready” every time he threw the ball back to them, melting my heart.
The following morning, with the help of our guesthouse owner, we hired a Jeep and ventured into Minneryia National Park. The expectation was “we may get lucky and see some elephants”, low expectations anyone? I would honestly say we saw close to a hundred of these beautiful and gentle creates. Elephants of all sizes, in herds, in pairs, some in the far distance traveling solo. These docile and magnificent animals went about their business and were not fazed by us. It was not just elephants, we saw crocodiles, water buffalos, birds and the list continues. It was breath taking, humbling, and grounding.
My prayer is that these animals remain protected in their environment, in their home. While this experience was truly amazing, I would give it up if this type of tourism will invade and threaten their habitat.
The next day we contemplated hiking up to Sigiriya Rock. We had been advised to wake up early and make the trek, however we were still jetlagged and knew it would be a battle to wake the kids up early. We were already in Sri Lanka, so very happy to be there, hiking up that rock would have not made it any more magical. We opted to observe it from afar, more specifically on our way out of town, through the car window.