During breakfast we make plans for the day, and decide to go to a place called ‘Jungle beach’, it is too far to walk, so we will go by tuk-tuk.
We soon find a driver who can bring us there. He knows the way, stops and leads us the right way to the beach, the place is beautiful and we see huge insects crawling on the path and exotic fruits in the trees. Monkeys are noisy above our heads in the trees and at the beach tuk-tuk driver Lal shows us different shells, corals and hermit crabs. All around the beach is luscious and green and we love it. There are some men at the beach and as we don’t want to provoke, nor have any idea of the local values about women bathing, we stay at the beach.
We ask Lal to show us some other places too, he brings us to the temple where a monk offers us some colourful little sweets. Seeds (anise ?) full of flavour covered with a sugared coating. Interesting. We go to the local market so we can buy some fruits. He drives like an idiot, continuously using the horn, it says ‘tuuuktuuuk’, and we have a slight idea where tuk-tuk name originates. Soon we find out that everyone seems to drive like an idiot and there is a kind of system… combination of speed and noise defines the place at the road. Everybody seems to understand. So it works.
I love to see how my food grows and how it is processed and Lal understands soon enough what we enjoy and he stops by every now and then to show us. Hulling of rice, a herb garden…
He stops the tuk-tuk at a fuel station, talks to a man, short time later someone leaves at a motorbike, we follow. Small local roads, puddles and holes, leading to a small farm. Men sitting on the floor in an open shed, cutting cinnamon bark from the branches. Rolling it together. Some laughter and people proudly showing us how they prepare the bark. Under the roof the poles are drying, until ready for sale. The place smells heavenly, the true woody fragrance of Ceylon cinnamon.