See some wildlife, was also on our list. Sri Lanka has beautiful nature and a huge diversity of animals, birds, mammals, reptiles… We had already seen monkeys, had seen whales and turtles, and on our walks we had seen colourful birds and small reptiles.
On top of our list of course the big one, the elephant. There are so many options to see elephants, and we are asked several times whether we want to ride on an elephant. No, we don’t want to ride. We want to see the elephant in it’s natural habitat. So we will go to Udawalawe National Park, known for it’s elephants. On our way to our stay close by the Park, we already see some elephants, this feels so unreal! We make some pictures and feel so lucky.
Fruits & tea
We drop by at the place where we will stay, a man lives in the house and has an extension at his house with a few rooms and a veranda. We look around in his garden. Great, he grows fruits and vegetables and I am totally in love with his pineapples. I go out for a walk, as there is a path behind the house, fields of sugar cane here, just harvested and stacked up, ready for pick-up. I find a tree with fruits and decide to try, the peel is very tough, so I put a few in my bag so I can check later how to eat them. There are only a few houses here, and I am so in love with the place and the atmosphere, it’s agricultural land and some roads and paths crossing. I find a plant with blue flowers and recognize blue pea flower, I pick some flowers to make a tea later on.
Totally happy, our driver knows the fruit and tells me how I can make juice from it. I have to cut it, and luckily the house owner has some tools, as it is tough fruit. When the flesh is released from the peel, I have to add a bit of water and knead. Yes, knead. It feels strange, but at some moment I can feel the juice coming out. We strain it, cool it down in owner’s fridge, and drink it later in the afternoon. Those are my happy moments. Where I am the connection between nature and my food and drinks. I love this.
The men don’t know the blue pea flower and are surprised that I make an infusion with flowers and drink it. Funny stuff, as it gives a bright purple infusion, when some acid is added, it will turn into green-blue. Magic in a cup. A big lizard walks at the veranda, sounds of birds all around.
We have to set an early alarm for next day, as we will go to the Udawalawe National Park, and best time is around dawn. We get up while it is still dark, and we take a few cookies and crackers for breakfast, the owner surprises us. He got up early and made tea for us, nice tea pot and cups. Very classy.
I cross the road, walking, and there in early morning, under the trees, I hear some sounds. I keep quiet, not sure what it is. It is not fully light yet and my eyes have to get used to the darker place as I came from the lighted veranda. And suddenly I see the noise maker, it’s a young male elephant, eating from the bushes. Only a few metres away from me. This is soooo fantastic. After a few minutes he looks up, seems to feel disturbed, turns around and walks away.
I walk back and feel a bit drunk, as this felt so unreal. In the meantime our jeep driver arrived to take us to the Park.