Once upon a time (2017) I spent Christmas in Sri Lanka. post here
Quite often, spending the holidays abroad (especially Christmas day) can be a lull in the otherwise grand adventure. I find that hitting a non predominately Christian country, and planning an epic excursion can quickly combat the holiday blues. This trek to Sri Lanka was completely unexpected, so an elephant sanctuary seemed totally appropriate.
I talked a bit about the sanctuary in the previous post, but wanted to expand on that and include more pictures. The Pinnawala elephant orphanage hits hard right in the feels.
Pinnawala is an orphanage, nursery and captive breeding ground for wild Asian elephants. They have the largest number for this type of orphanage anywhere in the world. This isn’t a situation where you ride them, bathe them, or they are forced to perform tricks. I’ve been to those type of places, and they can be a quite a bummer. These are wild animals, rescued and rehabilitated, so you can observe them, but that’s about it. Pinnwala was founded in 1975 for baby elephants orphaned in the wild. They currently have 85-90 elephants on site.
The site sits around 2 hours outside of the capital city of Colombo. When arriving by mid day, one is treated by watching the elephants’s daily trek to the river. (my favorite part)
Christmas with the family can be awesome, but it can also be an exercise in drama filled frustration. Good news about elephants…no such thing!
Who doesn’t want/need a day with these amazing animals?!
I will eventually write longer pieces about traveling over the holidays, this is just an excuse to share elephants and spread some joy at the end of the weekend.
There is something about a day spent on a river full of frolicking rescued elephants, snapping a few pics, sipping lime juice smoothies and enjoying bright warm weather… best Christmas present in recent memory.
I’ve found that
“To awaken quite alone in a strange town is one of the pleasantest sensations in the world.”