Sunday Funday…with Elephants!

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.

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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.

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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!

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Who doesn’t want/need a day with these amazing animals?!

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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.

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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.

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I’ve found that

“To awaken quite alone in a strange town is one of the pleasantest sensations in the world.”

 

Happy Sunday!

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Christmas in Sri Lanka

I’m exhausted. Drowsy and curry drunk. It’s the day after my fourth Christmas in a row abroad, and I am ready to sleep in tomorrow. I’ve trekked to the island of Sri Lanka. How that cane to pass I’ll detail a bit below. I’ve had a day tracking elephants. Before that I was dragging my tired ass into the central highlands through old tea factories and mountains, to the ancient capital of Ceylon. Driving here is for the iron nerved sociopath, and I’m beginning to think being a passenger is an even more desperate and depraved sport. This first scrambled bit is going to be short, as my thoughts are still turbulent on this savage place. My chutzpah is running low, but I will say this…

I was all set, enjoying the fuck out of Kuala Lumpur, basking in the unexpected goodness of new friends, cold beer, and eclectic dishes when I hit a snag.

Now I travel with a rather open itinerary as I’ve mentioned before, and sometimes this leads to all around, stars aligning glory. Other times it’s more of a mallet to the dong. I had asked the FaceBook world which path at this travel fork in the road I should take. Should I relax and beach it in Thailand, or should I get twisted and roll through the jungles of Laos? The votes were more or less even, with a bit more weight given to the jungle. But.. wait for it…I waited too long. Flights to Laos had tripled in a few hours rolling back from a fog enshrined Buddha.

Now I’m left to scramble. Let’s scan the skies and look for dozens of possible combinations across a slew of browser tabs. A few hours of logistics and where am I headed?

Motherfuckin’ Sri Lanka!

Mountains AND beaches, exotic flavor, and country #68! Compromise can be awesome.

Sitting next to the Indian Ocean on the Bay of Bengal makes for some epic scenery. Columbo as a city can be a bit like a sugar addled toddler. This place will keep your hands full. The savage nature has been amazing thus far, and so has the incredible warmth of many of the people.

The key factor for many, when it comes to enjoying Sri Lanka is getting out of the capital city of Colombo as soon as possible.

Which, that’s cool, but then you may be overlooking a gem of a city. I’m just not sure how to categorize Colombo just yet.

One thing I certainly did come here for…relaxation and elephants!

I’ve been enamored with the sunsets from the roof top pool and some stunning interactions with local mammals. I’m still organizing my thoughts on this crazy place, so this is just an introduction.

This is indeed, an island like no other…

Stay tuned for the next installment dropping shortly.

As always, I dig comments and email!