Sri Lanka Day 9

Hi Everyone

Am starting to lose track of the days and dates. What day is it? I need to check into reality. Unfortunately, that will happen sooner than later. ]

When we left off, on the last blog, we had arrived at our hotel in darkness and did not know where we were except our room seemed like it was in the middle of the jungle. Woke up this morning, looked outside, and we knew that we were in the middle of a Sri Lankan jungle. The resort is very close to the Yala National Park. After some moping, we decided to venture out. For the new subscribers, moping is what I do when I am tired and want to be left alone. You mope around your room doing nothing and accomplishing nothing. Just mope. Try it. As soon as we opened the door, you know what hit us in the face. Of course, “Africa Hot” and I really mean “Africa Hot”. It was so hot and steamy that I could barely have some hot coffee. The dining area is open air and there are large fans trying to keep you cool. After breakfast we walked to a small lake area in back of our unit. Each unit has two attached units. All on the ground floor and each unit is separated by some jungle. We were told to watch out for crocodiles and that they venture out of the water. Outside the dining area is a large ant hill. There are many in the area. We saw a large ant eater come out of one of the openings of the ant hill. He needed some breakfast as well as us. I wonder if he had hot coffee or prefers hot tea. There were three water buffalos in the water just looking at us and probably saying “Who said we don’t have a brain? Look at you and us. Who is smarter now?”. I took some pictures and then we went back into the A/C to cool off. When we arrived last night we heard some noise sounding like it was thunder. We then ventured out and walked to the beach. The waves from the Indian Ocean were creating the noise as the waves hit large boulders on the waters edge. Olivia said that I had gotten too close to the boulders and waves. Anything for a chance at a good picture. Saw some large elephant footprints in the sand. We then journeyed back and saw a sign within our resort. The sign warned guests that sometimes elephants venture into the resort at night. If you are carrying a torch (what they call a flash light or cell phone light) drop it and the elephant will be distracted to the light so that you can make it to your room safely. Have you ever been in a resort that warns you to watch out for elephants? We haven’t. It was then time to listen to the soaking water buffalos and go to the hotel pool for a long swim. The water was not treated with chlorine nor was it salt water. So refreshing. Don’t ever call water buffalos stupid. They know how to beat the heat. Of course, we went back to the A/C to do some decompression and relax. The “Africa Hot” takes a lot out of you when you are my age.

At 2:30 it was time to gather and meet for our jeep safari to Yala National Park. Before we met, I ventured back to the small lake to pay a visit to my new water buffalo friends. They were laying in mud outside the water. I told them
I would not copy them, even though it looked like the perfect way to beat “Africa Hot” and bid them farewell in their temporary water buffalo A/C unit. As I had previously said yesterday, Yala National Park is on the Indian Ocean and home to the most leopards in the world. We were loaded into four safari jeeps that were much more comfortable than the previous safari when we saw the Sri Lankan elephants. Each jeep had six large seats and were open all around. The top had a large rubber mat over us. Right outside the entrance to the Park was a small herd of wild boar. I felt great and had the thought of taking beautiful pictures of leopards in the wild. As we drive along a dusty road, we saw lots of beautiful birds. Stopped and took some great pictures of various birds and some eagles. These are not the type of eagles we see, but smaller. There were lots of peacocks. We saw a peacock unfold his feathers trying to impress a female near by. A real show off flaunting his equipment in this manner. That was so beautiful. We kept on seeing lots of pelicans, wild boar, monkeys, water buffalos and an occasional elephant. We also saw a large iguana walking right in front of our jeep without a care in the world. The iguana looked like a small Kimono Dragon. Where are the leopards? We finally stopped at a rest area. There were other jeeps parked and the area was up against the Indian Ocean. There was a monument. It was at this place on December 26, 2004 that 47 people died when the Tsunami hit. This was the same Tsunami that had hit Thailand and created such damage and death. We were told that there is a warning system in place, but could not see any sirens. When we were in Lima last year, they have large sirens placed all over the City to warn people of a tsunami. It was then back to the entrance and to our hotel. Where are the leopards? Guess what? Never saw any. Life goes on and the search for leopards continue.

It is currently raining here. We hear the down pour hitting our beautiful A/C unit. The beds are twin beds under a large canopy. You can also enclose the bed units with a lace sort of fabric. We did. It created a cocoon and was very comforting to feel enclosed like that. I have loved sleeping under mosquito nets for this reason and it reminded me of that.

Time to temporarily say goodbye. I still need to find out what day it is. Tomorrow am thinking of joining the water buffalos.