Note the surprised tourists. The thing is, I grew up watching these acts at the temple in my hometown and to me, they were always acts of devotion, a way to show your faith to your religion and a way to show gratitude when you got what you prayed for. During this performance, it was very obviously highlighted how the performers have to pray first before walking on coals. Even the prayers were such a performance. I didn't quite know how to feel about the whole thing. I'm not a religious person at all, but i felt extremely uncomfortable to watch them sell their religion so blatantly. Maybe i'm overreacting, but why include the whole religious ritual in the performance when it is so obviously a performance?! There is just something wrong with paying to watch someone pray and then tipping them for it if they did it well.
Anyway, train travel is the way to go in Sri Lanka! Its super cheap, not that hard to get a seat, and the seats aren't uncomfortable. Sure, it takes a few extra hours than a bus, but I found it to be much more convenient and who can resist those endless wada's and snacks that were constantly peddled..
The country is actually a lot more beautiful than what my pictures show. Somehow didn't feel like taking pictures during this trip and just drank up all the pretty scenery with my eyes.
From Ella there's a bus that you can take to this falls for only a few rupees. It was vast and beautiful, too bad it was such a rainy day.
At Ella, I stayed at Ella Gap Tourist Inn. Surprisingly, the price quoted (1500SLR for a double with hot water) was cheaper than what was mentioned in my outdated guidebook. It's an awesome guesthouse, the owner and people working there go out of their way to make you feel at home, room was so clean and comfy and to think of it, of all the places that I stayed at in the country, this was the nicest. The restaurant served awesome food, just like every other restaurant I ate at. Sri Lankan food is amazing stuff. Its the right kind of spicy, the kind that makes you sweat slightly but you can't stop eating coz it just tastes so damn good.
Mirissa is so gorgeous, the most gorgeous beach I have ever seen in my life. The picture above was my first picture of the beach. I told myself I'd take more pictures later but i got lazy :D
|View from the train on the way to Ella|
|More green scenery|
|Auto rickshaws, a shop selling Marie biscuits, a lorry, railway track, some hills and Sri Lankan people|
|Stuck my head out of the steam engine train and took this picture.|
|Ravana Ella falls|
|Rainy weather makes the water muddy. According to the auto driver, it's the colour of tea|
|Highway with mountains behind, Ella|
|Puppy at shop in Ella.|
His name is White and the weather was cold that day, hence the blanket. Extremely cute but he tried to chew my shoes off (while they were still on my feet)!
|Electricity got cut off so we got an oil lamp|
|beautiful Mirissa on a slightly cloudy day|
The beach has got a nice surfing scene going on. The ocean was so rough with really big waves and the beach was a bit crowded but even then I would love to go back, it is that pretty.
|Closer look. I wonder how many get electrocuted each year.|
|Bus stop, where the stray dogs go to sleep each night|
Bus stops seemed to be the place animals congregate. From a window of a bus, I once saw a big black buffalo hanging out at this bus stop by the road. It was taking up nearly the entire bus stop and seemed to be enjoying the shade while the local people gathered around it and waited for their bus like it was the most natural thing in the world.
|Beach at Negombo. Less touristy than Mirissa but also less pretty.|
|Boat on the beach|
|Sunset at Negombo.|