Saturday, April 16, 2016

Where the wild things are

At the end of another trip, and again Sri Lanka has left me lost for words. Our last week was inspiring in a way that cannot be captured – by words or by my camera. We traveled with John and John to the most stunning natural places I have been to – Yala National park, and Ella, home of mountains, tea plantations, and waterfalls. Even without the company it would have been an incredible trip, but being able to share my beloved Sri Lanka and it's wonderful and strange idiosyncrasies with family made it perfect. We talked and drank and ATE our way across the country and gathered memories for a lifetime. Rather than try to account everything that happened day by day this blog will again be mostly photos – a tiny fraction of what I took but hopefully enough to give a taste of what we saw. 

Miracle of miracles - we were told going into the park we had a 50% chance of seeing one of the illusive leopards, and less than that of seeing elephants. Somehow, on both days we went in, we saw both creatures. Caught sight of this leopard sunning herself on a rock for just a few seconds, but it was breathtaking. 

We stumbled on a family of elephants as well - several mothers with their calves. Having got very close to domestic elephants here I didn't think it would be too exciting, but something about the animals in the wild was awe inspiring. 

Despite the majesty of these rare animals, my favorite part of the park was the rich diversity it contained. We identified over 30 species of birds, and around 20 species of reptiles and mammals. This lake held dozens of different water birds, a squadron of crocodiles in the center, and a ring of eagles and kites around the edges. 

 Peacocks were everywhere. 

I loved these little Bee-eaters -- they darted across the road like flying jewels every few minutes. 

We saw this eagle eating breakfast - if you look closely you can see the snake in her claws. 

One of my favorite sightings were these mongooses, who liked to run along the edges of the road. 

Wild pigs didn't just live in the park - they snuffled around our cabins at the resort,  and their smell was ever present. 

This large crocodile lived in a lake in the resort. Ready for leftovers! 

My favorite moment of wild-life meets hotel-life.... these black faced Langiers enjoyed drinking from the relatively safe crocodile-free pool, much to the amazement of the child behind him. 

From Yala we moved on to Ella, and stayed on a wonderful organic, local empowerment focused, tea plantation and farm. The view from our 100 year old house was amazing - we got to watch the clouds roll across the mountains every morning. 

We also hiked up Ella rock for another glimpse of the vast panorama of the valleys.

Finally, the four of us at our lovely house in Galle,where we started our trip in a house surrounded by birds and monkeys and fruit trees with a view of the sea. 

1 comment:

  1. So nice that you' were able to see so many animals in the wild!