Yoga at 6.30 is always a good idea in a foreign place. It wakes you up and gives you the chance to have a good stretch.
Yesterday afternoon I swam about a kilometre in the beautiful pool which got rid of some soreness from the climb up Sigiriya yesterday.
The grounds of the hotel were lovely and quiet as I walked to the padi museum for yoga. Staff we’re sweeping and raking to make the grounds look even more pristine than they are already.
Turns out the teacher was my lovely massage therapist from yesterday.
Pam, Kathy, Jill and myself lined up on our pink mats and bent and stretched ourselves into a sweat. It felt good.
Then off to pack up before breakfast. I’ll miss this lovely hotel as we leave this morning for Kandy. On the map it doesn’t look far but will take some time. The roads are narrow and slow and we have two stops planned.
I love looking at the jungle so close to the road and the houses perched in amongst the trees.
The first stop is at the Regent 6 Herb and Spice Farm. An absolutely hysterical guy took us around the garden telling us about the plants and what they could do for us. Apparently they can cure everything. We were given a bit of a massage and it was fun to see everyone getting into the spirit of it. I did buy some massage oil for my sore swollen knee and some sandlewood oil for my face. Let’s hope it works!
Funny experience but if you go you shouldn’t feel pressured to buy. It is overpriced!
We moved onto the Matale Heritage Centre just outside of Matale. It’s a craft centre that draws on the traditions of the area and produces beautiful batik and embroidery.
We had to leave the bus on the roadside and get tuk tuks up to the centre. It’s in a jungle with trees full of monkeys!
We arrived for lunch which local woman had prepared for us. Really lovely local Sri Lankan dishes – mostly vegetable.
There were beautiful batik table clothes and napkins and the walls of the house were painted in rich colours and patterns.
The ladies who prepared the beautiful lunch explained each dish – all very traditional.
After lunch we went to watch the ladies painting the batik.
The work involved de-starching the cloth to setting out the design, waxing, dying, and removal of the wax for a second colour by boiling off the wax, repeating this process several times over…..’
We saw the house of the batik artist who is quite famous here. She had worked with Geoffrey Bawa. Her name is Ena de Silva and she died in 2015 though her designs are still being recreated. The ladies were working on a commission for a big hotel in Galle. The designs are beautiful.
Read about Ena here. She is like the Sri Lankan version of Australia’s Margaret Olley.
It’s wonderful to know the traditional crafts of this country are still being created.
This lady took us to the little shop and we bought a few things including a beautiful hand stitched elephants for my grandchildren.
We moved on to Kandy about 40 km distance away but it was slow going. We arrived at our hotel Radh at around 5pm. It’s new and about a block back from the lake and the Temple of the Tooth.
We had our own Melbourne Cup sweep so watched the race on the hotel’s large screen. It was rather fitting that our driver and our security guard won second and third place. They won a nice amount of money and were thrilled.
We walked to the lovely old Queens Hotel and sat by the pool for a drink, paid for by our first place cup winner John.
We finished the night with a lovely light dinner – after our feast at lunch it was all that was needed.