Temples, Cricket and lunch in Gardens in Kandy

A slower start today and we enjoyed breakfast with a beautiful selection of foods by the most gorgeous staff. So willing to help.

I made the traditional Sri Lankan breakfast ( after the egg hopper)

It is milk rice topped with treacle with a banana mashed in and topped with fresh cinnamon. Delicious.

We left for the Temple of the Tooth, a short walk through busy little street. Our street seems to be the hardware street. Shops selling basins, toilets, lawn mowers , brooms etc.

On arrival it was shoes off and a full body search including a pat down. Security is high since bombings in 1989, 1998 and again this year.

The Temple is famous throughout Sri Lanka.

The golden roofed Temple of the Sacred Tooth houses Sri Lanka’s most famous relic – a tooth of Buddha. You don’t actually see it as it’s contained in a special multi layered box. It’s heavily protected and holds not just religious significance but political as well.

There were so many locals there with offerings to leave. There are three rituals a day called Tevava. It’s similar to a puja. We happened to be there at the 9.30 one when many of the people were praying as the three drummers and trumpet player walked around the altar.

The ceremony then moves upstairs where worshipers line up with their offerings to file past the room with the tooth.

It was hectic , noisy and difficult to negotiate with our big group!

Back outside Steve our a candle for a friend

and walked through the grounds and watched as more and more locals arrived with their offerings.

Next stop was a bus ride across the lake and out to the new cricket stadium.

The cricket tragics – Mark #1 loved seeing the new oval and would love to have seen a game in action.

Back on the bus through the traffic and chaos that happens when schools are let out for the day.

We spied an outdoor laundry.

And the view back across the lake

Before arriving at the gardens for lunch. What an oasis in any city to have this green space.

We sat under a large tree eating our ‘take away ‘ lunch provided by the hotel. The wrap was nice but were not sure about the cold chips!

The trees and bamboo in the gardens were spectacular.

Our final stop before some free time was an outlook over the city. Where, of course , there was an opportunity to buy something.

A few of us went to the local markets , where we were assured we were getting local prices ! If only they realised we would probably buy more if they left us alone.

Feeling weary, our group of shoppers went to find the boys who had gone for a drink. There we were in a busy Kandy street looking for them when a man approached saying. ‘I’ll take you to the Australians’. We trusted! We followed! And two blocks later we entered a bar and there they were. Mike had paid him to find us! And he did. The wonders if the Kandy bush telegraph.

On the road to Kandy

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.