After waking to the calls of wild peacocks at 5am, we got to see our surroundings in the morning sun.
Not to be out done by the meal last night, our hosts had prepared another feast, with a selection of local dishes for Breakfast. Including many sweet things like coconut filled pancakes and cakes, as well as savory treats like samosas.
Sanjay our host recommended lots of things for our two day itinerary, so we put our trust in him and went with what he had planned. Today he advised we visit Dambulla Cave Temples, so we jumped on his tuk-tuk and headed off. We expected him to take us straight there and drop us off, picking us up later, but instead he took us on a wonderful tour of the local area and ended up staying with us the whole day from morning till evening.
Our day included local sights like the large lakes that surround Sigiriya, each time he saw something of interest whether it be a landmark or an unusual bird, he’d stop the the tuk-tuk for us to take a closer look. Enroute to Dambulla the nearest town to Sigirya he stopped at a road side seller to get us a king coconut, they were huge, we couldn’t drink all of the water inside. He joked we would need a ‘jungle pee pee’ if we drank it all. As we tuk-tuked down the winding roads we reached Dambulla fruit and veg market, where again Sanjay parked up and took us on a tour of the market. No tourists here, only locals and through his love of food he told us about all the different items on sale, many of which we’d never seen before.
We reached Dambulla temple, with a giant golden buddha, we stopped here and climbed the steps to the top of the hill. Then back on the tuk tuk towards the caves. Sanjay in his usual style gave us tips about our visit, like not to hire a guide. We climbed the many steps in the lunchtime heat, not great for us but it meant less tourists. On our climb we saw plenty of monkeys cheekily playing and scavenging for food.
At the top of the hill were five cave temples, each adorned with as many buddhas as you could fit in one place. We enjoyed a look round and then descended the steps. Back in the tuk-tuk and off we go again on our journey to a lake recommended by Sanjay for it’s view of Lion Rock, enroute he took us to a local super market to grab snacks for lunch and also gave us a run down on Sri Lankan spices, telling us to buy them from here on our last day, rather than the expensive Spice Gardens.
He then drove on and pulled into a local fruit stall getting some mango and also a fruit we’d never tried called Soursop, it was crazy sour, and the vendor sprinked salt on it as he prepared it to take away the extremeness. We really liked it.
Then onwards to the lake for a photo opportunity, Sanjay recommended we climb Pidurangula rock at sunset (the one on the left)
As we entered the temple at the entrance a few locals started talking to Sanjay getting excited about something, it was a crocodile in the lake, we all rushed down the hill to see it. It looked like a rock but never the less worth seeing.
We then started to climb Pidurangula, this took around 35 minutes, until we reached the flat rock face at the very top, the view from here was just stunning. We sat and watched the light change as the sun set behind lion rock, a really mesmerising end to a pretty full on day.
We were then driven back to the homestay where we enjoyed another huge spread prepared by Mali Sanjay’s wife, enjoying a local Lion beer and a good chat with a couple from India who were also staying. Then to bed, as we were shattered!