This place was really amazing.... AND free!
I think for most people this is a day trip from Kandy but we stopped on the way down from a disappointing few days t'up North. It might have been the weather which was atrocious, or the fact that I constantly felt I was being ripped off and seeing nothing much in return.
This was much better, partly at least because the sun came out. It is a steep climb up to the cave. The guidebooks are a bit sniffy about the huge Buddha at the bottom of the hill. It is huge and it does look plastic. However, once you've climbed up its like nothing else I've seen.
There is a danger of over-egging the pudding but I like eggy puddings. So, therefore here are some more bird shots from Bundala.
This time the pelican. Again, a bird that isn't going to win too many design awards: So much so it looks like it can't possibly actually work effectively.
It got to the point in Bundala where we didn't even bother slowing down for peacocks. They were two-a-penny. In fact, we barely paused for the tail fan-dance, thing. Quite a turnaround as 40 minutes earlier I hadn't ever seen a peacock with its tail up. I have to say it wasn't our decision to drive on but the guides.
This boy put on a bit of a show for us. He was spinning round showing his tail in all its glory. Never did get a glimpse of the hen he was trying to impress though.
I have to say that I absolutely loved this place. It was just 4 hours driving round beautiful scenery and seeing amazing wildlife every few minutes. The only downside was we were expecting to see flocks of flalelamingos and there weren't any.
It was far, far quieter than the next door Yala NP. However, Bandula doesn't have leopards. Which were amazing.... See previous posts. I couldn't say that we had the place to ourselves but you were definitely on your own most of the time. It was muy peaceful! The stillness, the dawn light, the coolness all added up to make this stunning.
I think, probably, that the stars of the day were the painted stalks, although we did see a whole load of amazing stuff... See future posts... these were just lovely and unusual, elegant and gawky. Yeah, I though they were pretty cool
This is one of the iconic sights of Sri Lanka: People fishing from poles stuck out in the sea. The only thing these guys fish for now are tourists.
We managed to haggle them right down in price by walking off (convincingly) and then letting another group pay the full price to view them on the poles and then we chucked a small amount on top. However, I did feel like I was being exploited. Not sure why though. I'd happily pay to watch actors or dancers put on a show. Why shouldn't they earn a living from it? Also, nobody was unpleasant or forced us to pay or was underhand or anything, but still... I think it was because even once people had paid they really looked they would really rather be doing almost anything else.
Also, now I come to think of it I still owe my mate Dean for my share of their fee. Ooops!
In all those years we lived in Brunei, I never saw a single hornbill. This, apparently, is the Malabar pied hornbill. I hadn't realised quite how big they were. I suppose it stands to reason though when you think about the weight on its head it would have to be quite big.
These are supposed to be quite rare sightings in Yala, but we saw at least two.
Warning! There now follows a lot of effort for a fairly poor gag!
The second one was, of course, our last Roler so we didn't share it!
This was really close to us! So much so that it was only as we went past it that he became visible. The jeep was quickly slammed into reverse and back we went, a few metres, and there he was. A feeding wild elephant 3, maybe 4 metres from us.
Just pulling strips of leaves off the trees, standing on them and then using his trunk to strip the leaves from the woody part of the tree and then, again, using his trunk to push them into the great pouch that is his mouth, masticate , repeat.
It was all very careful, deliberate and slow. No one was going to rush this animal unless he decieded a bit of rushing is what you needed.
During our time in Sri Lanka we saw a massive range of wildlife: From blue whales to bee-eaters, peacocks to pelicans and elephants to eagles (and a whole bunch of other stuff too!).
This Crested Hawk Eagle was sat in tree by the side of the road tearing apart whichever poor, unfortunate beastie it had caught for it's tea.
I've broken with tradition and am working backwards through our Sri Lankan adventure, mainly because it just got better and better.
Our penultimate trip was to Bundala National Park, which is amazing. I'd been to Yala before and really liked it, but was loving Bundala... more of which anon. You just couldn't move for cool fauna; I was busy thinking of clever blog topics along the lines of 'don't both with Yala, its busy, just go to Bundala, it's quieter and you see amazing birds and animals. Yes, there are no leopards but, hey!'
The next day we were bouncing around Yala and I was thinking much the same, when we saw a leopard in a tree.... Really, really cool and the cynic in me just died. Well worth going to see.
To see this we joined a huge queue of jeeps and waited for our turn to gawp at it. We were really lucky as, when we got to it, it woke up. Up to this point it looked like a rug drapped in tree. It even turned around so we could see its head. Needless to say, Mrs E. was buzzing about this and really thrilled as she had missed out on this last time because girl child was ill and didn't go on safari.
Excitment over, we carried on driving around the park seeing all kinds of cool things (again more on this in future posts), but they weren't as cool as big cats. However, as we went around a corner in a deserted part of the park we saw this bad boy lying in the road. No one else around just us and him a few metres away.
This will be a blog about my latest shots and what I liked or was trying to do with them
I am a teacher of Economics and have worked in various schools in Europe & Asia. One of the things I love doing is getting out and about with my camera.