Pottuvil / Sri Lanka · 2015 tree temple
Coming in from nearby Tamil Nadu, Sri Lanka felt like a soberer, stiller India, even though it was so much more concentrated, size-wise. Similar colors, semi-similar culture, but a little less randomness and scatter-stuff. It was like a slow detox, sipping on the light version of the same juice. Excellent juice, made from ocean and tea and sari-colors.
glimpse: TRAIN TRACK TREK TALES | Leading past ocean horizons, snuggly tea-valleys, and neon rice, Sri Lanka’s train journeys are de facto destinations, at least for tourists. But the train tracks carry more stories to those who listen: plots of struggles, resilience, and fortitude, plots of the people, of the people who travel the rails by foot, who live the rails.
glimpse: THE LAST TUSK |
Just one more, we said. One more can’t hurt. Let’s take that one.
Just one more, we said, again and again.
Until one day, there was just one more.
Sri Lanka · 2015 train worm
Ella / Sri Lanka · 2015 a most lovable bridge
Little Adam's Peak, Ella / Sri Lanka · 2015 green neck
Kandy / Sri Lanka · 2015 fountain heart
Oh, sweet salt water. To play in you, to be in you.
Trincomalee / Sri Lanka · 2015 green coast
Snorkels, sharks, sunburns.
Nilaveli / Sri Lanka · 2015 looking forward
places / stories
Arugam Bay / Not That Serious
Arugam Bay / Sri Lanka · 2015 catching a ride to the shore
Arugam Bay was a little too cozy, too surfy, too soft and sweet to be taken completely seriously, but I made some suitcase friends who were less bland than many backpackers.
Arugam Bay / Sri Lanka · 2015 no worry
Arugam Bay / Sri Lanka · 2015 bay for a day
Next door Pottuvil looked like it had never seen a tourist. If Arugam was a bubble, Pottuvil was whatever is left when a bubble bursts – free molecules, flying and falling and dancing.
Pottuvil / Sri Lanka · 2015 beach religion
One day we took a little trip to Kudumbigala, a rock monastery whose monks sure knew where to put their workplace. Those views.
Kudumbigala / Sri Lanka · 2015 Vikki
Kudumbigala / Sri Lanka · 2015 Elle
Kudumbigala / Sri Lanka · 2015 top of the rock
Kudumbigala / Sri Lanka · 2015 stony tongue
On the way back, we saw a giant, but I already told you that little story here.
Sigiriya & Minneriya / Safari Ethics
Sigiriya / Sri Lanka · 2015 top rock
That one was another penniless year for me, so we snuck into Sigiriya. Not all the way up the fat rock. Just a little, past the fence and close enough to get a sense for its dimensions.
Minneriya / Sri Lanka · 2015 convoy
Minneriya / Sri Lanka · 2015 only child
The interaction, or rather non-interaction, between jeeps and elephants at the world's largest Asian elephant gathering at Minneriya National Park was respectful until it wasn't. Some drivers stopped just a little short of those elephant toes and the mothers would start shielding their clumsy offspring. A common argument is that tourism helps conservation, but it's probably not a good sign if the only thing that keeps us from annexing every last non-human habitat is a bit of petty cash.
Minneriya / Sri Lanka · 2015 line-ups
Hikkaduwa / Smiles
Hikkaduwa / Sri Lanka · 2015 beach bliss
Hikkaduwa was a popular beach haven, discovered by the hippies and exploited by those who followed. I stopped by an orphanage that was affiliated, at the time, with a nonprofit I know, and they received me like an inspector. Everything was neat and clean, and some smiles were put on, but it was clear that it wasn't all smiles.
Hikkaduwa / Sri Lanka · 2015 smiley
Hikkaduwa / Sri Lanka · 2015 order in the zoo
South Coast / Hopping
Tangalle / Sri Lanka · 2015 in the shop
Tangalle / Sri Lanka · 2015 fishing armada
Tangalle / Sri Lanka · 2015 fisherman hut
With all its little town truffles, the South Coast had me quite the hopper. Pre-industrial fishing, temple islets, old town colors, it all sat well with me.
Weligama / Sri Lanka · 2015 palmy drop
Galle / Sri Lanka · 2015 cozy cobble
Matara / Sri Lanka · 2015 opportune temple
Sri Lanka · 2015 ocean train
My journey started and ended in Colombo, but I was too busy arriving and departing to take pictures.
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Not Pity-Poor: Grace of the Life Lottery's Runner Ups
fortitude and perseverance forged in a hard place
The people you see here are poor, but not pity-poor. They have less – much less – but they have lives and smiles like anyone else. They don’t need an outsider’s soft pat on the back to uplift them... see more
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