The MountainWave Adventure Tour was a huge success. We are back in Colombo after almost 2 weeks of fun in the Sri Lankan sun. Attendees included Zachary (Machung, which means brother in law but is also a general term of endearment for a male friend), Leo (Ayya, which means older brother and is what all the boys at the beach call Leo), and Sara (Akka, which means older sister), and our master driver Mr. Ranjith. We traveled in a white mini van over hills and mountains and plains and floods and almost right over a mongoose.
Over the next few days we will illustrate, animate, and storytell you about our MountainWave Adventure Tour.
This is DAY 1:
One of the first things we did on our adventure was visit an elephant refuge/orphanage in the central highlands of sri lanka, on the way to kandy town.
it is called Pinnewela. there are elephants there that have stepped on landmines planted as part of the ongoing conflict that has plagued this country for over two decades, other elephants were orphaned when parents were killed by poachers or mines. We stood close to their massiveness, no fence no bars....just keeping a few feet distance as they were eating, being social with each other, playing together, little babies, a teenager with 3 legs (the 4th blown off by stepping on a landmine), and an old timer completely blind but part of the herd. the herd numbers around 60 elephants. we followed them down to the river for their bathing (some even laid right down on their sides....just stayed like that.....ahhhhhh, nice cool river). the yougins crossed the river right away, all making for a dirt patch and had a giant wrestling, rolling around on their backs session getting all muddy before crossing back to their elders for a proper bath. kids will be kids.
what struck me was the energy of their presence which was at once huge/strong/wild/raw and gentle/loving/innocent/playful/sad/joyful....
it was very moving to be in their intimate presence. i was thankful for the opportunity. how good it feels to be close to the raw expressions and experiences of animals and how good it feels to be far from the world of office egos and humans' habit of living behind veils of fear and strange social graces. how similar i feel to the animals.....just feeling and doing and knowing....and having that be enough.
the next adventure was botanical gardens. amaaaaaaazing. it dates back to the 14th century when the land was enjoyed as a king's garden grounds.
it is famous for the diversity of plant species, bamboo varieties, spice trees, and orchids......and BATS. I'm not talking big butterflies...I'm talking BATMAN, I'm talking "flying dogs", and they are flying overhead, they are hanging in the trees, they are EVERYWHERE. It's crazy.....CRAZY. More bat pics in the video and future blogs.
We stayed in an amazing place the first night called TREE OF LIFE. It overlooked vast lush green rolling hills. Looking out onto open green SPACE....how GOOD it felt after living and breathing congested busy loud city life the likes of which are crazy and unlike anything in the west. Already with that view we were in paradise. Then someone brought a chilled bottle of bubbly, a fresh tropical fruit platter, chocolate....just in time for us to witness the evening bat migration from the botanical gardens to, our best guess, their feeding grounds. And we sat together in awesome wonder as the silent sun set and marveled at the beauty of Sri Lanka...
to be continued.....
Peace in all directions~Dawgies