Hard Work

Life is hard on the road. We don’t want you thinking that we just sit on our butts and luxuriate all day on the beach. Being a Contemporary Nomad pushes the limits of endurance to the breaking point. Physical exhaustion is a real potential danger. Just click on the thumbnails below to read about our harrowing challenges.

Jeepers Creepers!

As beautiful as the rainforest walk in Sinharaja was, we spent the first couple of hours shaking off the kind of creepers we are not too keen on – jungle leeches. Only after they turned Tony’s foot into a bloody mess and me into a convulsing wreck, did our guide share his precious Ayurvedic leech repellent with us. The sticky paste was applied around the soles of our shoes and kept the suckers at leeches’ length and wiggling with disgust. Now why didn’t he give us that stuff right at the beginning?!?

For those of you who venture into the south Asian jungles, get ahold of some of that stuff before you start your treks. It can be bought at many road-side hole-in-the-wall shops throughout the country. We’ll definitely be looking for it in the future.

Sinharaja – A Day in the Rainforest

Taking a break from our lazing on the beach, Thomas and I decided to head into the hill country to check out the Sinharaja Rainforest Reserve, one of the country’s last relatively large stretches of rainforest.

Bandula, our knowledgeable guide from Sinharaja Rest Guest House in Deniyaya, made the day by locating a host of creatures that we never would have spotted on our own. We thought the day was such a success that it was worth its own pictorial. By the way, the giant tree snail was over three inches in diameter.

A Different World

Ten minutes in the country and I couldn’t get over how different Sri Lanka was from India. Why would I even compare the two, you might ask. Well, Sri Lanka and India have close ties, the people superficially look the same, and the countries are neighbors. In fact, the flight from Trivandrum in southern India to Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo only takes 45 minutes. You have to understand that a 20-kilometer bus ride in India takes about this much time. So it was natural for me to assume (and maybe a little ignorant) that Sri Lanka was only an extension of India’s southern states Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

Clearly, I was mistaken. The first difference I noticed was how Continue…

Hungry Like the…?

OK MTV generation, here’s a quick bit of Sri Lankan pop history. Take a look at the cafe that Thomas is sitting in. Does it look familiar? Have you seen that strange ceiling construction somewhere before? Think wobbly ceiling fans. Still need a clue? Think 80s, think attitude, think hair… Continue…

Woodapples

I always get excited discovering a new variety of fruit – the tropical world is loaded with them. On our second day in Sri Lanka, we came across what looked like an oversized passion fruit. After asking what this fruit might be, we were told it was a woodapple, and that it was used to make Continue…

TnT Arrive in Sri Lanka

TnT’s excellent South Asian adventure has just landed us in exotic Sri Lanka! That’s right, Toto, we are no longer in India.

We’ve come to Sri Lanka for two reasons. The first, of course, is to explore this phenomenal island taking in its idyllic beaches, fascinating Buddhist culture, and wild national parks. The second, a much more practical reason, is that we have to Continue…

Sravanabelagola

Thomas, Emma, and I spent the day at Sravanabelagola discovering one of southern India’s most important Jain holy sites. The key attraction is the enormous 17 m (56 ft) statue of Gomatheswara on Vindhyagiri hill, described as the world’s tallest free-standing monolithic stone statue. (I don’t know if it really is the tallest, but it is certainly quite impressive.)

We also plugged our way up Chandragiri hill to check out the temples and holy footprints. (Jains love feet.) But obviously they didn’t love our feet; visitors to Sravanabelagola are requires to climb the solid-rock holy hills barefoot, and with the burning temperatures here in Karnataka that was no easy feat! (Pun very much intended.)