Jurassic Creatures

Sri Lanka is crawling with monitor lizards! Imagine our surprise when we first came across a 2-meter (6 ft) Jurassic beast on our way to Mirissa’s secret beach. This was the biggest and fattest lizard we had ever stumbled upon and, lucky for us, the grand opening for more lizards to come. From that point on, we’ve seen them everywhere.

Huge water monitors hide under fallen palm fronds along the beaches, swim across the mangrove lagoons or bask in the sun along rivers and lakes. Their smaller land monitor cousins often waddle through town foraging through people’s back yards and fighting dogs, cows, egrets, monkeys and cats for anything edible. Seeing these fascinating creatures move so effortlessly through any terrain always makes me stop in my tracks and gawk at them in awe.

A Taste of Sri Lanka

OK, so maybe we’re not suffering here in our beautiful bright orange beach bungalow as much as our last posting might have suggested. Yes, the palm-backed beaches are beautiful. But what’s paradise without some fantastic food.

So what is food like in Sri Lanka? An exotic adventure – and, unexpectedly, quite different from Indian food.

We wake up to a brunch of cinnamon-garlic-ginger Continue…

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…