We were lucky enough to have the privilege to travel around Sri Lanka with Sid, owner of Abode Tours and one of the managers of the Adobe Trust almost for 3 weeks. It was tremendous experience as we got in touch with local people in the way we could never manage to do so ourselves. And as a bonus we found a new friend in Sid - honest, reliable, caring and knowledgeable man with a great sense for humor.
We started our trip in the Sinharaja Rain Forest ( as we did not have enough change Sid bought leach socks to my son and acquire another pair for me free of charge - this a good example how nice Sid is - and indeed the socks turned out to be invaluable piece of clothing in the rainforest :-).
Another day we were taken to the hill country for trekking thought one of the most remote Tamil's plantation. It was hard trip 20 kms in length and 1000 m vertically. While we were trekking in high-tech boots (as the terrain deserved it) Sid and our Tamil trekker were lightly walking in their flip-flops (and waiting for us all the time). I realized how spoiled we are and how modest and tough they are.
Another day we were taken to the hill country for trekking thought one of the most remote Tamil's plantation. It was hard trip 20 kms in length and 1000 m vertically. While we were trekking in high-tech boots (as the terrain deserved it) Sid and our Tamil trekker were lightly walking in their flip-flops (and waiting for us all the time). I realized how spoiled we are and
how modest and tough they are.
The other day Sid got up at 4 a.m. to drive us from Ella to Lipton's Seat for wonderful sun up. We were the only people who managed to get there on the time.
We were also taken to a small tourist free temple hidden in mountains in a small cave. We were guided by monk through the whole temple and invited even into his living room, treated to kitul (a sweet syrup from the kitul palm) and finally the monk attached the blessed Buddhist's string bracelets into our wrists. It was unbelievably spiritual experience.
We went on safaris, visited local markets, tea factories, archeological sites and other temples, we attended Perarha (Sid found the best place in Kandy for Phareraha photographing :-)).
But between the most excited experiences we rank visit in Abode. We were driven to Knuckles and felt being very welcomed already on the way to the village when we stopped to pick up an arrack (Sri Lanka's spirit made from the versatile coconut) or for tasteful local lunch (roti, fried lentils, ..., bannas with jaggery - boiled and left to set hard kitul) an the tea of course from the local plantations (I am drinking it while writing this story :-)
Once we arrived to the village we were welcomed by grandma and grandpa, a nice pair of proud hardworking people. Immediately we felt like being at home. For all four days we stayed in the village and in the Abode in Knuckles mountains we were realizing how honest and modest local people are and with how little recourses they are capable to survive.
We were consecrated to harvesting of native herbs and fruits ( it is nothing better that the fresh curry made from local plants on an open fire).
We were taken to the abolished terrace fields and remains of an old village in Knuckles and to awesome views on surrounding peaks and rice fields. The whole stay in Abode was simply unbelievably mentally refreshing.
The only think we did not like on the whole trip was the fact that it ended. We can't wait for returning to Abode sometime in future to see the whole valley flooded by greenery of growing rice and to meet all the wonderful people again.
Thank you Sid for making our vacations so wonderful.