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Old 05-19-2013, 04:31 PM   #1
Suqsuda OP
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Sri Lanka

In October 2012 I rode a loop in Sri Lanka on a Honda XR-250. It turned out to be a kind reunion ride with some folks I met on Rally Indochina in Vietnam, plus some new friends. Mark Wyndham of Hoi An Motorbike Tours, who co-founded the charitable Rally, operates these Sri Lanka commercially.



After a fifteen and one-half hour direct flight from Seattle to Dubai on Emirates, a six hour layover in the club lounge in Dubai followed by a four-and-a-half hour flight to Colombo, I was digging my toes into the beach at Goldi Sands in Negombo, although jet-lagged and disoriented.



Day one.





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Old 05-19-2013, 04:48 PM   #2
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Stopped along the way at a shot where we ate 'wood apples.' Hard shell you crack open. The fruit is like a sour apple -- one that's been sitting in the field for a while. You eat it with a pinch of sugar.



At the time, Sri Lanka had been withering under a years-long drought, but our first day riding, we ran into a torrential monsoon downpour.







Here's a I-phone video of it:



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Old 05-19-2013, 05:21 PM   #3
Harrythekayaker
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I'm always amazed at the lack of road rules in Sri Lanka, and also the lack of accidents. If you have time, you might want to check out Horton Plains and Worlds End near Nuwara Eliya, it's a nice hike and the views are incredible. The last time I went, one of the private buses was trying to make it up the switchback road, and all the passengers had exited the bus and were attempting to push it up the road. The access road to the Horton Plains is excellent for bikes. Also, you might want to avoid the counterfeit clothing in the marketplace at Nuwara Eliya.
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Old 05-19-2013, 09:50 PM   #4
Suqsuda OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harrythekayaker View Post
you might want to check out Horton Plains and Worlds End near Nuwara Eliya, it's a nice hike and the views are incredible. The last time I went, one of the private buses was trying to make it up the switchback road, and all the passengers had exited the bus and were attempting to push it up the road. .
Went to Horton's Plain but did not hike out to World's End and went to Nuwara Elaya, start tuned. Right on the traffic, for sure.
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Old 05-20-2013, 12:14 AM   #5
Comrade Art
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Not to many ride reports about Sri Lanka. Looking forward to your story and pics
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Old 05-20-2013, 03:52 PM   #6
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It soon became obvious the rain would be unrelenting, so we had to ride in it. For reasons I can't explain, I hadn't bring real rain gear; just a flimsy rain coat. No rain pants. So I was almost immediately soaked to the skin. Boots were Aerostitch Combat Lights that I had treated with Sno-Seal, but I later poured a cup of water out of each boot. But I actually felt OK, so long as my head was dry. The riding was treacherous on a few stretches of dirt road that bypassed some highway repairs underway, and which were running with sheets of water.

Next stop Dambulla, a hill-top Buddhist cave complex dating to the first century B.C. We got there just before sunset, the rain stopped and some of us hiked the kilometer to the top in sodden clothes. Five main caves on a ledge beneath an overhanging cliff near the top of the hill. Spectacular views.





Giant recumbent Buddha:



Not my picture but this is one of the rooms.



Very peaceful there. That time of day, we had the place to ourselves. I went ahead and wandered around completely alone. Some of the caves lit by candle light. There was a small stone pond full of croaking frogs.
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Old 05-20-2013, 08:00 PM   #7
Toiretto
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Those Buddha pictures are awesome. I can imagine how peaceful it is there. Thank you for sharing.
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