Hello all! This is Kirk writing this entry again as Cathy is tired. I’m going to try and make it fairly quick as we have to be up early tomorrow and have more adventures. We started off the day by traveling via bus to a Buddhist temple. We saw lots of Buddha statues and murals of the Buddha’s life.
I enjoyed the murals the most. Here is one showing the death of Buddha and going into Nirvana.
We then continued on the bus to a sea turtle conservatory. They hatch sea turtle eggs, raise them for 3 days, and release them into the ocean in an attempt to increase the sea turtle population. Here are a series of good pictures:
Next, we voted to go on a boat ride. The area was where a fresh-water river was mixing with the salt water ocean. We saw some jellyfish floating on the river as we went by. This boy was making money by having you pose with his pet monkey.
The boat took us to an island that grew and processed cinnamon (apparantly Sri Lanka supplies 70% of the world’s cinnamon). Here is a picture of the man removing the bark. They then slice the under bark off and this is dried to make cinnamon sticks. The leaves of the cinnamon tree are also very aromatic.
The last leg of the bus journey took us through an area of Sri Lanka that was hit pretty hard by the 2004 Tsunami. The guide told us that an estimated 50,000 Sri Lankans died in the tsunmai, including an entire passenger train (reportedly a 15 foot high wave). We saw many many remnants of houses that have not been rebuilt yet.
Here is a picture of a tsunami memorial that the Japanese government donated to the Sri Lankan people.
At the end of our bus journey awaited another nice hotel right on the beach. This beach had large waves and much surfing. We came just in time to catch a fairly decent sunset. A nice feature is that there is a grocery store across the road where we were able to re-stock on some items. That brings us to now and to an early bed for an early rise!