Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Sri Lanka - Matale

The best braai spot in the world!
It was a long and winding trip down from Nuwara Eliya to Matale, with plenty of hairpin bends to make me slightly car sick ;) Finally, it was a VERY narrow road up a steep hill before we got to the house in Matale.  

The scenery from Nuwara Eliya to Matale is lush with plenty of waterfalls
But the view was worth every bit of the nerve-wracking climb.  Perched on a high hill, the house overlooks a valley of lush green forest and tea plantations.  You can hardly see the houses below because of the cover of palm trees, giving the feeling of being all on your own in the middle of the jungle - it is absolutely spectacular.

For the next couple of days while we relaxed at the house, the weather was nice enough to hold off the rain for most of the time.  We spent most of the day under the trees in the garden just staring out at the view.  

A dandolena enjoying a Jumbu fruit
And being entertained by a couple of dandolenas, which are giant squirrels, running around the Jumbu tree.  They run around looking for ripe fruit, before grabbing one, eating one and then dropping the half eaten fruit on the ground.  They're pretty messy eaters...

Emerald dove
We were also able to catch a few birds that we hadn't seen before, including the endemic Sri Lanka yellow-fronted barbet, and a couple of black eagles that were floating around. 

Showing us how to get cinnamon sticks from the tree bark
In the evening we spent time playing pool and escorting a particularly nasty looking black scorpion out of the house!  

Scarlet minivet (female)
Matale was absolutely fantastic, you could spend hours just sitting outside staring out into the wilderness.  But too soon it was time to head down the hill and onto Colombo for a few days before heading back to Tanzania...

Enjoying the view...

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