Saturday, May 17, 2014

Vesak/Hikkaduwa Day trippin'

This week has been a bit nuts in terms of the locals.  It's Vesak, the day of the Buddha's birth, enlightenment and passing (I hope I have that correct).  So to celebrate everyone has put up these quite incredible lanterns.  They also give out free food and there are choirs praising the Buddha.  Out near the kids' school they built these amazing floats of animals that were on the nearby canal.  We live near Lake Beira which is where one of the biggest Buddhist temples is, so I knew we were in for a treat (you can read that any way you want).  I apologize for the quality of the night shots.  My little camera is useless!

The lanterns in our lobby.

Around Lake Beira.

One of the lantern entries...completely made of bamboo skewers!
Coming home from yoga on Thursday night I got caught in the thick of things and Galle Road was partially closed so I got to go on a driving tour of the festival.  It was actually quite neat to see everyone, their faces lit by the lanterns and excitement.  The municipality puts up these octagonally shaped lanterns and these big "Wheels of Karma" deals.  Then, there are contest to build lanterns which venerate the Buddha and tell his life story.  So while sitting in traffic I got to see a lot of them.  There were also tonnes of people crammed into lorries, who were quite gobsmacked by it all.  Because of the Buddha it's also a dry festival so the atmosphere was very family oriented and good spirits prevailed.  Lemme tellya they prevailed well into the night as well!  The Sri Lankans have their own version of a vuvuzela...nice.  It's so melodic, especially at 2:45 a.m..

So what with all these holidays the kids were home Wednesday and Thursday and then the weekend!  Argh! Too much family time!  So I begged, nay, beseeched G to come down to Hikkaduwa with me for the day.  I don't think he was all that keen at first but once you hit the open road with a few good tunes, things change.  I read somewhere that it is essential for humans to get out of the urban jungle and see green in all it's shades every once in awhile, gives our primate brain a woody. 

G and Captain Jacqueline Sparrow.

Gratuitous Yoga on the beach shot.

I am definitely staying here next time...would that look hilarious on your next VISA bill?
Anyway it was so relaxing.  Hikkaduwa is an old surf town and has a really great laid back vibe.  An added bonus was that there was no one there.  We had a tasty grilled fish lunch and went for a walk on the beach.  It's an absolutely amazing waterfront.  We are so lucky to be an 1 1/2 hr drive from all this.  People work their whole lives for what we get to see everyday.  Believe me, we do feel lucky.

To compound this good fortune, Galle is just down the road and we were "in need" of a sweet.  So we arrived and parked.  I went into Souk 58 and was a bit bummed in that there was another banana shirt.  How can that be?  What if I run into it at a one of my fancy outings to Food City or Arpico?  Fashion Faux Pas or what?!  So I consoled myself with a lovely piece of cake while G had a fruit salad.  I, then coerced him into going to "Dairy King" for home-made ginger ice cream.  It's amazing.  There are big chunks of hot ginger at the bottom..yum!  Of course eating this looking out over the Indian ocean with your sweetheart is also pretty amazing.
G at "Dairy King", Galle.

So I returned, refreshed and ready for the next little while.  It's going to be a bit of a whirlwind as we get ready to come home.  I'm also going to try to do the Galle Market on June 1.  Busy, busy, busy!

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