This morning we depart for Galle after a leisurely breakfast. We enjoy a stop en route to visit the Weligama stilt fishermen and watch them going about their daily routine. In chest-deep water just a few metres off the shore, the stilt fishermen perch on a single pole planted into the sea-bed. This is a common method of fishing amongst the locals in the Southern part of Sri Lanka.
Continue to Galle, arriving in the late afternoon the rest of the day is at leisure.

This morning we enjoyed an early morning jeep safari in the beautiful Yala National Park. Yala is the best location to sight and photograph the rare and remarkable leopards and other highlights of Yala include wild elephants, bears, wild boars, buffalos, deer, crocodiles and many species of birds. The National Park ranges from open parkland to jungle with waterholes, streams, small lakes and lagoons.

Unfortunately we did not come across the leopard or Sloth Bear but the elephant rampage was scary stuff.

We returned to the hotel for breakfast and the rest of the day was relaxing by the hotel’s pool.

A longgggg, windyyyyy, road trip today - yuk! Beautiful tea plantations all the same and some lovely high country scenery.

After breakfast, you can enjoy a morning “Tea Experience” with a visit to the plantations and factory. First introduced to the country in 1867 by Englishman James Taylor, today tea is Sri Lanka’s main export. You will be able to personally acquaint yourself with the art of tea plucking and learn about the full process from planting and varietal differences to the auction process and tasting.
The remainder of the day is at leisure. Relax in your bungalow or explore the local trails which wind through the tea gardens by mountain bike or on foot.

Today we enjoy a scenic train journey to Hatton, regarded as one of the most beautiful journeys in Sri Lanka. Witness green rolling hills and tea pickers at work in the tea plantations, and wave back at the school children waiting for the train to pass by as they cross over the rail tracks.
Arrive at Tea Trails, a cluster of colonial-era planters’ bungalows packed with period furnishings. Each bungalow has its own housekeeper, chef, butler and houseboys – you’ll feel like an honoured guest.

This morning we depart for Kandy, with a stop en route at the Spice Garden in Matale to discover the different spices Sri Lanka is famous for.

We continue on to Kandy for a city tour incorporating Upper Lake Drive, the market square, the arts and crafts centre, the gem museum and the Temple of Tooth, the sacred temple home to the palm-leaf transcripts dating back to 1687.

Kandy is rich with temples, shrines and monasteries and is an example of Buddhism’s influence in Sri Lanka today.

This morning after breakfast we climb the fifth-century, UNESCO World Heritage-Listed Sigiriya rock fortress, also known as ‘Lion Rock’ due to the huge lion gateway that once stood at the entrance. On one of its stairways, frescoes which are the only known ancient work of Sinhala secular painting can be observed. 

This morning after breakfast we departed for Sigiriya, with a visit en route to the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, which was founded in 1975 to house abandoned and wounded elephants. More than 65 elephants now reside here including baby elephants brought from various parts of the country and those born as a result of the captive breeding program. 

Afterward we visited Dambulla with its rock temple dating back to the first century BC. The caves of Dambulla sheltered King Walagamba during his 14 years of exile from Anuradhapura.

We continued on to Sigiriya arriving late afternoon where we had some time to unwind before our group dinner.

Early morning start for flight to Singapore, all went to plan.

7 hour layover at Changi airport then late night flight into Colombo arriving there just after midnight local time which was 4 ½ hrs behind Brisbane so both very tired.

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