Postcards from Abroad

Whether your dream is to stay in a colonial-era bungalow in the middle of a tea plantation, an Indian princely palace, or to cruise in luxury the Irrawaddy to Mandalay, we never tire of searching for your next great travel destination. This is the place to share with us your most recent adventures.

Ayubowan! (Greetings) by James and Cate Fraser

Mudhouse Our eco Mud House visit triggered our Sri Lankan travels. Set in the forest, it was   quite   difficult to find as there are no signposts once off the main road and this added to the   anticipation. We were not disappointed!

 

 

 

What a gem! A traditional Sri Lankan life experience - architecture is based on traditional ‘wattle and daub’ methods. Structures are thatched and floors made of dried mud and dung. The place has no electricity which is all part of the charm, but it was amazingly hot during the day. Manpower is god over machines, where food is hand grown and cooked in clay pots using firewood hearths. That said it was incredibly comfortable with brilliant staff who lit lanterns at night creating an atmospheric glow and produced delicious food. Nothing was too much trouble.

Mudhouse 2

Dawn choruses of frogs and birds, bracing cold showers, bird watching, cycling and the 1st century BC Paramakanda Temple atop a giant rocky outcrop kept us busy. The shrine rooms under the overhanging rock contain beautiful frescoes and rock paintings. Most interesting were those that depicted visions of Buddhist ‘hell’, different punishments for various sins! The steep path to the top of the rock gives a 360-degree view of the surrounding area and one can enjoy the sunset.

Paramakanda Temple

Next Alankuda near Kalpitiya. Palagama Beach was a tropical paradise where time stood still. The cabanas are constructed from local resources with minimum impact on the local environment. The stylish but private, homely structures are set apart in beautiful grounds. Staff were delightfully friendly and helpful. This makes staying somewhere so much more enjoyable.

Palagama Beach

The infinity pool gives views of the sparkling ocean and is a perfect place to unwind. In addition, the surrounding shady but open huts with bright cushions provide shelter from the sun and are great places to chill. We opted to go Dolphin watching, would we see any? We hoped 4th time lucky! It was amazing, we saw hundreds of these beautiful frisky, frolicking creatures. It certainly made up for our previous disappointments in other countries. Finally, our James Bond moment was roaring full throttle up the beach on our return. Exhilarating.

Dolphins

The nearby 17th century St Anne’s Church is one of the most renowned Catholic shrines. Legend has it that a Portuguese trader had a vision of St Anne whilst resting under a Banyan tree and returned to build a church. When visiting we discovered that a million people had attended a festival a few days earlier. There was much clearing up being done by locals as most pilgrims had camped for a few days or more! A few stragglers remained in the debris. Most interesting was witnessing the sheer devotion shown by the visiting Catholics - some shuffled on their knees to the altar.

St Annes Church

Kalpitiya itself does not have much to offer unless one is a kitesurfer but the old Dutch fort now part of the naval dockyard was interesting. Foreigners have to show their passports to enter and the navy provide an escort.

 Kalpitiya

Next stop Mannar, then Jaffna. So far so good!

Sadly, as we send this the CV is having a significant impact! 😥

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