Dear England, Love Sri Lanka Stories

Cave painting cuties


Fred Flintstone would have loved it
We visited another very ancient must-do Sri Lankan site, Sigiriya Rock. It is an enormous granite rock upon which once lived an ancient civilisation who hung out around the same time as the ancient Romans. They lived at the bottom of it where they had swimming pools and water gardens. They lived half way up it where they had thrones and meetings. And they lived right on the top of it where they had more swimming pools and the king summarily dished out the odd death sentence, as kings are wont to do. You can walk right up to the top of it if you like hundreds of steep small slippery steps, broken metal hand rails and have a head for heights. A tall thin Russian model who was in front of us on the towering trek, skipped right up to the top in her five inch shoes stopping to pose prevocatively for her boyfriend’s pictures at every precarious level. I made it to the lion’s paws (it’s head fell off some time ago) and decided that was enough. It is a stunning view from the top indeed but I’m always half way up somewhere before I remember I don’t like heights. The same thing happened at Chitzen Itza…


Paws for thought

The rock was really a fortress –  all ancient civilisations were essentially about conflict and survival. A giant boulder still remains propped up on smaller boulders poised ready to roll over the precipice onto any intruders. They never got to roll that boulder onto anyone, as it’s probable malaria got them all first. Of course there’s always a helpful sign to keep you amused. Maybe it was the giant killer wasps that saw them off…

Good advice

I retired to the hotel for an Ayurvedic (organic) facial which seemed to involve covering my face with some sort of concoction not unlike Tesco spicy hummous and then leaving me for twenty minutes while the mosquitos made a veritable meal of me. My visage looked sligtly paler at the end of the process but my arms now had the appearance of a pepperoni pizza.