Friday, 31 July 2009

Sri Lanka 09

Some people may know that I have recently come back from Sri Lanka. To be honest it wasn't a country that was on my 'places I must go before I die' list, but it catered for everything that my travel buddies and I wanted to do, plus we found some super cheap deal and booked it. Why not! Money is made to be spent! My first views were that it reminded me of the Philippines (where my parents are from) with the exotic palm trees and stray dogs! It’s a beautiful place enriched with temples and wildlife. Highlights of the trip were the elephant safari; long boat trips though rivers into sunsets and Yala National Park. Another huge experience was white water rafting. Now like me, my travel buddies have never done it before. It's ok though, we were in safe hands with our local tour guide and crazy super-fast down Rocky Mountains –let’s go down the wrong side of the road -smiley driver. After speeding it down to the bottom of the mountain through real Monsoon weather, we reach our destination. Could I be right? Is it really this?...we woke up at 5am to travel to this.. hut? I guess it is was. And we all climb out.. We sign our life away on a piece of paper telling us they have no responsibility of causes of accidents or…death. So all not really saying much apart from Leanne trying to explain to the instructors that she has a very small head, and Rich trying to tell them the opposite that he has an exceptionally large head we get put into our life jackets and watch with fear as the young boys working attempt to blow up our boat!! We follow them down towards the rapids where our safety lessons begin. “Have any of you done this before?” No, none of us. Not even close. Doesn’t matter in we go. Rapids are quite loud, especially when trying to listen with dear life through a wobbly crash helmet to the instructors, but they’re not as loud as my heart beating inside my chest! I kind of get the basics of what they are saying and nod with agreement then on we go… The next few minutes were the most fun I’ve had in my life, the views were spectacular and the rapids brought so much excitement to all four of us we couldn’t get enough of it. Category 3 on our first attempt! (Apparently that’s a good en!) We come to the last rapid which we are told is a lot calmer, so much calmer that we’re all gonna do this one without the boat…yup. Just us in the water with our life jackets crashing against the rocks. We’re going to be fine!... “So when I say, fall out the boat” I don’t really know what happened next, until I felt the instructor pulling my life jacket.. I must have swallowed so much river water ( I know that can’t have been good for me) but with all the excitement and fear I was not able to go through all that with my mouth closed! The water finally calms and he lets go of me and I float down the river to meet with my friends. This was an experience I will never forget, it felt like something out of the movies. Just bobbing along down a huge river. I could see my friends grinning from ear to ear as we all realize what we had just done. It wasn’t till we got back to England when the fear hits me. Yes that river was full of fish. Yes it was full of leeches…and yes… it had crocodiles! But still, I had done it, and would definetely do it all again!

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