Sri Lankan Safari

This morning we woke up early to climb Little Adams Peak, its an easy 2 hour roundtrip hike that takes you to the top of one of the multiple peaks around the area. The view of Ella rock is nice.

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After finally some normal American breakfast, we headed to Tissa (short for Tissamaharama and I’m not even joking).  On the way there we stopped at this beautiful waterfall to take a swim, there were 2 other couples there so it felt kind of like our private waterfall.

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Tissa is home of the Yala National Park where the main attraction is to take a safari. Our private jeep picked us up from our hotel at 2:00 pm (we chose the afternoon safari) and drove us for around 4 hours around this beautiful park.

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This park is home of leopards, elephants, wild boars, Sri Lankan black monkeys, water buffalos, crocodiles, deer, slow bears and other animals. The drive is super bumpy but being able to see these animals in their natural habitat undisturbed is priceless. For obvious reasons we couldn’t get off the jeep otherwise we would be a leopard’s dinner and Sarah forgot the camera with the big zoom so we were not able to take close up photos.

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You can call me crazy but the animals here look happy, we saw this elephant that was truly having an amazing time. Their eyes are not sad as the ones in captivity and it was easy to tell the difference.

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We were sad that we were not seeing any leopards but on the way back we luckily saw 2 very fast. We were the only jeep to spot them thanks to our “eagle eyes” driver so we were feeling pretty proud that we got to see the leopards.

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Today was our driver’s birthday so he was nice enough to invite us out to celebrate.  Him and his other driver friend picked us up and we went to a local restaurant their friend owns and experienced a night of drinking and eating local style. They explained that they like to drink Arak (alcoholic drink made out of coconut) and beer first, and then eat so we followed what they did.  But they did bring these chili beans that they bought at a local market to eat with our beers. They explained that different cities have a unique drinking snack and here its beans.

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When the food arrived we were pretty drunk, so Eitan decided he is a local and ate with his hands with a little instruction from Manoj. Eitan said the food tasted better that way!

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We got to learn a lot more about life here including the different religions and how its determined in ones family if you will become a monk.  Our driver was so nice and treated us to our elaborate dinner of rice and curry, we argued with him but he insisted, such a nice guy!

Bonus Pic of The Day: Our driver Manoj and his Prius deserve the pic of the day. He is awesome!

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