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  • Day18

    Kandy —> Dambulla

    January 23 in Sri Lanka ⋅ ☁️ 27 °C

    I got up, or rather got woken up, early by the other two guys in our room. Yet again we had managed to be put in rooms with some snorers, why does this keep happening?!?!? As we’d decided the night before to abandon Kandy as neither of us liked it, we packed up our stuff. Seeing as we weren’t allowed to have a refund on the second night, we assumed that we could just come back, after exploring what we wanted of Kandy in the morning, and grab showers etc. However, the European girl running the hostel had other ideas. Even though we’d technically paid for the beds for tonight, she said we weren’t allowed to keep our bags in the room as they needed the room free for cleaning...slightly confusing and we’ve never come across such logic at any other hostel. We just said that we’re leaving our bags in the room and went out for the morning. We walked from the hostel, which is at the top of an enormous hill...made harder by our legs still aching from Adams Peak the other morning. First stop was Arthur’s Seat (not Edinburgh) which is a viewpoint which looks over all of Kandy. It was a good view, but a bit of a tourist trap, so we promptly left, still being harassed by every single Tuktuk driver asking for us to get in, all such requests being met with a “no thank you” which was getting shorter and sharper as we lost our patience.

    We made it to the city centre, and then went up the hill at the other side to the big white Buddha (Bahirawakanda Temple). The closer we got, the less amazing it looked to be honest. It was big, but when we got there it was 200 rupees to just store your shoes rather than an entrance fee. We kept walking round the road and saw a side entrance to the big Buddha. We quickly whipped our shoes and socks off and stuffed them in the bag and casually walked in...confidence is key. When we were in, we were so happy we hadn’t paid for this as we’d both seen much more impressive temples/buddhas elsewhere. We snuck out and went back to Kandy centre where, after the disappointment of last nights food, we went to Balaji Dosai for brunch. We both had Kara podi dosa which was incredible and we managed to pay on MasterCard, so it was basically free. After our food this local bloke sat down next to us and for whatever reason, he kept staring at me...looking right through my soul. As we were up in good time it was only 10am when we left the restaurant. We made our way back to the hotel, which unfortunately meant back up the worlds steepest hill. At the hostel we both used the toilet in the fancy double room that had not been locked and hit the road.

    The traffic getting out of Kandy was awful and the pollution was probably the worst yet. We eventually got out of the city and before long, at the side of the road we saw a woman selling corn on the cob! Of course we turned around to go back to her and buy one each - it was massive and delicious, however we were both paranoid as she dunked them in cold water which we only assumed was tap water....would we get ill? Possibly, but it would have been worth it. For the next mile or two, men were shouting at us to pull over and go to their spice gardens...we were not interested. We eventually got to our place in Dambulla, and without being too harsh let’s just say it wasn’t our best accommodate yet...but hey it was cheap and had pretty good WiFi! The bedding smelt like the fumes from the awful buses and the bed itself smelt as if a million people had slept on it...we decided to leave the room pretty much as soon as we arrived so we dumped our bags to go for a walk and check out the Dambulla cave temple and make sure we were at the right place and weren’t going to get ripped off...we were now very wary of everyone.

    We walked around for a bit, but then decided to go grab an early dinner from this local bakery place. We got two massive portions of rice and sauce and noodles and sauce....all for 80p each. We headed back to our ‘lovely’ room, shoved a film on the iPad and we both passed out.
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