Tuesday, May 25, 2010
This past weekend my son Corey and I went on a guided tour into the high mountainous region of Sri Lanka. The driver picked us up in a nice Peugeot 405 and we were on our way.
The traffic getting out Colombo was pretty bad. We headed south then east.
The concrete jungle soon disappeared into lush tropical forests and small towns and beautiful mountains.
Our first stop, white water rafting. The driver parked the car at a small hotel and said he would wait for us there and he pointed to a waiting trishaw that took us up the hill. I had my first chance to look down and see the river and rapids, and looked exciting already.
A Sri Lankan kid was pumping up a rubber raft while another one led us to do the gratuitous waiver signing and put on life jackets and helmet.
They attached the rubber raft to an overhead rope and the boat slid down the hill to the river, pretty smart! Us on the other hand had to walk down a precarious concrete steps of various sizes that went down the hill, this was way more dangerous than the white water rafting!
Our guide explained to us the two commands "Hold the rope" (Around the raft) and "Fall in the boat", somehow I thought the "Fall in the boat" command would be a after the fact.
We launched the boat, us and three guides. I was surprised at how fast the river current was. We soon approached our first rapids. My eyes were probably as big as saucers as we approached. Turns out it wasn't so bad, wasn't bad at all and it was really fun!
At one point the guide asked us if we had ever heard of the movie "Bridge Over The River Kwai", well I had, not my son. The guide said that this is where the bridge was blown up. There is nothing left but a rusty eye bolt stuck in a rock, but interesting to know that there are real train cars 50 feet down at the bottom of the river.
We went through some more rapids and we reached a point where one of the guides encouraged us to jump out and float on our backs, initially I thought, why would I want to do that! The guide did, so I jumped in. It was so cool! The current just pushed you along, no problem. We approached a small rapid and we went through it, very cool! It was almost as fun as being in the boat!
We eventually came to the end of our journey where they showed us where we could get cleaned up and change. I tipped our guides and thanked them. Our driver then took us inside the hotel for a hot cup of tea which really hit the spot.
We then departed for our hotel which was across the road, per se, also 6 kilometers up a mountain on winding, twisting very poor condition dirt roads. This seemed to go on forever!
We eventually made it to our hotel (Video and short story I already posted).
Next, the trip through the tea plantations and our stay in Nuwara Eliya, also known as "Little England"
Whats with the picture? The red dot is my helmet and you can make the black dot which is the guide as float through the rapids on our backs (Wearing life preservers).
The other picture is of me showing approval of the human rafting experience.
Pictures of our guides and me and my son.