Monday, April 21, 2014

Sinhala and Tamil New year in Yala

We had a month long vacation and now kids are back to school giving me a little free time to blog again. We have been traveling again and this time again to Yala National park to see wild animals. Boy weren't we lucky this time. We did three trips to the park and we enjoyed it immensely. We were dust covered every time we came out but it was fully worthwhile. My last trip to Yala is featured here.
Sinhala and Tamil New year is on the 13th and 14th of April. I have featured it many times before in my blog but I will post a few more pictures of the celebration which we had this year. The design of the peacock is done with colored rise. At the dawn of the new year a pot of milk is boiled in the traditional way and it is been allowed to over flow. There is an auspicious time that the hearth is been lit and crackers are also been lit to announce the new year at this time. Many games are been played. More of this can be seen in this post here.
However, we celebrated the New Year in Yala. We stayed at the new Jetwing Yala hotel. It used to be Yala Safari but it completely got destroyed to the ground during the tsunami and it was re-built from scratch and opened early this year. The hotel is beautiful with a gorgeous view of the sea. Cant believe that this place has been transformed so beautifully from what it used to be. Only thing the choice of food is not up to standard. It could have been better. The buffet was the same all three days when we were there therefore, no variation at all. Normally hotels in Sri Lanka offer excellent buffets and it was actually disappointing to see such a limited variation offered. All in all it was a great stay. Photos of our safari with leopards, bear, and elephants with many more animals will be in my next post.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Sunday lunch at Barefoot Cafe

I have been lazy the last week or so and also had a few issues with ailing parents. Not made an attempt to visit other blogs or not even bothered to do a post for my own blog. So, what is new in my life? I have not traveled much during the last few weeks due to kids school and assessments. Looking forward to the long Sinhala and Tamil New Year coming up. Planning to go out of town for the holidays but yet not sure with whom or where. Tradition for New Year is to get gifts for friends and family like during Christmas so now I am online checking new things out:).
Last Sunday we went to Barefoot Cafe for lunch. I love Sunday lunch at this place as there is a band playing and excellent food. Barefoot also has a shop with some colorful unique items, a great book shop and a lovely gallery. However, it was terribly hot about 34C on that day that I did not know when to get out of the place and go into an air conditioned place. The weather has been terribly humid and hot. My son ends up getting a skin rash due to heat and sweat. It is not prickly heat but a kind of eczema. So poor guy he has to be very careful not to be too much in the sun or not at all. He has a football tournament coming up so it is not easy to keep him out of the sun totally either. Hopefully we get some rain soon and looking forward to it.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Sunset at the Beach

Well this post may seem like a boring and a short post but I could not get enough of the sunset while we were at the beach for the weekend. It was so pretty. I kept taking photos of it and all the pictures looked so nice in different formations of clouds, water, and light. This is again at the Negambo beach. With the new highway to Katunayaka now it is easier to get to Negambo so we end up going more often. Now it is little less than an hour from our place. 
Also while we were there my son kept going on the ATV bikes. While I could not get enough of the sunset he couldn't get enough on the ATV bikes. He was going rather fast and I had to keep telling him to reduce the speed. He took my friend and she asked him to stop half way because she was too scared to go with him so I had warn him saying I will get him off the ATV. I was wandering whether it is normal for boys to just speed up or whether he is just being reckless. Whatever it is he is getting more and more interested in wheels. He loves go-carting too and the other day he was telling me to teach him to drive! Well all I said was you can wait a few more years to drive a car. Anyway, the legal age to drive here is 18 so he has a long wait:).

Monday, March 3, 2014

Books with a cuppa coffee

Have you read The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton? This is one of my favorite books. It is a such a lovely story of past and present. It has a lovely twist to the end that until the last three chapters you would never guess the ending. I don't want to kill the story by writing the ending but it is about two girls that had two different lives but how the World War II changed everything for them. How a present day actress is trying to solve the mystery that revolves around her mother and her past. I think this will be one of my favorites for a long time. I will give this book 10/10.

Little Bee by Chris Cleave is another excellent book which is beautifully written and a sad ending. This is so much close to reality that you really feel sad. It is about a girl from Nigeria going to the UK as an asylum seeker. The hardship she faced in her own country and then in a foreign country. When you read this book you wander where is someone like this safe? What it takes to survive for a girl who is desperate. Very easy read and I will rate this book 9/10.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn starts off well and very interesting but the ending was such an anti climax. I would have preferred a different ending. It is about how a psychologically messed up wife takes revenge from her husband for cheating but ends up that both are wired. It is an easy read and interesting through out but then kind of loses its feel at the end. The mind twist here is incredible and just start wandering how crazy a person can be. Even to write something like this is not easy. I will rate this book 8/10.

Another beautiful story. Between Love and Honor by Alexandra Lapierre is a well researched true story about the eldest son of third Imam of Dagestan during the war between the Russian and the Montagnards. Such a touching and a sad story. It is definitely not an easy read as the first 60% of the story about the brutal and gruesome war but after that the story is so touching and intense. I love Jamal Eddin's character and even how his inner feelings are depicted caught between two cultures. I really started enjoying the story after more than half was read. Towards the later part I just couldn't stop reading it. Alexandra has tried her best to describe the cruelty of war that existed and on the grandeur of the Russian monarch. I started not liking the book and ended up loving it. Therefore, I give this book 9/10. If you have the patience this is a must read.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

A walk in the Fort

Once again we made a trip to the Galle Fort. Every time I visit there I see some new places have come up and also that some existing places have closed down. There is constant change so it is not boring but at the same time it tells that the owners are unable to sustain the places. This is due to the accelerating land prices in the fort. Therefore, the rents are high and things are over priced. It is a tourist trap. However, there are some cute places to chill and relax. The beauty of the Fort and the rampart is something I can enjoy at anytime of the day. While we were strolling on the rampart a local guy approached us and ask whether we would pay him Rs. 1000/- to see him dive from the rampart to a rocky sea. He was a poor boy who was trying to make a living risking his life jumping to the correct spot that was deep around the rocks. So we agreed and he did a couple of jumps for us. He is so talented but no opportunity to go forward in his diving ability. I could not capture the jumps as I did not have my camera with me at that point so I just took photos from the iphone which did not turn out to be that clear. Also, if you do visit the Galle Fort do not miss the Crepology restaurant which I did a post earlier about it here.