Category Archives: Sri Lanka

Tsunami in memoriam


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On kulunut tasan kymmenen vuotta siitä, kun tsunami iski Intian valtameren rannoille. Pelkästään Sri Lankassa tsunami vaati yli 30 000 kuolonuhria, ja 1-1,5 miljoonaa ihmistä joutui jättämään kotinsa. Henkilöuhrien lisäksi aineelliset vahingot olivat suunnattomat.

Tsunamin jäljet näkyvät rannikolla edelleen. Tsunamin uhrien muistolle on pystytetty myös muistomerkkejä ja pieni mutta koskettava valokuvamuseo.

Maiju ja Mikko olivat tsunamin aikaan Intian Goassa ensimmäisellä maailmanmatkallaan Intian Goassa. Siellä luonnonkatastrofi näkyi vain vedenpinnan korkeudessa ja aaltojen koossa.

Exactly ten years ago, the tsunami hit the coastal areas of the Indian Ocean. In Sri Lanka alone, the disaster took over 30,000 lives, and 1-1.5 million people were displaced. Material losses were also enormous.

Signs of the tsunami can still be seen on the coast of Sri Lanka. Memorials and a small but moving photo museum have been dedicated to the victims.

In December 2004, Maiju and Mikko were in Goa, India, on their first longer trip. There, the only signs of the natural disaster were bigger waves and higher water level in the ocean.

Buddha statue in Peraliya, erected to commemorate the victims of the tsunami

Buddha statue in Peraliya, erected to commemorate the victims of the tsunami

Small Buddha statues at the foot of the big one

Small Buddha statues at the foot of the big one

Bronze relief monument to the tsunami victims

Bronze relief monument to the tsunami victims

Tsunami photo museum in Telwatta village

Tsunami photo museum in Telwatta village

Photos of the Queen of the Sea train, which was struck near Telwatta and thrown off the tracks. More than 1,500 passengers were killed.

Photos of the Queen of the Sea train, which was struck near Telwatta and thrown off the tracks. More than 1,500 passengers were killed.

In addition to photos depicting the havoc caused by the tsunami, the museum also shows children's drawings dealing with the big wave

In addition to photos depicting the havoc caused by the tsunami, the museum also shows children’s drawings dealing with the big wave

Along the Galle Road, ruins of tsunami-devastated houses still stand

Along the Galle Road, ruins of tsunami-devastated houses still stand

Skeleton of a tsunami-ruined house near Hikkaduwa

Skeleton of a tsunami-ruined house near Hikkaduwa

Directions for tsunami emergency

Directions for tsunami emergency

A signpost pointing out the evacuation route in case of tsunami

A signpost pointing out the evacuation route in case of tsunami

Watching this, it is hard to understand the capriciousness of the sea

On this paradise beach, it is hard to grasp the capriciousness of the sea

Soaked in Kandy


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Mirissan ja Balapitiyan rantapaikkojen jälkeen oli aika vaihtaa maisemaa. Reissun jälkimmäisen kuukauden ajan meillä on tukikohta Kandyn kaupungissa Sri Lankan keskiosissa. Rannikon auringonpaahteen jälkeen ajatus vähän korkeammalla sijaitsevasta ja siten muutaman asteen verran viileämmästä olinpaikasta tuntui ihan houkuttelevalta. Ranta ja Intian valtameri jouduttiin jättämään taakse, mutta kuten pian kävi ilmi, kastumismahdollisuuksia on tarjoutunut Kandyssakin ihan riittämiin.

A moonstone welcoming us at the front door of the Kandy House

A moonstone welcoming us at the front door of the Kandy House

Kandyssa meillä on asuinpaikkana hulppean kokoinen kaksikerroksinen talo nimeltä Kandy House kukkulan rinteellä Primrose Gardenin hienostoalueella. Kandyn keskustaan on matkaa 3-4 kilometriä, mutta lähempääkin löytyy onneksi hyviä ruokapaikkoja ja -kauppoja.

The living quarters upstairs

The living quarters upstairs

Maiju's downstairs office

Maiju’s downstairs office

Eero about to lose his marbles

Eero about to lose his marbles

Making fresh fruit juice, step 1: fix the blender

Making fresh fruit juice, step 1: fix the blender

Some watermelon juice fresh from the oven (or blender to be more precise)

Some watermelon juice fresh from the oven (or blender to be more precise)

Parvekkeelta on hienot maisemat vastapäätä kohoaville rinteille. Maisemista ja Kandyn mukavan lämpöisestä ilmanalasta ehdittiin nauttia pari ekaa päivää. Sitten taivas repesi ja alkoi sataa, ja melkein tauotonta sadetta on tähän mennessä kestänyt reilun viikon verran. Tropiikissa sade kuuluu tietysti asiaan milloin tahansa, mutta nämä rankkasateet ovat kyllä olleet poikkeuksellisen runsaita.

The view does look nice, eh?

The view does look nice, eh?

Eero & the view from balcony (when it was still there. The view I mean, the balcony has not gone anywhere)

Eero & the view from balcony (when it was still there. The view I mean, the balcony has not gone anywhere)

In truth, this is the view we've had for most of the time so far

In truth, this is the view we’ve had for most of the time so far

Vettä tulee itse asiassa sisälle asti yläkerrassa. Ilmanvaihtotarkoituksessa katto ei ole täysin tiivis, mutta läpi tihkuu myös sadetta. Ei tosin kovin isoina lammikoina vaan lähinnä pienenä vesisumuna. Kaikki on joka tapauksessa kosteaa eikä pyykkejä tai pyyhkeitä tms. tietenkään saa kuivaksi. Kosteus on niin otollinen alusta homeelle, että mm. Mikon vanha kännykkä (!!!) on HOMEESSA.

Because of the rain, it is so damp upstairs that even Mikko's cell phone has gathered mildew (!!!)

Because of the rain, it is so damp upstairs that even Mikko’s cell phone has gathered mildew (!!!)

Sadesää on vähän rajoittanut poikien retkeilyä, mutta säätä uhmaten Mikko ja Eero ovat kuitenkin kolunneet lähikulmia. Maiju on töitten jälkeen päässyt ulos lähinnä ravintolaan ja/tai ruokakauppaan. Onneksi aikaa on vielä reilusti, Kandyssa olisi nimittäin kiinnostavia nähtävyyksiäkin. Sääennusteet lupaavat kelien paranevan vuodenvaihdetta kohti, toivotaan että ne ovat oikeassa!

Aww?

Aww?

For the latter month of our trip we will have the town of Kandy as our base. We have rented the Kandy House, a huge two-storey house in the well-off Primrose Garden area some 3-4 kilometres from the centre. The view from our balcony is pretty spectacular. Unfortunately, it has been raining exceptionally heavily for most of our stay here so far, so we haven’t really been able to enjoy the view or the attractions of Kandy so far.

Poikien retkiä osa 2


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Poikien retkeily jatkui Balapitiyassa samalla linjalla kuin pari ensimmäistäkin viikkoa. Aika monta kertaa käytiin rannalla, vaikka usein tosin uimisen sijaan vaan leikittiin hiekalla. Ihan ok sekin. Temppeleitä kierrettiin taas monta. Kivoimmat oli ehkä ihan lähellä olleet kylätemppelit, joissa sai oikeastaan olla ihan keskenään vain. Monta kertaa on käytiin vähän matkan päässä olevassa uudessa leikkipuistossa. Joskus siellä oli myös joitain muitakin 🙂 Loppuaikana tehtiin retkiä myös pyörällä, jonka sai lainaan majapaikasta. Sen kanssa saatiin sitten herätettyä vielä enempi ihmetystä, kun Mikko oli pyörän selässä ja Eero Mikon selässä repussa. Ei varmaan ole ihan hirveän montaa sellaista tullut vastaan noilla teillä. Tosi monesti sai siten myös morjenstaa ohikulkijoita.

Eero taking in the beach life

Eero taking in the beach life

Father-son time while sitting on a rock

Father-son time while sitting on a rock

A gang of local boys came hanging with us at the rock pool. Later they gave us a coconut too to drink. Some of them had apparently climbed to fetch them from a nearby tree.

A bunch of local boys came hanging with us at the rock pool. Later they gave us a coconut to drink. Some of them had apparently climbed to fetch it from a nearby tree.

Punk is not dead... even in Sri Lanka

Punk is not dead… even in Sri Lanka

One day we got stuck across the street in front of our house, bacause there came passing by a long, long convoy of vehicles all advocating the upcoming elections and the running president

One day we got stuck across the street in front of our house, because of a long, long convoy of vehicles all advocating the upcoming elections and the current president

This stupa (or "tupa" as Eero calls it) was too big to fit in one frame

This stupa (or “tupa” as Eero calls it) was too big to fit in one frame

This local temple did have magnificent wood carvings inside and we had it all just for ourself

This local temple had magnificent wood carvings inside and we had it all just for ourselves

A cobra buddha at the local temple

A cobra-hooded Buddha at the local temple

Another fine stupa encountered during our adevntures

Another fine stupa encountered on one of our adeventures

A bit further off we came onto this temple which had a huge tree inside it

A bit further off we came across this temple which had a huge tree inside it

On one occasion we saw some school boys playing cricket

On one occasion we saw some school boys playing cricket

All kinds of transportations we saw on our journeys

All kinds of transportation arrangements we saw on our journeys

Bye-bye! Just about to leave for another bike ride around.

Bye-bye! Just about to leave for another bike ride around.

The carrying backpack is so comfortable that it creates quite an amount of drowsiness.

The carrying backpack is so comfortable that it creates quite a lot of drowsiness.

On our walk-about, we were lured into some peoples yard to drink some coconut. Naturally we then had to pay for it, though, it was fun to watch this boy climb up there quite hazardously to fetch the coconut. Sadly, he had to try three times to have one land undamaged. Unfortunately Eero missed to whole thing as he was just sleeping.

On our walk-about, we were lured into some people’s yard to drink some coconut. Naturally we then had to pay for it, though. It was fun to watch this boy climb up there, quite hazardously, to fetch the coconut. Sadly, he had to try three times to have one land undamaged. Unfortunately Eero missed to whole thing as he was just sleeping.

Toilet break?

Toilet break?

Having an ice cream break was perhaps that days high point

Having an ice cream break was perhaps the high point that day

Eero does have some trouble understanding how the slides work

Eero has some trouble understanding how the slides work

Having fun at the swing

Having fun at the swing

Most times Eero has not been too keen to be held by strangers. This time it was tolerated.

Most of the time Eero has not been too keen to be held by strangers. This time it was tolerated.

One day the rock pool had almost vanished. The rough sea though did bring some new water in.

One day the rock pool had almost vanished. The rough sea however brought some new water in.

Just another day at the rock pool.

Just another day at the rock pool.

En garde!

En garde!

Spot Eero!

Spot Eero!

That's where we came...

That’s where we came from…

...and that's where we're headed at

…and that’s where we’re headed to

Lähikylillä / In the neighbourhoods


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Kuvia Balapitiyasta ja lähiseuduilta.

Pics from Balapitiya and surroundings.

Buddha statue in Balapitiya town

Buddha statue in Balapitiya town

The presidential election is approaching, and judging by the posters there's only one candidate, incumbent Rajapaksa

The presidential election is approaching, and judging by the posters there’s only one candidate, incumbent Rajapaksa

Fish in a bag at Balapitiya market

Fish in a bag at Balapitiya market

Stairway to heaven?

Stairway to heaven?

Having ice cream in Ambalangoda

Having ice cream in Ambalangoda

Fish soup, Hikkaduwa style

Fish soup, Hikkaduwa style

Child soup, Hikkaduwa style

Child soup, Hikkaduwa style

Top-bottom-mismatch?

Top-bottom-mismatch?

Vegetable market in Hikkaduwa

Vegetable market in Hikkaduwa

Swinging times, happy times - at Ambalangoda play ground

Swinging times, happy times – at Ambalangoda play ground

Big Buddha, huge toes at the Karadeniya temple.

Big Buddha, huge toes at the Karadeniya temple.

Bowing to Buddha

Bowing to Buddha

Eero followed sleeping Buddha's example

Eero followed sleeping Buddha’s example

A fairy-like statue at Karandeniya temple

A fairy-like statue at Karandeniya temple

Becoming friends with the waves at Akurala beach

Becoming friends with the waves at Akurala beach

Snack time

Snack time

Me catch lunch... yummy-yummy

Me catch lunch… yummy-yummy

A wind chime in a remote little temple

A wind chime in a remote little temple

Balapitiya beach panorama

Balapitiya beach panorama

A "stroll" on the beach in Balapitiya

A “stroll” on the beach in Balapitiya

What goes up must come down

What goes up must come down

We were invited to a party at a pre-school next door. The show lasted for over four hours. Eero was pretty much done during the opening speech.

We were invited to a party at a pre-school next door. The show lasted for over four hours. Eero was pretty much done during the opening speech.

The head monk of Sri Thapodanaramaya temple gave Eero a blessing

The head monk of Sri Thapodanaramaya temple gave Eero a blessing

The others were more interested in taking pictures of him :D

The others were more interested in taking pictures of him :D

Bye-bye little monks

Bye-bye little monks

Family footmarks on Balapitiya beach

Family footmarks on Balapitiya beach

Roti’n’Roll part 2


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Toiset pari viikkoa Ceylonin saarella pitivät meidät myös niin sanotusti leivässä. Vaihtelua oli nyt laadun suhteen enempi, kun tällä pätkällä taisi tulla sekä reissun huonoimpiin ja parhaimpiin kuuluvia sapuskoja. Ei sillä etteikö oltais kuitenkin syöty taas lautasta tyhjäksi. Lukekaa kuvatekstit 🙂

Second fortnight in the island of Ceylon and still being well nourished. Though the quality did vary a lot. Read the captions 🙂

Surprisingly good Pasta Arrabiata, interesting beetroot & orange salad and pretty basic veg wok at the Heritage Cafe in Galle.

Surprisingly good Pasta Arrabiata, interesting beetroot & orange salad and pretty basic veg wok at the Heritage Cafe in Galle.

Rocket Burger in Galle was a good spot for something different. The mac&cheese balls (at the back) where super good and super filling. Highly recommended.

Rocket Burger in Galle was a good spot for something different. The mac&cheese balls (at the back) where super good and super filling. Highly recommended.

Sri Lankan breakfast - string hoppers, veg curry and spicy coconut

Sri Lankan breakfast – string hoppers, veg curry and spicy coconut

Mixed breakfast: Western sandwhiches and Sri Lankan kiribath with seeni sambol. Kiribath became our favourite since also Eero did like it. It is almost porridge like red rice.

Mixed breakfast: Western sandwhiches and Sri Lankan kiribath with seeni sambol. Kiribath became our favourite since also Eero did like it. It is almost porridge like red rice.

Got fresh eggs? These ones are still in the nest :)

Got fresh eggs? These ones are still in the nest :)

Tasting the local alcohol Arrack can easily be ticked off from your list with a few home made drinks. Cheers!

Tasting the local alcohol Arrack can easily be ticked off from your list with a few home made drinks. Cheers!

Perhaps the low point of the trip: egg curry which was just boiled eggs in a sauce. At this point were very close to not ordering any food from the villa again. However, the fresh fruit juices have definitely been the best ones we've had during the trip.

Perhaps the low point of the trip: egg curry which was just boiled eggs in a sauce. At this point were very close to not ordering any food from the villa again. However, the fresh fruit juices have definitely been the best ones we’ve had during the trip.

The food at the villa improved significantly when we got the brinjal - or as locally know "wombotu" - which just melted in one's mouth. Also we had for the first time "polo" or jackfruit curry which had a surprising texture resembling that of mushrooms. Good, though quite meaty taste.

The food at the villa improved significantly when we got the brinjal – or as locally know “wombotu” – which just melted in one’s mouth. Also we had for the first time “polo” or jackfruit curry which had a surprising texture resembling that of mushrooms. Good, though quite meaty taste.

Our last meal at Balapitiya. We ordered the excellent "wombotu" again and cashew & green pea curry with a truly generous amount of cashews.

Our last meal at Balapitiya. We ordered the excellent “wombotu” again and cashew & green pea curry with a truly generous amount of cashews.

Vadai bits ready for some serious munchin' action. Always remember to ask for the superb fried chillies on the side.

Vadai bits ready for some serious munchin’ action. Always remember to ask for the superb fried chillies on the side.

This is how you prepare the vadai bits.

This is how you prepare the vadai bits.

One evening we made pizzas with a local twist. These had some masala topping and frozen mozzarella which is perhaps one of the funkiest-tasting cheeses we've ever had. Worked out OK when melted, though.

One evening we made pizzas with a local twist. These had some masala topping and frozen mozzarella which is perhaps one of the funkiest-tasting cheeses we’ve ever had. Worked out OK when melted, though.

At the nearby tourist spot Hikkaduwa we tried some kankun (on the foreground) which is basically a different kind spinach. Also this place served some tofu (at the back) which is surprisingly rare in these parts of the world.

At the nearby tourist spot Hikkaduwa we tried some kankun (on the foreground) which is basically a different kind spinach. Also this place served some tofu (at the back) which is surprisingly rare in these parts of the world.

Balapitiya is famous for prawns, so it was a perfect place to try out some jumbo sized ones. Good, but tasted pretty much the same as the smaller ones. Only there was more of it.

Balapitiya is famous for prawns, so it was a perfect place to try out some jumbo sized ones. Good, but tasted pretty much the same as the smaller ones. Only there was more of it.

Brief garden, big Buddha


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Pääosa Balapitiyan retkistä on suuntautunut pyörä-, tuktuk- tai bussimatkan päähän. Yksi pitempi reissu tehtiin noin 30 km päähän Bentotan suunnalle, missä meitä käytti päiväseltään vuokraisäntä Nalinda.

To get here, you have to take a well-hidden, narrow and winding road through jungle-like vegetation

To get here, you have to take a well-hidden, narrow and winding road through thick jungle-like vegetation

Erityisesti Maiju halusi käydä srilankalaisen maisema-arkkitehti Bevis Bawan (1909-1992) puutarhassa ja talossa. Ihan kiinnostavaa on nähdä täällä muutakin kuin temppeleitä ja rantoja. Bawa ja hänen arkkitehtiveljensä Geoffrey Bawa (trooppisen modernismin isä) edustavat vähän erilaista, huonosti tunnettua puolta Sri Lankasta.

C'mon already

C’mon already

50 shades of green

50 shades of green

Bawa peri aikanaan maaomaisuutta ja päätti luoda tiluksille oman piilopaikkansa nimeltään Brief Garden. Puutarhaan ajetaan kapeaa tietä viidakkomaisen kasvuston halki, ja puutarha rönsyää puita, pensaita ja muuta vihreää kasvustoa. Paikoitellen puun takaa saattaa löytyä suihkulähde, portaikko tai veistos.

Exploring further

Exploring further

Things hidden in the bushes: a BBQ ...

Things hidden in the bushes: a BBQ …

... flower pots ...

… flower pots …

... statues ...

… and statues

Some staircases were very orderly ...

Some staircases were very orderly …

... some less so

… others less so

Kierroksen lopuksi pääsi katsomaan myös Bawan taloa ja taulukokoelmaa. Mielenkiintoisempaa katseltavaa oli silti talon ulkopuolella.

A pretty pond behind the house

A pretty pond behind the house

Everything in its right place

Everything in its right place

A very merry fountain

A very merry fountain

After emptying all those bottles, you will definitely have to relieve yourself

After emptying all those bottles, you will definitely have to relieve yourself

Blue door guarded by potheads

Blue door guarded by potheads

Bentota or Hobbiton?

Bentota or Hobbiton?

Pikkuveli Geoffreyn maaseuturesidenssi Lunuganga jätettiin väliin, kun poikia ei erityisemmin innostanut eikä ollut varmuutta paikan aukiolosta. Kuvien perusteella olisi ollut hienon näköinen paikka sekin.

Sen sijaan piipahdettiin vielä Aluthgamassa Kande Viharayan temppelissä, joka on kuulemma paikallisille hyvin tärkeä. Siellä käymisen uskotaan tuottavan erityisen hyvää onnea. Jää nähtäväksi tuottiko meillekin, mutta joka tapauksessa temppeli oli visiitin arvoinen paikka. Nähtiin taas yksi valtava Buddha, temppelinorsu, ja hassu pikku museo jossa oli esillä mm. temppelille lahjoitettuja rahoja eri puolilta maailmaa. Myös mummonmarkkoja, joiden vieressä tiedettiin kertoa että nykyään Suomessa on käytössä euro.

The temple elephant at Kande Viharaya

The temple elephant at Kande Viharaya

Buddha & the boys

Buddha & the boys

Our host Nalinda took us on a trip to the surroundings of Bentota 30 km away, where we visited Brief Garden, the picturesque retreat of Sri Lankan landscape architect Bevis Bawa (1909-1992). On our way back home, we stopped at the Kande Viharaya temple in Aluthgama with its giant Buddha statue and temple elephant.

Near-beach life in Balapitiya


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Viimeiset puolitoista viikkoa ollaan oltu Balapitiyassa rantapaikassa nro 2. Pian siirrytään taas eteenpäin, joten on korkea aika esitellä tämänhetkistä lähiympäristöä.

Our villa in Balapitiya

Our villa in Balapitiya

Working in a hammock prevents stress

Working in a hammock prevents stress

Asustellaan pikku huvilassa, jonne ei tällä kertaa kantaudu meren vaan liikenteen kohina. Meidän ja rannan välissä on nimittäin vilkkaasti liikennöity Galle Road, jota pitkin kaikki paikallisliikenne täällä päin sujuu. Toisaalta ranta on parempi kuin Mirissassa. You lose some, you win some, siis.

Familiar-looking beach lions

Familiar-looking beach lions

Balapitiya sunset

Balapitiya sunset

The weirdly yellow glow right after sunset

The weirdly yellow glow right after sunset

Poispäin rannan ja tien suunnalta on puutarha, jossa kasvaa kookospalmuja ynnä muuta puskaa. Puiden taakse kätkeytyy isompi talo, jossa asuu paikan omistaja Nalinda ja jossa sijaitsee vielä toinen vuokrattava asunto.

The old and the young master checking the estate

The old and the young master checking the estate

Coconut inspection

Coconut inspection

Päätalolla päivystää myös “villa boy” Duminda, joka siivoaa huvilan muutaman päivän välein, tuo meille aamiaista ja erikseen tilattaessa illallista, ja yrittää opettaa Eerolle sinhalaa. Siivouksen yhteydessä Duminda on harrastanut pyyhe- ja kukka-asetelmataidetta. Aika valloittava tyyppi kaikkiaan.

Towel art by Duminda the villa boy

Towel art by Duminda the villa boy

Eero destroying Duminda's decorations

Eero destroying Duminda’s decorations

Eero and Duminde, our villa boy, who does all kinds of little things around the house and the yard

Eero and Duminde, our villa boy, who does all kinds of little things around the house and the yard

Asunto on vähän edellistä Eero-turvallisempi, koska täältä puuttuu portaat. Toisaalta kuistia kiertää pieni vallihauta kaloineen. Sen kanssa on ollut jokunen melkein-molskahdus, mutta enempi vallihaudalla on ollut viihdearvoa kun Eero on kurkkinut kaloja ja heitellyt pohjaan kiviä.

Peeking at the little fishes

Peeking at the little fishes

Vroom vroom

Vroom vroom

Smile when you're swinging

Smile when you’re swinging

Cocktail hour

Cocktail hour

Pihalla pääsee välillä ihmettelemään erilaisia luonnon ihmeitä, kuten lehmiä, koiria, kissoja, liskoja ja lintuja. Sekä putoilevia kookospähkinöitä.

A couple of cows came to say hi (or mooo)

A couple of cows came to say hi (or mooo)

Incy wincy spider

Incy wincy spider

The resident monitor lizard

The resident monitor lizard

A kingfisher in a papaya tree

A kingfisher in a papaya tree

Varsinaisesta uima-allasluksuksesta ei saada täällä nauttia. Rannassa sen sijaan on “rock pool” eli pieni luonnon muovaama kahluuallas, joka on parhaimmillaan saanut Eerolta riemunkiljahtelua, huonompana päivänä sitten vähän vaisumman vastaanoton.

The rock pool on the beach is perfect for splashing in

The rock pool on the beach is perfect for splashing in

Nukkumajärjestelyitä jouduttiin vähän innovoimaan, kun ei ole pinnasänkyä ja sänkyjen korkeus on vähän turhan tapaturma-altis. Master bedroomin seinään rakennettu hylly + kaupungilta löydetty matkapatja + kotoa tuotu hyttysverkko = Eeron uniluola. Se on uponnut kohderyhmään kuin häkä, pitää kotiinkin kehitellä jotain samanlaista.

The sleeping cave, very much approved and highly recommended by Eero

The sleeping cave, very much approved and highly recommended by Eero

At the moment, we are staying in a villa near the beach in Balapitiya. The Galle Road runs between us and the beach, but once there, the beach is very nice indeed. Our verandah overlooks a garden full of palm trees etc. where you can spot various animals and insects. 

Roti’n’Roll part 1


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Eipä ole ollut täällä juurikaan huolta, että nälissään pitäisi olla. Ruokaa on saatu niin, että napa on raikanut. Juurikaan ei ole jäänyt lautasen reunallekaan ja alla on kuvakollaasi, joka varmaan selittää miksi näin on 😉

There seems to be no worry what so ever that we would starve at any point of our trip. There’s been plenty of food to eat and most of it has gone into our bellies. Perhaps the collage below will explain why so 😉

Psst… noita hintoja jos joku miettii että paljonko on paljon niin 100 rupiaa on noin 65 senttiä. Aika perushinta iltaruoista kahdelle on semmoinen 1600-1700 rupiaa eli noin 10-11 euroa.

P.S. if you wonder about the prices, then to you might want to know that 100 rupees is about 65 Euro cents. The average price for a dinner for two with a drink or two is around 1600-1700 rupees which makes about 10-11 Euros.

 

Our first Sri Lankan dinner on the night of our arrival: rice, dal, pappadam and FIVE different veg curries - it cost 1600 rupees for two to order dinner from the house maid delivered in the evening.

Our first Sri Lankan dinner on the night of our arrival: rice, dal, pappadam and FIVE different veg curries – it cost 1600 rupees for two to order dinner from the house maid delivered in the evening.

Our first breakfast: fried eggs, toast, fruits, yogurt, tea and lime water - maybe 100 rupees max

Our first breakfast: fried eggs, toast, fruits, yogurt, tea and lime water – maybe 100 rupees max

Our first night eating out: veg fried rice, fried onion curry, steamed rice, mix fruit milkshake and a beer - around 1750 rupees

Our first night eating out: veg fried rice, fried onion curry, steamed rice, mix fruit milkshake and a beer – around 1750 rupees

A lunch at home: fried egg, cucumber and milk for the wee one, masala omelet and tea for the grown ups - the milk costs around 180 rupees per litre, rest maybe 50 rupees

A lunch at home: fried egg, cucumber and milk for the wee one, masala omelet and tea for the grown ups – the milk costs around 180 rupees per litre, rest maybe 50 rupees

Three fishes from the fishermen on the beach in front of the house - 250 rupees

Three fishes from the fishermen on the beach in front of the house – 250 rupees

Dinner at home: the aforementioned three fish and sweet potato and red rice - 250 for the fish but that was pretty much it. The beer costs around 200 rupees for a 0.66 litre bottle.

Dinner at home: the aforementioned three fish and sweet potato and red rice – 250 for the fish but that was pretty much it. The beer costs around 200 rupees for a 0.66 litre bottle.

Fruit salad, about 700 rupees (that Pitahaya [lohikäärmehedelmä] is quite expensive)

Fruit salad, about 700 rupees (that Pitahaya [lohikäärmehedelmä] is quite expensive)

A lunch time snack: veg rotis and egg rolls - 180 rupees (for these Mirissa really has inflated tourist prices)

A lunch time snack: veg rotis and egg rolls – 180 rupees (for these Mirissa really has inflated tourist prices)

An afternoon snack: yogurt with fruit - the yogurt here seems to be always flavored with something (like vanilla) even though it is not mentioned on the labels.

An afternoon snack: yogurt with apple and woodapple crumble – the yogurt here seems to be always flavored with something (like vanilla) even though it is not mentioned on the labels.

Dinner by the sea. The good thing about having dinner on the beach was that it was easy for Eero to run around without causing too much disturbance. The bad thing is that the menu is pretty much the same in every place, though the quality can very a lot.

Dinner by the sea. The good thing about having dinner on the beach was that it was easy for Eero to run around without causing too much disturbance. The bad thing is that the menu is pretty much the same in every place, though the quality can very a lot.

Another dinner at the beach. Like said the menu is pretty much the same in every place, and they all seem to have happy hour from 5pm to 9pm when you can get beer and drinks cheaper. The beer usually costs around 250 rupees and drinks around 300. We took two "digestives" and both of them tasted pretty bad :)

Another dinner at the beach. Like said the menu is pretty much the same in every place, and they all seem to have happy hour from 5pm to 9pm when you can get beer and drinks cheaper. The beer usually costs around 250 rupees and drinks around 300. We took two “digestives” and both of them tasted pretty bad :)

Ordered breakfast: plain and egg hoppers, tea, fruit and woodapple nectar - 400 rupees for the hoppers.

Ordered breakfast: plain and egg hoppers, tea, fruit and woodapple nectar – 400 rupees for the hoppers.

Another breakfast: Masala omelet, tea, coffee, fruit and toast - the pineapple is the most costly here. One costs around 150-180 rupees.

Another breakfast: Masala omelet, tea, coffee, fruit and toast – the pineapple is the most costly here. One costs around 150-180 rupees.

Selfmade lunch: egg fried noodles (from red rice noodles) - comes out pretty cheap and good. We've had many worse tasting fried noodles before.

Selfmade lunch: egg fried noodles (from red rice noodles) – comes out pretty cheap and good. We’ve had many worse tasting fried noodles before.

Our first time dinner, almost already eaten, at the excellent Glass House restaurant - veg soup (that empty bowl), rice & curry, onion & cucumber salad and pineapple and watermelon juices. Total price 1000 rupees.

Our first time dinner, almost already eaten, at the excellent Glass House restaurant – veg soup (that empty bowl), rice & curry, onion & cucumber salad and pineapple and watermelon juices. Total price 1000 rupees.

A lunch in Matara at the Galle Oriental Bakery. It was not a bakery as we know it, instead it catered pretty much the same lunch menu as everywhere else: rice & curry and variety of different roti & roll. Rice & curry (with supreb brinjals at the bottom) and some fish & veg buns.

A lunch in Matara at the Galle Oriental Bakery. It was not a bakery as we know it, instead it catered pretty much the same lunch menu as everywhere else: rice & curry and variety of different roti & roll. Rice & curry (with supreb brinjals at the bottom) and some fish & veg buns.

Yet another dinner at home enjoying Malani's excellent food. Again five curries, dal and rice.

Yet another dinner at home enjoying Malani’s excellent food. Again five curries, dal and rice.

A dinner at the Glass House restaurant which became a bit of a favourite: tomato & onion salad, grilled fish and rice & curry - we got to go to the fish market some 30 meters away with the owner and chose together the fish he then prepared for us. The fish cost 140 rupees and for the preparing they took 50 rupees. Total bargain as in the beach restaurants they charge anything from 750 & up for any fish. Also Eero got as a present from the fishmonger those four prawns beside the fishes.

A dinner at the Glass House restaurant which became a bit of a favourite: tomato & onion salad, grilled fish and rice & curry – we got to go to the fish market some 30 meters away with the owner and chose together the fish he then prepared for us. The fish cost 140 rupees and for the preparing they took 50 rupees. Total bargain as in the beach restaurants they charge anything from 750 & up for any fish. Also Eero got as a present from the fishmonger those four prawns beside the fishes.

Our last dinner at Mirissa. We got the food from the Glass House again, though this time as take away. The prices were still very unbeatable in Mirissa - 300 rupees for TWO rice & curry AND they threw in an extra salad for us

Our last dinner at Mirissa. We got the food from the Glass House again, though this time as take away. The prices were still very unbeatable in Mirissa – 300 rupees for TWO rice & curry AND they threw in an extra salad for us

Charms de Galle


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Matkalla Mirissasta Balapitiyaan, seuraavaan rantapaikkaan, pysähdyttiin yhdeksi yöksi Gallen kaupunkiin. Galle on oikeasti ihan iso 100 000 asukkaan kaupunki, mutta turistit pyörivät pääasiassa vain pienellä Fortin alueella. Siellä mekin majoituttiin ja vietettiin aikamme.

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Can you spot the black dog?

Can you spot the black dog?

Paikka on aika samanlainen kuin Fort Kochi Intian Keralassa. (Ne jotka eivät ole käyneet Kochissa ajatelkoot vaikka Suomenlinnaa. Close enough.) Rapistuvia siirtomaa-aikaisia taloja ja kapeita kujia täynnä guest houseja, ravintoloita, kahviloita ja putiikkeja (esim. Tinga tinga -henkinen Barefoot, kuten Eero Pikku Kakkosen perusteella hienosti havainnoi, ja LUV SL, räikeämpi versio Maijun suosikista Bombay Storesta).

Learning chess at the Heritage Cafe

Learning chess at the Heritage Cafe

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Letters to All Saints

Letters to All Saints

Gallen erikoisuutena ja suosittuna pasteerauspaikkana on valli, jonka päällä pääsee kiertämään koko Fortin ympäri. Keskipäivällä vallin päältä ei muuten löydy yhtään varjoa, nimim. Kokemusta on.

Eero photobombing a wedding photo shoot on the rampart

Eero photobombing a wedding photo shoot on the rampart

Galle lighthouse

Galle lighthouse

No ships today

No ships today

Gallessa oli kiva käväistä ihastelemassa ja räpsimässä kuvia, mutta Fort oli kyllä päivässä aika lailla nähty. Vuorokausi oli sopiva aika myös sikäli, ettei paikan boheemi chic vielä alkanut ärsyttää.

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Even the trash bins are picturesque in Galle

Even the trash bins are picturesque in Galle

On our way from Mirissa to Balapitiya, we spent one day in Galle Fort – a charming place with rumbling colonial houses, narrow streets filled with guest houses, shops, cafes and restaurants, and a rampart on which you can walk around the whole fort. Our timing was perfect: there was enough time for enjoying the Galle charm without getting annoyed by the boheme chic of the place.

Aasian isoin Mukka / Biggest Mukka in Asia


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Mirissan tokana ja samalla vikana lauantaina hypättiin tulomatkalta tutun Anandan autoon ja lähdettiin retkelle pariin buddhalaistemppeliin.

Yksi ukko oli lähtökuopissa jo ennen kuin oltiin edes vaatteita sille saatu päälle / One fellow was ready to go before we even got him clothed

Yksi ukko oli lähtökuopissa jo ennen kuin oltiin edes vaatteita sille saatu päälle / One fellow was ready to go before we even got him clothed

Eerollahan nykyään kuuluu sanavarastoon sellaiset tyypilliset 1,5-vuotiaan sanat kuin Buddha, eli “Mukka”, ja stupa, eli “tupa”. Molempia oli päivän retkikohteissa nähtävissä.

Ensiksi huristeltiin Mulkirigalan kalliotemppeliin. Reilut 100 metriä korkeaan kivenmurikkaan on ammoisina aikoina koverrettu luolia munkeille. Nyt luolissa on isoja buddha-patsaita ja freskoja. Ei ilmeisesti ihan Sigiriya (josta kuulette lisää jossain myöhemmässä jaksossa), mutta ainakin tässä vaiheessa matkaa paikka teki vaikutuksen.

Mulkirigalan seinämä / Mulgirigala rock face

Mulkirigalan seinämä / Mulgirigala rock face

Kuvia temppeliluolien seinillä / Pictures on the cave temple walls

Kuvia temppeliluolien seinillä / Pictures on the cave temple walls

Lähes jokaisessa luolassa oli iso makaava buddha / In almost every cave there was a huge reclining buddha

Lähes jokaisessa luolassa oli iso makaava Buddha / In almost every cave there was a huge reclining Buddha

Joissain paikoissa kulku huipulle oli hieman vaikeampaa ... oikeasti vieressä oli kyllä ihan hyvät portaat / Some of the steps to the top were more interesting than others ... truthfully there were perfectly fine stairs right next to these

Joissain paikoissa kulku huipulle oli hieman vaikeampaa … oikeasti vieressä oli kyllä ihan hyvät portaat / Some of the steps to the top were more interesting than others … truthfully there were perfectly fine stairs right next to these

Kapuamisen jälkeen viilenneltiin oloa täkäläisellä jännyydellä, woodapple-mehulla. Hedelmälle ei taida olla suomenkielistä nimeä, mutta ruotsiksi se on elefantäpple. Kuvastaa ihan hyvin hedelmän karheaa kuorta. Kuivakan, kovan kuoren sisällä on suoraan sanottuna kakkakikkareen näköinen hedelmänmötikkä. Maku on kirpeä mutta sokerilla taitettuna ihan hyvä.

Polulta löytyi jännäkkä mato / There was an interesting caterpillar on the way

Polulta löytyi jännäkkä mato / There was an interesting caterpillar on the way

Päivän toinen käyntikohde oli Wewurukannalan temppeli, jossa on Aasian suurin eli 50-metrinen Buddha-, tai siis Mukka-patsas. Eikä siinä vielä kaikki, samalla lipulla pääsi näkemään myös sellaisen erikoisuuden kuin “Largest clock in Sri Lanka made by Prisoner”.

Jättibuddha ja pieni mies / Giant Buddha and a little guy

Jättibuddha ja pieni mies / Giant Buddha and a little guy

Temppelialueella riitti muutakin ihmeteltävää. Alueen suurin rakennus oli täynnä suuria, värikkäitä patsaita jotka kuvasivat Buddhan elämää.

Tuhat Buddhaa / A thousand Buddhas

Tuhat Buddhaa / A thousand Buddhas

Wewurukannalan itse temppeli sisälsi oikean kokoisia veistostarinoita Buddhan elämästä / The Wewurukannala temple proper held some life size statues from various parts of Buddhas life

Wewurukannalan temppeli sisälsi oikean kokoisia veistostarinoita Buddhan elämästä / The Wewurukannala temple held life size statues depicting Buddha’s life

Kukkuu! / Peek-a-boo!

Kukkuu! / Peek-a-boo!

Viereisestä rakennuksesta löytyi kauhukammio, jonka patsaat esittivät hyvin havainnollisesti buddhalaista helvettiä, jonne väärintekijät päätyvät.

Itse pääpiru kenties? / The chief devil himself, perhaps?

Itse pääpiru kenties? / The chief devil himself, perhaps?

Ihan normisti vain sahailtiin siellä kahtia ihmisiä / Just in a nonchalant way they saw people in half

Ihan normisti vain sahailtiin siellä kahtia ihmisiä / Just in a nonchalant way they saw people in half

Tai sitten dippailtiin niitä kuumaan kylpyyn / Or they dipped people into a hot bath

Tai sitten dippailtiin niitä kuumaan kylpyyn / Or they dipped people into a hot bath

Eero tykkäsi eniten stupasta [tupa] tai sen ympäri juoksemisesta. Jälkikäteen opiskelimme, että stupa pitää sisällään 500 Buddhan ja hänen seuraajiensa reliikkiä ja on siksi uskonnollisesti hyvin tärkeä. Se olisi ehkä myös edellyttänyt vähän arvokkaampaa käyttäytymistä?!

Muutama kierros tuli vedettyä tuon stupan ympäri. Tottapuhuen tuo kivireunus oli todella mukavan tuntuinen jalanalla. / He took a couple of laps around this stupa. In fact the stone border felt quite nice under ones feet.

Muutama kierros tuli vedettyä tuon stupan ympäri. Totta puhuen tuo kivireunus oli todella mukavan tuntuinen jalan alla. / He took a couple of laps around this stupa. In fact the stone border felt quite nice under one’s feet.

Päivän retki lopetettiin Mataraan, jossa pojat olivatkin jo kerran käyneet kahdestaan. Kaupungin nähtävyyksistä katsastettiin kaikki kolme. Ensin piipahdettiin Mataran museossa, joka ei ollut hääppöinen mutta sijaitsi ihan jännässä linnakkeessa. Hollantilaiset ovat rakentaneet Star Fortin 1700-luvun puolivälissä. Linnoituksen ympärillä on vallihauta, ja porttia koristaa edelleen Hollannin Itä-Intian kauppakomppanian vaakuna. Hollantilaisten perua on myös Mataraa suojannut valli.

Sisäänkäyntiportti Mataran Star Fortiin / The entrance gate to the Matara Start Fort

Sisäänkäyntiportti Mataran Star Fortiin / The entrance gate to the Matara Start Fort

Mielenkiintoisin Mataran nähtävyyksistä oli Parey Dewan temppeli, joka sijaitsee pienellä saarella kaupungin edustalla. Siellä oli erikoinen tunnelma ja neljällä kulmalla pieni pyhäkkö, joissa kussakin oli patsas verhon takana piilossa.

Toinen verhottu Buddha toisessa siivessä

Pyhäkkö sisäänkäynnin vieressä

Verhottu patsas yhdessä Parey Dewan siivessä

Verhottu patsas yhdessä Parey Dewan siivessä

Uhrikynttilöitä / Sacrificial candles

Uhrikynttilöitä / Sacrificial candles

Mirissan turismin ympärillä pyörivän kyläpahasen jälkeen oli hauskaa nähdä ihka oikea paikallinen pikkukaupunki lauantaitouhuineen, toreineen ja kauppahalleineen.

Mataran vihannestori - Ananas / Matara vegetable market - Pineapple

Mataran vihannestori – Ananas / Matara vegetable market – Pineapple

Mataran vihannestori - sekahedelmiä / Matara vegetable market - mixed fruit

Mataran vihannestori – sekahedelmiä / Matara vegetable market – mixed fruit

This trip took us to a couple of interesting Buddhist temples and the small but bustling town of Matara. The first temple was Mulkirigala rock temple featuring caves with beautifully painted ceilings and big Buddha statues. The second one was the Wewurukannala temple complex, which includes a big building filled with colourful life-size statues depicting Buddha’s life and a “Chamber of horrors” depicting the fate of wrong-doers. The temple also houses the biggest Buddha statue in Asia. Or “Mukka”, according to Eero! We concluded our trip in the town of Matara where we visited the star-shaped Dutch-built Fort, the peculiar Parey Dewa temple, and the lively fruit and vegetable market.