Bittersweet Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka gave me quite mixed feelings. A huge crisis in the country, blackouts lasting several hours every day, limited fuel, huge humidity and high temperature. Not to mention the strange behavior of local residents…
On unbelievably cheap trains you have to be ready to stand. Standing in the aisle, without air conditioning, with a crowd of people staring at anyone who makes the slightest move. The good thing is that Sri Lankans getting ready to leave make eye contact for a moment, indicating to the chosen one a place where he will be able to sit in a moment.
Cars are a relatively uncommon sight in Sri Lanka. Most prefer to ride scooters or their built-up version called tuk tuk. In the second photo, two purebred tuk-tuks. They rest among the greenery after a day of hard work in unbearable temperatures. Communing with nature positively affects them, reducing the amount of fuel burned.
The bay in the morning awaiting the cetacean expedition. As it turned out later, the fauna gave way to a fight with vomiting.
Fortunately, there is a widely available cure for seasickness - Coca Cola. It was given even by the owners themselves, who did everything so that no one would take the deck.
The great advantage of the trip is the early time when you have to be on the spot. Sunrise is one of the best moments for a photographer.
"Hunting" for sea animals consists of constantly sailing from point to point, communicating with other ships and talking to fishermen. As soon as someone noticed irregularities in the waves, the boat immediately turned in a given direction. The bow of the ship filled with people as soon as curious dolphins started jumping out of the azure water.
As a consolation prize for the lack of whales, two turtles appeared. To the delight of tourists, a male was floating on the surface during copulation with a female. It was quite difficult to see from a distance how he managed to keep his chosen one in place. As it turned out, one claw stuck under the skin was enough to keep the companion from swimming away.
The beaches in Sri Lanka are full of tourists from Russia. Words other than "harasho" are rarely heard there.
Buddha figures are placed practically every step.
Sri Lankan, decorated buses are for me a symbol of irritation, anger and struggle for survival. The low price is a definite advantage. Entering a corner at a speed above 80 km/h and braking hard at the sight of an elephant is not.
My blood starts to boil about Sri Lankan buses. One of the sellers did not provide a receipt, artificially raising the price. But that's nothing compared to another local who slept behind my wife's seat. Everything was normal until he slipped his hand into the crack under the backrest and began to touch her ass. The idiot didn't expect the whole bus to start looking at him with disgust. He played dumb, staring blankly when I shouted that he was a pervert. He was lucky to have his stop a moment later.
There are plenty of places around the island with children practicing cricket. It is one of the countries that won the Cricket World Cup. I have also noticed a trend where sports are particularly popular among young people in poorer countries. Ultimately, it's a way out of a difficult situation, if you succeed.
The title of "lanki chicken" is gained by the peacock. You can meet them almost everywhere, usually walking in the fields. No one pays much attention to them, although it definitely attracts the eye of tourists.
"Lanki cat"... or simply a monitor lizard that can be found practically everywhere.
Returning late in the evening, I heard characteristic squeaks above my head. A little farther on, the whole tree was shaking and making strange noises. Sri Lanka is occupied by a whole lot of bats, their wingspan reaches up to 1.7 meters. If you put one on its side, it would be taller than me.
Road to Safari in Yala National Park. The driver did not speak much, because not only did he not speak English very well, but he also stuttered, a little ashamed of it.
Yala National Park is primarily hundreds of bird species - from nightingales to eagles. You can also find peacocks, marabouts, oxen and elephants here.
The vast majority of animals spent a hot day in the water.
I didn't sleep much, so I was quickly tired from the boring and bumpy road. I stared blankly into the forest through half-closed eyes that suddenly settled on the leopard. I instantly whispered "Look!" but loud enough to make everyone turn around. First of all - everyone stared at the animal with delight. Secondly, the driver has since stopped stuttering, bragging about his discovery to everyone along the way. Third - the leopard only looked with interest for a moment, which I managed to capture.
Then the leopard walked around our car, paying no attention to it. Jeeps on Safari are open so it was no problem for him to join us. Fortunately, aware that we would not pass through the thicket, he silently walked on, pausing for a moment before jumping into the lush undergrowth.
While I've tried absolutely everything to get the best Nine Arch Bridge photo possible, this is the only one I like relatively much. Right after taking this photo, I went downstairs, where I waited for the train for several hours. When dusk fell, it was time to return with a flashlight to a nearby tuk-tuk position.
Riding a tuk-tuk over bumpy hills full of potholes is a nightmare! Staying inside the vehicle requires a lot of concentration. Taking photos complicates the whole thing twice. The whole picture is completed by the difficulty of changing the battery and memory card, holding on to the movable handrail with one hand.
People picking tea leaves in the fields can be seen in many places around the city of Elia.
The train in Elia pulling onto the platform. It goes through a truly phenomenal area, full of greenery and endless fields of plants, winding through the hills. The cost of such a ride is a few zlotys for a higher class. A higher class means a seat and/or possibly air conditioning in the form of fans.
Looking out the window, I usually saw the same people. The legs of some sitting in the doorway did not change position the whole way!
Although the technology of the train was definitely not modern, it reached a dizzying speed. Metal clanked, doors kept opening, and the clatter of wheels gave me a headache. At least there was no diesel stench from the locomotive.
Not to mention the absolute WORST time to take pictures, which is in the afternoon, around 12 o'clock. A sufficiently wide dynamic range of the camera allowed me to extract the missing details in the bright parts. Clouds also came to the rescue, which slightly dispersed the merciless rays of the sun. To make matters worse, due to the humidity, some of the knobs on camera got stuck, so I had to use great force to change the settings.
The city of Kandy is read as "Kendi" by the locals. However, there is nothing sweet in it. This is the habitat of thousands of birds that occupy the streets full of trees.
Although the red-faced monkeys are very active, I managed to capture the moment when two of them stopped to show affection by grooming each other's parasites.
A real tropical rain has reached the park in Polonnaruwa. While waiting under the canopy of the store, I watched the monkeys planning to steal. As soon as the owners turned around for a second, the monkeys ran to the bags, deftly opening them and checking the contents. Scared away, they ran away to the trees, where they got wet, waiting for the inattention of people.
Monkeys with black faces won in terms of behavior. Their opposite, red-faced monkeys, are just looking to steal.
Although the area of monuments in Polonnaruwa is primarily buildings and statues, it was enough to deviate slightly from the main trail to find yourself in charming places. It would not be possible with tuk-tuk drivers, of which there are dozens on the way to the park. Walking NON-STOP someone honks, stops, solicits and laughs in our face when he hears about plans to walk through the park. Four or five kilometers! Since then, all taxi drivers (tuks?) have been screwed by me, pissed off after hearing an absurd route or idea. Nightmare!
There was a kite parade in the capital, Colombo. Hundreds of people from the city came to the place, buying cotton candy or sweets. A moment later I jumped on the bus going to the station. I stood in the open back door, miraculously avoiding death on one of the bends. I held on to the railing tightly, hoping it wouldn't loosen. For some it could be an adventure, personally I was tired of risking my life not to walk several kilometers with a heavy backpack. After reaching the train station, a straight road to the airport, and from there... back to Poland!