11 September 2009

Hattomai, Hattomai, Hattomai!!!

By Gypsy

First of all, we cannot be held responsible for the spelling of the subject. It is the greeting of the indigenous Veddah people in Dambula where we camped last night.

Since the last post we have just completed over 300 rickshaw kilometres in the ‘More Whoopee for your Rupee’-mobile. It has been a steep learning curve navigating the rickshaw amongst some quite stressful traffic. In Sri Lanka, rickshaws are considered the lowest form of transportation and are rarely paid any courtesies on the road. Add to that the following elements: chickens, monkeys, goats, cows, dogs (5 dogs/person in Sri Lanka!) and you’ve got yourself a good mix of obstacles to swerve.

The first day, understandably, the competition side of the Lanka Challenge was paramount. However, the sence of camaradarie has overtaken most participants’ competitive streaks… On a daily basis in our current life, running out of fuel, mechanical breakdowns etc is a constant that adds to the adventure. With 24 rickshaws to maintain you can only imagine how busy the mechanics are once we arrive at camp at night.

You don’t have to travel far to see people, and smiling and waving goes a long way in interacting with the locals. People are extremely friendly and helpful even if they do not speak English, and we are practising our broken Sinhalese daily, not to mention our navigational skills. Yes, we have more than once deviated from the given route… however, we’d like to think this is not a direct reflection of our navigational skills

Today’s challenges was to find our way to the Central Markets in Kandy locate a man by the name of Abdullah (this was the only clue given) within the markets (that were visited by several hundred locals at the same time) to collect instructions. The task was then to buy fruit and snacks for LKR300 and sell to the locals waiting to board the buses. The goal was to reclaim the same amount of money spent if not more. This gave us an insight into how hard it is to be stallholder in this country.

The next two days will be spent at Amaya Hotels in Kandy. Judged by the views this could very well be paradise. Stay tuned for photos next time.

We are lucky to have a good Internet connection here in Kandy, however, we cannot promise when we will check in with you next. Having said that we are sure more stories are yet to be shared (such as the one where Em deleted a week worth of photos, snake charmers, meeting a local family, the charity work and meeting the recipients of Jaipur limbs and much more)

Until next time, have as much fun as we are

Over and out
AirAsia Gypsy Queens

PS Apologies for not being able to upload any photos to this post… next time we are online we hope we have better luck

  • Amber

    what an amazing memory u r both living. can’t wait to c pic of Abdullah!! keep on truckin’ gypsy queens…xxx