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On the Road – Sri Lanka Transcript

Corey: [00:00:00] Welcome. Welcome. Welcome to smalls podcast. My name is choreo Flanagan

Lianne: [00:00:16] and I am Leanne Davidson.

Corey: [00:00:18] And this episode is brought to you by avail car sharing, rental cars. So 2019 in 2020, we bought a cards instead of renting cars,

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Lianne: [00:00:46] use promo codes, small worlds to get $15 off. When you book a car today, learn more at www dot avail car-sharing dot com. That’s a V a I L car-sharing dot com.

Corey: [00:00:59] So today we are going to take you to one of the most unique and beautiful countries we have ever visited.

Three Lanka,

Lianne: [00:01:07] Sri Lanka. We are going to talk about the mid center part, where we went on a Safari visited security II, also known as lion rock temple, and had an early morning elephant encounter. I should say wild elephant encounter.

Corey: [00:01:24] Yeah. We went and spent Christmas in candy, which sounds lovely. And the surrounding areas, including a whirlwind two day tour of all the waterfalls, then we took the candy to Ella train and spent some time in ELA.

Lianne: [00:01:38] And then we went to the stunning Marissa and the Southern beaches. And don’t forget to check out our website, www dot. Small worlds, podcast.com under social media at small world podcast to see Mo

Corey: [00:01:51] yeah, check out the YouTube as well. Just search small worlds podcast. We are certain to get a nice little library of videos by the amazing editor, extraordinarily and Davidson.

Okay. I will.

So Sri Lanka, if you don’t know, is just South of the Indian, sub-continent at the intersection of the Arabian sea, the Indian ocean and the Bay of Bengal. It’s one of the most biodiverse places in the world. And as sometimes known as the tier. Oh,

Lianne: [00:02:26] Serendip used to be the old name under English rule and we just stand Y it’s very serendipitous.

I think that’s the word. But the capital city is Colombo, which is also the legislative and financial capital is the biggest city with a population of approximately 600,000. A huge amount of money is being invested. So it can become a main Asian hub kind of in comparison to Singapore. Ben cook.

Corey: [00:02:52] Yeah. We’ve we, you kind of use this as your hub to come fly in and fly back out. So a lot of people don’t spend too much time in Colombo, but we have been here for a couple of days and it’s a beautiful, clean. Up and coming city, you just kind of get that vibe going around.

Lianne: [00:03:08] Pleasantly surprised.

Corey: [00:03:09] So Sri Lanka as a whole is split into seven regions.

There’s Colombo. Then the Hill country, the West coast, the South, the East, the ancient cities, Jeff. Now in the North,

Lianne: [00:03:20] you have pristine turquoise ocean and white sand beaches, lush green mountainous areas with peaks up to 2,500 meters grasslands with wild elephants and high Rocky plateaus. It’s a huge area of tea plantations on this endless amounts of wonderful

Corey: [00:03:37] national parks.

Lianne: [00:03:38] Amazing. The animal life is abundant. We’ve got sloughed bears to elephants monkeys to leopards, sea turtles migrating way.

Corey: [00:03:47] Yeah. So you find a Colombo and then you go from there to see all these amazing sites. Currently, most countries get a 30 day visa upon arrival as tourism is becoming easier and more popular.

We as travelers have found we onto to stay for even longer. Good news extensions are possible. We’ll dive into that a little bit later. Typical accommodations, our home stays with local families, hotels and some hostels.

Lianne: [00:04:11] Yeah. There’s loads of very budget friendly with simple and nice accommodation cost in between, around.

Costing between USDA is 10 to 20 per night. Most budget friendly accommodations are also available as well as the high end luxuries.

Corey: [00:04:25] Yeah. Tourism is growing and you can see the growth with new hotels and increasing numbers of tour companies happening everywhere.

Lianne: [00:04:32] So you’ve got Sri Lankan rupee as the currency they exchanges as of January, 2020 is 180 rupees to the $1 us.

That’s right. Wifi is readily available at most. If not all accommodations on cafes, restaurants, et cetera, et cetera, they do work well. There’s actually way fewer power outages than in India. Also, the ease of travel is six out of 10, many ways to get around, including renting a car, hiring a driver bus train took a year old, two legs.

It loses points. Because of the less predictable, the schedules, the lack of road maintenance and overall comfort of trains and

Corey: [00:05:10] buses. Yeah. You go on that. Third-class train and you you’re going to sweat. There’s just no, if ands or buts about it. And also if you know, your stop is coming up, get prepared to get off the train because there is no order to anything and it is just madness

Lianne: [00:05:25] for literally get on before you even got your backpack on.

And you actually have to get me in because you’ll have like 20 people not letting you off the train and you’ve got your bag and you’re dragging it behind knocking people over. It’s ridiculous. I’ve never seen it.

Corey: [00:05:38] Leanne was flailing those limbs and I think she might’ve knocked out.

Lianne: [00:05:42] I think I gave, but she wasn’t old.

She was around your age. She’s a fairly old, and she took an elbow to the chest because she wouldn’t move out.

Corey: [00:05:50] One thing we would like to mention is that following the horrific act of terrorism in April of 2019, the country and its people have responded wonderfully. They are so friendly. Everyone’s always eager to greet you with a smile.

We cannot stress enough that people should not be deterred from coming here. These sorts of things unfortunately happen all over the world, but the Sri Lankan people are strong. So come and visit. The tourism is really helping them and it is

Lianne: [00:06:19] so we are going to focus on will patina national park and

From this point forward, we’re going to refer to it as lion rock, because I cannot say that word

Corey: [00:06:30] also. That’s its other name.

Lianne: [00:06:32] It’s true. You might know that as it, who knows. So willpower to beat the crowds and do a Safari here.

Corey: [00:06:39] Yeah. Four hour train ride from Colombo. Easy to get to. Most people end up coming to this part of the country anyway, to see lions rock.

That the national park is about two hours away from the rock and we feel it is worthwhile to add it to your time here. You can find many accommodations and most of them will also arrange the tour.

Lianne: [00:06:59] We definitely suggest going for the morning tour. Just because typically I feel like it’s the best time to see animal life.

And also lots of people don’t like to wake up that early. So it can be a lot quieter than the evening tour. The same opportunities to see what you can at Yalla which is the most visited national park in Sri Lanka. This, this includes elephants leopards left the spots. It did. Jack goes Walter Buffalo many, many, many, many more animals and birds

Corey: [00:07:27] bring some binoculars and a good camera with zoom capabilities a rifle with a scope, anything to help you zoom in because some of these are you going to see from a far and definitely want to bring some patients.

Lianne: [00:07:40] Yeah, we were super lucky to see a leopard under slept there up close.

Corey: [00:07:44] We felt we would have enjoyed the tour regardless of seeing these primary attractions because of the overall beauty of the park and just the enjoyment of the drive. It’s important to understand that wildlife is wild and the life, and it doesn’t go by human schedule.

So set your expectations. But we really just had a fantastic time.

Lianne: [00:08:03] Hey, I like to abide by the expressions set your expectations. Low, avoid disappointment. Just appreciate the natural beauty.

Corey: [00:08:10] That’s why she’s with me.

Lianne: [00:08:12] Exactly. I mean, you can expect to pay around a hundred us dollars per person for the half data, and that should include breakfast and the little Snickety snack.

Corey: [00:08:20] Yeah. You should most certainly take a day or two and visit the Alliance rock and the areas surrounding it. The actual rocket itself is really beautiful, but it is pretty pricey to climb 30 us dollars. The pro tip is to climb the peak right next to it, which is called, I’m going to butcher this Pete doer or a gala.

Yeah. Where you get the view of the rock and the area. This one’s only $5. Much prettier for photography. As you can see the colors of the lion’s rock and you just, you get up to the same height and you get the same views and you’re saving 25 bucks.

Lianne: [00:08:58] Yeah, definitely plan. If you all go down that route, definitely plan the trip at sunset if it’s possible, just so you can really bring out the colors on the pocket bins, six days he tells seven to go and for summarize is tough.

But again, it is very nice and there’s no people that early

Corey: [00:09:14] hike up to the top of either peak plan on taking plan on it, taking you probably around 60 to 90 minutes, depending on your fitness level. Leanne did lion’s rock in 30 minutes, but she was being chased by a wild puppy. So she had her hustle, handy.

Lianne: [00:09:29] Things are crazy.

Corey: [00:09:30] Yeah, she even wouldn’t let him, she wouldn’t let her feed you.

Lianne: [00:09:33] And then I tried to give him my banana because the person was still hungry.

Corey: [00:09:36] We want to give you a quick little personal story here while we were on our way. We tried to go for sunrise and get some drone footage of the rock we wanted to, even though we kinda got caught in a little bit of the rainy season, we were just hopeful that the clouds might break and we might be able to get the shot that we were looking for.

So we were on our scooter at, before sunrise at 5:30 AM in the pitch black camera on the corner. And all of a sudden we’re within 15 feet of a massive bull,

Lianne: [00:10:06] so happy to see him, but so terrified. Two minutes later,

Corey: [00:10:10] crazy. I turned around to like, be like, Oh my God, Leanne, look it. And like, as I’m doing that, the poor guy turned on us and let out a trumpet sound.

Something like that, nothing like that. You can give us a threatening little rush. So you kind of just charged at us. And we dropped the scooter. Fortunately, both of us went off of the same side of the scooter discharged bags, and we ran back about 75 meters before turning to see if he was still in pursuit.

Fortunately, he just warned us out of his area. And the thing was that we just, he was a startled as we were, so

Lianne: [00:10:45] it was terrifying. It was fucking terrifying, but really beautiful

Corey: [00:10:49] at the same time it woke us up and we didn’t get to see elephants when we were at the national park. So we got up close and personal with this guy.

See how we waited for him to finish meandering the roadside and eating, whatever he was eating and then got the courage to drive past him with our hearts

Lianne: [00:11:05] pumping. Yeah. And then just for what we were alert and ready at this point, but two kilometers down the road, we came across another one, but this time, like I said, we were lit, we were ready.

We patiently waited for him. And we kept our distance because we could see him cause it was a bit lighter as well. It was definitely scary on it is important to be prepared, to learn about what to do in case you do find yourself encountering one of these creatures in the world. According to YouTube, we did it all wrong.

You’re not supposed to run. You’re not supposed to beep horn. You just supposed to wait.

Corey: [00:11:41] I have arguments with that,

Lianne: [00:11:42] but you tell us how you feel when a wild elephant is charging towards it. You tell you tell us that you didn’t run. I’m not very impressed.

Corey: [00:11:51] I mean, I was really happy with how we handled it overall, even though technically that’s probably not what David Edinburgh would have done.

Lianne: [00:11:58] David would have spoken to him.

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Corey: [00:12:24] So let’s talk a little bit about candy and the surrounding areas of this part of the country is just beautiful. It’s known for its thick forest and cool mornings.

As you enter the mountainous region from the North. It’s a great place to spend a few days and check out this culturally rigid city

Lianne: [00:12:42] candy was a lot more populated than I was expecting. It was super Magellan. Then I thought it might been, there was a central market cafes restaurants alone. There was a really pretty bull equate along the river.

All the ranges of accommodation from luxury to basic the Kennedy say center

Corey: [00:12:58] KCC.

Lianne: [00:12:59] Whew. There was a massive modern mall where the locals tend to do a lot of hanging out. For all of you gamers out there, there’s a sick virtual reality games. Okay. It’s so much fun. And it’s so cheap.

Corey: [00:13:11] We spent Christmas day there and had so much fun.

It was fun. We were like the only white people doing it. So we definitely had a crowd around us. And I even got a little stomach. I got a lot of

Lianne: [00:13:25] He used his tokens to go into motion, really boring after being very underwhelmed for like a whole five minutes of going on a fake run. Like I was dead. He came up with my sickness. I was busy shooting people. And he thought

Corey: [00:13:41] I need to get out of that crowded all after that.

Lianne: [00:13:44] Well, a funny though, cause it was Christmas day.

It was like a festival going outside and we walked downstairs and we just see, we look up and we just see this person gets thrown maybe 25 foot. From a crowd and they would just throw him and catching him and throw it and then catching it. It was very impressive.

Corey: [00:14:01] They know how to party in candy. They really do well.

The main attractions in candy is the temple of the tooth, where they claim to have one of the Buddhist teeth. We didn’t end up going into the temple just because every day that we went and checked it out, the lines were way longer than we were willing to wait for, especially in that heat. We’re not

Lianne: [00:14:19] quite sure on the confirmation of if it is actually.

But his tooth of someone else’s tooth

Corey: [00:14:25] there’s a lot of them. I mean, Leanne just had a couple of teeth extracted. Maybe they just put one over.

Lianne: [00:14:30] Maybe they’ve been settled on the black market

Corey: [00:14:32] who knows. We’ve been spending a lot of time at a dentist. So we skipped it

Lianne: [00:14:36] as a beautiful botanical garden, which is a really nice place to escape the noise on the vehicle.

Exhaust smells for a little while. Definitely recommend going in the morning to beat the heat

Corey: [00:14:46] key guys, grab yourself a driver or a motorbike and go explore some of the amazing countrysides around in the city.

Lianne: [00:14:53] We spent two days doing exactly that chasing waterfalls. And we want to shout off one day itinerary with you.

So from candy, we headed South to Devin full. So we, which took about two and a half hours. This one is a 97 minutes a wall. It’s a photo that splits into two. There’s a viewpoint when most people go, but it’s possible to stand at the top of the waterfall from a short hike off the road from, Hey, you can drive another 20 minutes to main St.

Claire falls. Wider and show it to photos, but great to see on the countryside surrounding is gorgeous. You can grab some lunch at one of the viewpoint restaurants in the area.

Corey: [00:15:27] Yeah. Yeah. It’s very nice. This whole drive is just remarkable. You’re going to leave early in the morning if you’re going to try and knock this all out in one day.

So you’re going to see the cloud cover. Just kind of rise up. As you’re leaving lunch, you’re going to head towards REM Boda. It’s a smaller village in the countryside. It’s about an hour and a half scooter ride from the falls. But now you’re going to have notice all the tea plantations in the area.

Feel free to stop into one of these and get a tour and a nice little taste of tea. Ren Boda has to have the stance of having the most spectacular waterfalls per capita in the world.

Lianne: [00:16:04] Please don’t fact check that, but it’s pretty amazing.

Corey: [00:16:07] It’s unbelievable. I’m going to start listing up here. You’ve got REM Boda, Jura Rondi Poona Ella Doosan and Devin.

just to name a few, definitely one of those places where every 10 minutes we were like, Oh, and Wilson, and like,

Lianne: [00:16:21] This area is growing and it appears that there are some really nice hotels and results going in. So if you do want to crash for the night and not drive back all the way to Canada, you can do it and you can get up in the morning to view some more waterfalls and enjoy a nice, cool fucking mountain morning.

Otherwise it’s a 90 minute drive back to Kennedy. We

Corey: [00:16:40] unconventionally wrote down to Adam’s peak again the next day, which is a three hour drive from candy. We didn’t hike it at this time. We were just after some cool shots from afar. But again, this area is beautiful. Rich with tea, plantations lakes and waterfalls and Adams peak itself is sort of a,

Lianne: [00:16:59] it’s a pilgrimage

Corey: [00:17:00] kind of a Mecca for some people, right?

Lianne: [00:17:01] Yeah. So basically the locals, they, no matter the age, they will. Climb this I didn’t, I didn’t want to give stats on how high it is, but cause I have no idea, but it’s a huge mountain on will climb it. For pilgrimage, apparently it’s supposed to be a really beautiful experience. People leave at 2:00 AM on, they hike up it.

Sometimes they sleep on the mountain, just sleep roof and then wake up for sunrise. I, we didn’t do it, but I hear it is a must do from a lot of friends.

Corey: [00:17:32] Let’s talk a little bit about this famous. Candy to Ella, Ella to candy train ride. It is consistently voted one of the most beautiful train rides in the world.

Lianne: [00:17:43] Well, was the most beautiful, not the most comfortable for just a few dollars. You do get a six hour journey for gorgeous scenic countryside and a glimpse at rural traditional Sri Lankan culture.

We found that to be quite a lot of confusion when purchasing tickets. If you do want to book in advance, if you do want to book online, you can buy them in advance, but it has to be 37 days in advance.

Corey: [00:18:07] Because we were there on Christmas and new year’s Eve, we know that that’s the highest season. We weren’t sure if the train might be busier.

So we bought ours in Colombo about 10 days in advance. We overpaid. It’s possible to just go to the station, the in candy, the day that you are leaving and get tickets. But there is a chance that it will be fulsome best bet is to go early to purchase.

Lianne: [00:18:29] Yeah. So the third class you can’t buy beforehand, it’s only first and second.

But the first class doesn’t have the open doors for you to hang out with and get that. Stereotypical Chalan can train

Corey: [00:18:40] picture. I

get

Lianne: [00:18:41] the shot. Got it. I did it. So you have the classes ranging from first class observation to third class seating where the train can reach capacity and it is tough to find a spot, especially if you’re traveling with a big backpack.

You have to get those points, elders ready because people do not leave any places.

Corey: [00:18:58] A lot of people standing for the whole time. It didn’t look fun.

Lianne: [00:19:01] It’s really

Corey: [00:19:02] hot. Leanne had to like shove herself in with a family.

Lianne: [00:19:05] Well, people, they they’ll put one bag on, on a seat of six. And then they’ll claim that that seats reserved.

And I’m like, I got here first. I’m going to take one of these. You can have the other five, I’m taking one of them. But you shouldn’t have to pay more than $20 and it’s usually much less, but do be careful with scums. You should not be paying anything more than that. So first class,

Corey: [00:19:26] yeah, we did hear that tour companies will try and purchase up as many tickets as they can when they’re released and then sell them back for quite a bit more.

We don’t think that’s what happened to us since we bought them from the train station, but we, there was just so much conflicting information. So we wanted to try and give it to you guys straight. If you’re there, you can get your ticket the day of just pick which time you want to go and then show up an hour early and just plan on hanging at the train station a little bit.

Yeah.

Lianne: [00:19:51] So moving on to Ella bought a cute and cozy mountain town. It’s a super nice size. It’s really small. But so much beauty around it. It’s a really nice place to spend a few days. You’ve got DLA muffles, the nine notch bridge, little items, peak for sunrise. Sunset.

Corey: [00:20:08] Yeah. Deal. Luma falls is one of the most remarkable things.

It like rejuvenated my love for waterfalls. I needed to get hit with that.

Lianne: [00:20:16] Before we went on this trip, he was like, Oh, I just think I’m ruined for waterfalls after central and stuff

Corey: [00:20:22] falls, guys, if you haven’t been there, you don’t know if you’ve been there now, you know, that’s

Lianne: [00:20:27] a podcast for it at the time, but the Ilima.

Corey: [00:20:31] Unbelievable. It’s over 200 meters high. It is a giant drop. And at the very top of it, we got to just hang out in these little pools, literally, right. Where right before it drops off and it’s just warm weather. Nice, cool water. A bunch of fun people. Oh, hanging out kind of troll rock waterslides different things like that.

Really, really cool stuff. It was about an hour and a half scooter ride from Ella, so easy to do on a day trip. And they used to see that countryside too. When you get back to Ella, this is just such a, we couldn’t stop during that. We, this place just is so cute and cozy. There’s so many different little restaurants in town.

There’s live music, great food. You can get traditional Sri Lankan, or any Western food that you can imagine. We really can’t recommend this little town enough. You’ve got to check it out if you’re in Sri Lanka.

So from there we had a, down to the beaches for new year’s Eve. We ended up on a Marissa beach that evening there was. A big party going on multiple stages and DJs on the beach. Great food fireworks.

Lianne: [00:21:45] It was free. Every single place on the beach had something going on and most of it was free, but there was maybe one or two places you had to pay a cover.

I have about $5. But yeah, it was really good.

Corey: [00:21:57] Yeah. Yeah. Just a really cool party. They’ve got it. Going on. The Southern coast is expansive. It has endless beautiful beaches and those lovely turquoise water that bring out Leanna. So you

Lianne: [00:22:08] really do. And there’s surfing snow thing diving, although the diet, the snow thing and the diving.

We’re not really sure

Corey: [00:22:14] if you’ve been, if you’ve done it somewhere else. Like Philippines, Thailand. I think you’re going to be a little bit disappointed, but if you just go into learn, I think it’s a great place to learn. It’s affordable. And you’re going to get to see some sea life. So I wouldn’t tell you not to do it, but if you’ve been to some of the better places around the world, you might want to just look into it.

Maybe there’s some dives that we didn’t see.

Lianne: [00:22:36] There’s also wild toes. So there’s a big Royal migration here. You can do it by boat. You can do it by some people we met where we were staying, they did a whale atta and the pitch is like amazing because you can actually get the comparison of the whale compared to the ships.

Which is pretty cool. And there is also deep sea fishing for early fishermen, Fisher women out there.

Corey: [00:22:59] If you’re into that kind of thing, go check it up, burn your forearms for a day. We went over to the next Bay, which is called Welly gamma. This is a huge Bay and there’s tons of surf schools.

It’s a great place to learn to surf as the wave is not very intimidating, but strong enough to give you a good push. We highly recommend freedom surf school and Villa. Check out our newest video on YouTube link in the bio.

Lianne: [00:23:23] Yeah. Yeah. That was a great surf school. Really nice stuff. Really nice owners. The accommodation was really, really, really nice.

I’m quiet and yeah, go check them out. We looked at the thing in , which is just about three kilometers East of there’s less crowds and a little bigger reef break. So less begin is more advanced beginners to intermediate, to advanced. It’s easy to find bode rentals all along this coast, grab a book on a took, took from where they go.

Well, a Marisa and have them bring you because you cannot hire a scooter with a bedrock. It is illegal here.

Corey: [00:23:59] Well, not illegal in well, Agama on either side of Willie, gamma and Marissa we song. So this is a little bit confusing as well, but you’re just going to have to rent yourself. Either rented, took that you drive

Lianne: [00:24:12] or for

Corey: [00:24:12] pretty cheap.

You can get it to two drivers just to throw your boards on top and bring you to whatever break you’re going. Little quick fact, check on what Leann just said. It is three kilometers away, but it’s to the West.

Lianne: [00:24:24] Oh, God. Why did I, I didn’t know why I keep messing Eastern Western

Corey: [00:24:28] hemisphere and that wouldn’t even matter.

Lianne: [00:24:30] I I’ve just been at demo. We’ve been recording all this

Corey: [00:24:38] as always. We would like to think of Vail for their continued support.

Lianne: [00:24:42] Another reminder to subscribe and review. Please tell your friends it helps us. It helps you help me help you check out our website to keep it with any more information we have and to see our travels live. Be sure to follow us at small world.

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Corey: [00:24:59] Thank you very much, everybody.

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