Carnival time in Ambalangoda

1 Apr

We woke up the next day to find that Rosie had finally had her puppies

She had eight but one died during the night. When she had her little last, year a monitor lizard ran off with one of them so Kumari made a bed for her near the house. The other seven appear to be doing fine though – Kumari is going to have her hands full when they’re all up and running around…

After a day’s flopping on the beach, we went to meet Pathum to go the carnival in Ambalangoda.

It was a bit like the funfairs at home – candy floss, very, very unsafe-looking rides, games and stalls but with bands and dance performances on two different stages. We were the only tourists there so also a bit of a novelty for the local people; they kept asking how we knew about it :)

I finally managed to get some new flip-flops that are non-mandals too and they’re even pink! So goodbye Craig’s old ones that are too big and hello shiny new girly pink ones.

The best thing we saw was the Sri Lankan version of the wall of death

It was a tough call at the beginning to work out whose safety I was most worried about – the riders inside or our own as we were standing several metres up along with a hundred other people on three bits of bamboo tied to scaffolding poles with string.

Once it started however, I could see that the riders themselves were crazy. There were two riding – one on a little go-kart thing that had to be repaired just before the show and push-started, and the other on a bike. The first guy swapped halfway through the show to another bike so he was going round at the same time as the second rider. The “wall of death” was just that – bits of driftwood nailed together…some had holes in it and there were large gaps between the wood. There was a little trapdoor on the side where they brought the bikes in, and then nailed it shut behind them. Absolute madness

I did take a video but Youtube has just told me that it will take 575 minutes to upload so that treat is denied to you I’m afraid. Once both riders were going round together, they got even more crazy – one took his teeshirt off whilst riding round, the other had his arms outstretched for a couple of minutes, not holding on. They then both joined hands so were going round at the same time at breakneck speed, and then let go and put their feet on the handlebars. Just the most dangerous and insane thing I’ve ever seen but for 30 rupees you can’t argue with that! I was very glad to get off the matchstick frame we were standing on safely though.

The next day Craig went fishing again – he didn’t catch anything but was given four fish by the fisherman he went with as a gift

The triggerfish on the right was still alive when Craig brought it home and was flopping about all over the place :I Kumari said that we should have a barbeque so we gave them to her for cooking and went to Hikkaduwa to have a skype chat with Dad and some beach time. After lunch, we went back to Kosgoda to release the baby turtles they have been looking after into the sea at sunset

Apparently flinging them into the sea screeching “You’re freeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!” is frowned upon so you draw a line in the sand a little way from the sea and they scurry across the beach towards the waves. They were very cute

And this being Sri Lanka, the man from the turtle farm immediately invited us to come back at 10pm to see the turtles coming on to the beach to lay their eggs and have a meal at his house. We declined as we had to get back to Akurala for the barbeque, but it never ceases to amaze me how friendly people are here. I can’t imagine meeting a random tourist in England and inviting them back for a meal – maybe we should try it!

The barbeque was lovely – the fish were wrapped up in foil parcels with limes, chilli and herbs and left to steam. We had them with fried rice and salad. The less lovely thing was that I got the triggerfish, and its mad flopping in the morning replayed in my head. It also had teeth like Camilla so altogether not particularly appetising!

It was very nice to have a “family” meal again though as our last proper ones were at Christmas with our own families. We usually eat by ourselves or with one other person so a big group was a nice change

Tomorrow we leave for Colombo but not before stopping off at Pathum’s for a proper Sri Lankan breakfast and a quick goodbye. We plan to buy Pathum and Ajit’s families a plant each so next time we see them we can see its progress :)









2 Responses to “Carnival time in Ambalangoda”

  1. Karen Klink 1 April 2012 at 9:37 pm #

    Wonderful! Energizing! Takes me back to my days of wandering around Mexico and Guatemala with a backpack. I kept a journal, but there was no internet in those days. I’ll have to keep lurking on your blog.

    • toaustraliathelongway 1 April 2012 at 9:42 pm #

      Thank you :) I love having a blog as without it I would forget what we did and when. It’s nice to be able to keep a record with photos all in one place!

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