Still here, in Sri Lanka, and likely to be for a few more days yet.
So on our weekend off we have seen a little more.
Negombo is a coastal town with a beautiful beach but pretty much nothing else going for it. We went into the town centre and there is a lively fishing industry operating from the very crowded lagoon
And there is a prison. A working prison (kevin takes me to all the best places!!!)
And… that’s about it really. Most tourists stay by their pools in their hotels.
The beauty of online learning is that you can work from anywhere in the world as long as you have WiFi. The downside is that excessive online learning, such as we are dealing with, results in quite a sedentary working week: So was keen to get some steps in.
But the downside to just going out for a walk is that every other of the 1.2 million tuk tuk drivers in Sri Lanka (or at least it feels like) stop and offer you a lift. We say no, thanks but they try and engage us in conversation in the hope of getting some of the severely dwindled tourist business. I do feel sorry for them but they DO NOT LEAVE YOU ALONE!!! They simply can’t understand the concept of ‘going for a walk’. It isn’t done here. It gets very wearing and we end up snapping which isn’t like us.
So we took the more expensive option of a taxi ride to a nearby botanical garden. We were able to clock up our 10k steps by doing 2.5 laps (it wasn’t a massive space) in peace and quiet. At the same time we could see some of the local flora and fauna.
In the 1870’s Britain sourced all its burgeoning rubber industry supplies from Brazil, which was then the only producer of rubber. Then in 1879 this guy Henry Wickham
(Check out those whiskers) stole some rubber plants (about 70K seeds!) and brought them to Sri Lanka and Malaysia from where a rubber plantation operated at a much reduced cost until a cyclone destroyed the trees. Here is all that is left of the plantation.
I’m not a botanist so I have no idea what these plants are but they look pretty
There was also a tree with these really big fruits on
But this tree with unusual hanging red flowers is called the Queen of Flowers tree
For much of the walk we were surrounded by enormous butterflies who seemed to glide around us with beautiful wings spread for us as it showing off their colors and patterns. It was quite hard to capture but I did get this clip
And just one close up of a common tiger
The lawns were parched and grass stalks cracked under foot and many of the plants looked thirsty even to my non-botanical eye.
As mentioned in the Colombo blog all canoodling has to be done in public places so parks are a big attraction for courting couples.
But what happens is that where seats or benches are arranged in clusters, no one else will sit by them. We saw this a lot!
On the plus side there was a magnificent tree house in this wonderful tree, which kept Kevin happy.
Finally, I don’t know why but the shape of tree roots fascinate me, perhaps because normally they are hidden underground. This tree has exposed roots which reminded me of the groynes in Morecambe Bay. A little reminder of home.