Our Thursday travels started early and lasted past dark. Granted, this included a couple stops for tea and short eats (Sri Lankan slang for tasty snacks that aren't quite a meal). From seaside Moratuwa to the highest point in the tea growing country near Nurawa Eliya, we gained 5700 feet in elevation. Scroll down to 'hop on the bus'!
Morning commuter traffic at 6:30 AM, heading to Columbo
Breakfast just down the street from the optometrist shop and school where Deepthi is attending classes. (Yes, that is sort of a hot dog with the lettuce leaf. If you order sausages here, you'll most likely get a frankfurter.)
Roadside scenes through multiple towns graced with rhythmic names: Thihariya, Nittambuwa, Warakapola, Mawanella, Pilimatalawa, Gelioya, Weligalla. They merge together, similar to how Southern California's communities are laced together along the main highways. Well, similar in a rather broad sense...
Fascinating contrasts abound - brick and palm construction next to glass and steel, one-table snack shops cheek-to-jowl with mini supermarkets, brand new cars alongside well-worn bicycles, women in traditional saris chatting on smartphones.
Shops large and small - mostly VERY small - sell pretty much everything you could think of, and more. (Note the hardware store selling sinks, etc. - Home Depot, eat your heart out!)
Billboards everywhere - Lady Bird Johnson would have been inspired to another clean-up campaign.
Oddly enough, all the shrines were out the side opposite my window seat, in case you'd heard there are a few of these in Sri Lanka. I also shied away from overt people pictures, erring on the respectful side.
All of this driving (which, by the way - you should sit down for this - is without seatbelts) functions for me as a kind of condensed cultural immersion school. Thus, by the time we arrive in a village, I have some sense of context of the daily world of the people we're serving. I am so loving being fully present in every portion of this trip.
The entire drive was a vivid, bountiful visual feast; I hope you enjoy this small representation. - Cyndy