Thursday, December 22, 2011

Sri Lanka

Well Sir Roger, it's almost that time again. Off to Sri Lanka this time the mission includes an elephant orphanage, wild life park, heritage tea factory, a number of temples and a train ride into the mountains, which I am looking forward to. I rendezvous with some locals on my arrival for lunch and will make sure I pick up a gift for them before I travel. The case is all packed, the cameras ready and the countdown begins.


  1. Well Sir Roger, after a long journey - awake for 24 hours I arrived at the hotel at 1:30am. Hidden away my driver from the airport got lost and had to ask directions three times. I have a large room and a Arrun - my butler. Thought I was the only person in the hotel again ala Brunei until a blonde in a bikini walked past. On the recommendation of M I tried the String Hoppers for breakfast and curry certainly wakes you up in the morning. Have made contact with Prasad and Priyanka for lunch today - Temple Rd - there are a lot of shrines and nativities long the roads in Sri Lanka and then start the mission tomorrow. First stop an elephant orphanage. My pop out for a reconnoiter and a few photos now. Will make small talk on the cricket to blend in.

  2. Well, I hope the first thing you did was sweep the room. These Sri Lankans are superb when it comes to surveillance. And be careful with your butler; the first thing he would have done was go through your luggage. Keep anything sensitive on you at all times. And nothing screams 'DANGER' like a blonde in a bikini. BEWARE!

  3. Luggage is all carefully secured Sir Roger, although I did have a bit of trouble with the International Mobile - should work automatically but wanted me to call a number and register. I declined to stay incognito. The local support (carefully vetted from home base) also kindly stepped in with SIM and men on the ground across the island should I need it. If the Butler is on the other side though, he knows his stuff, tempting me for dinner with Sri Lankan sweets and Julab Gamuns. Fortunately nothing untoward happened other than the cost of the total meal, probably $40 at home a mere $5 here and I note it hasn't appeared on my bill this morning so I'll have to ask. I make contact at 9 am and will be playing the tourist again at an elephant orphanage. I'll keep an eye out for an pachyderm shenanigans.

  4. Must apologise, as you are aware we have lost Special Agent Leela. Correspondence has consequently been sporadic at best. Keep calm and carry on.

  5. Yes sorry to hear about the loss of Special Agent Leela aka Pussy Galore, Sir Roger. She was a hip cat and gave long service to the organisation.

    You would have liked the Kandalama Hotel perched up in the mountains among the jungle. Very Bondesque. I met a beautiful lady, 26, named Monica, we had a meal (well she ate, leaves mostly - a salad perhaps), took me back to her place, posed for photos), even went for a swim, after which I fed her her favourite treat of bananas. It was never going to last though, I'm a big man but not quite big enough for Monica and then she just took her trunk and left - as elephants do. But now I'm back on the case, I observed the Sri Lankan magic show at the Kandalama Hotel but couldn't spot anything. Then to Sirigiya - now there is a location for a Bond movie - a steep climb up and around the rock, through the Lion's gate, to the ruins of the palace and the swimming pool on the top. Past the snake charmers on the way down and the every present monkeys before heading off to Polonnaruwa and the ruins of an ancient palace, temples and university. I played the tourist again and nobody suspected as I studied the ancient inscriptions for information. Then popped in for a massage and a pretty young thing with soft hands. I was a bit worried about the coffin style steam bath and then when a few others (male and female) moved into the Sauna with me - but more worried about my sarong falling off, but hey, was very good. Today to the Dambulla cave temple atop a mountain and then the spice garden. I was cautious with the spicy tea (ginger, cardamon and cinnamon) but all was well. Then the usual gem factory visit (oh and the wood carving factory yesterday) but I gave the sales folk the slip. Now in Kandy, I checked out the Temple of the Relic of the Tooth and a 'cultural show', where I saw a woman sitting in front of me with a strange tattoo. I introduced myself as a photographer and got the shot for further analysis back at the lab. There was even a bit of fire walking. Unfortunately the train ride will be missed tomorrow - no tickets, all full, but I'll be staying in the mountains, well out of harms way for the fireworks.

    Please pass on my sympathy to N on the loss of Pussy. But stiff upper lip and all that eh Bond?

    Take a vacation, I have this mission finished before you know it :-)

  6. About to start the journey home tomorrow - mission completed. After Kandy I travelled to Yala National Park. Had some challenged in getting across a flooded causeway but made it safely. Then hopped in a jeep searching the park. Some hairy moments as the jeep nearly rolled on one of the tracks and with leopards, crocs, buffalo and elephants around certainly a dangerous spot. Leaving Yala I travelled to Galle, a world heritage listed fort, originally Portuguese then later Dutch. Very interesting location, I checked out the ramparts and will have to return to visit another time. Travelling along the coast from Galle I passed area devasted by the 2004 Tsunami before arriving in Ahungalla and a beach resort. The touts pounced quickly but I gave them the slip. Spent the next few days by the pool admiring the beautiful women in bikinis sunning themselves and pretending to read my book. Interesting book, the Impact of the Highly Improbable. Late checkout tomorrow and 3 hours drive to the airport and then back to KL. Have arranged a stay in the air side hotel as quite a long gap to the next flight.

    See you on the next journey Sir Roger. You'll like that one with the Middle East, Scandinavia, Balkans, Russia, former Soviet republics and Eastern Europe and Germany. All great spots to visit.