Dutch territory (red), 1766




Ben Oostdam

May 4, Thursday

(please click to enlarge)
We were up at sunrise and saw the fleet of Hambantota fishing boats coming in. I tried to take some picts in an attempt to catch them as well as the fascinating wave patterns caused by refraction and reflection.

Hambantota -

- 19780504 by BLO

2006 warning by Austrian traveler

some thirty years later...

After our bacon and egg breakfast, we took two more profiles, both yielding pleasing negative results, i.e. no tar noticed.

EMP 80504-01 - 170 x 6 ft - 0 g i.e. 0 gm-1
EMP 80504-02 - 165 x 6 ft - 0 g i.e. 0 gm-1

Two unpleasant contrasts, firstly, this beach showed considerable human feces vs no tar or plastic, secondly, while in India we found most of this purely anthropogenic pollutant near the waterline (where people squatted early in he morning either facing the sea in some village OR turning their tail to the sea in another, here the deposits were extruded exclusively on the upper beach.

We checked out and left early and passed several saltpans, sand piles and shrimp farms on our way

The road started climbing to hilly foothills with teak and rubber trees. Albert told us the women here wore ankle bells to protect themselves from cobras. We stopped at Wellawaya searching for a toilet, of which the kind owner issued us a bucket op water. It was about 09:15 and we were offered for sale what Albert called "cocaine-sticks" - as well as semi precious stones and python skins.

Further along, the road climbed into beautiful mountains with tea plantations and colorfully dressed women harvesting

click link below for
centered on

We passed several waterfalls including one close to a small hotel near Rawana with a gorgeous wide view and a sign: "India Reizen - Koudijs Reizen" (Dutch for India Travels = Koudijs Travels)

Then followed Bandarawela, a busy little town at an elevation of some 1,300 m. which once boasted a concentration camp for the Boers in the Anglo-Dutch war around 1900...and still boasts the healthiest climate on the island. We should have looked around a bit more but chose to go on and have an excellent R 7 each noon meal at the scenic and lovely mountain resort of Nuwara Eliya, at an elevation of 6,185 ft...
My notes refer to timber, rice being dried on the road, a temple, a Man and Biosphere (MAB) project at the Botanical Garden, and stopping for tea in a beautiful guesthouse near the second largest town on the island, Kandy (465m above s.l., where we arrived at 16:30.

We were overwhelmed with the lovely even majestic scenery, palaces and stately buildings, a large pond c.q. small lake stocked with carps, attractive parks and walking paths, people wearing sweaters, a sign :"Autos fully inzured" and more, but first Albert delivered us to a small and cosy hotel/guesthouse populated by hippie types. Here we checked our luggage and then immediately continued driving around, first up the hill to enjoy the view over the valley with its sawahs, tributary valleys , railroad tracks and other photographic delights.
We visited the Elephant Baths, and took rides for R 5 each incl. quarrel and bargain session, then saw the temple where Buddha's tooth was kept as a precious relic - since its keeper was to be the designated ruler. At the Labookellie Plantation I learned that the Dutch first landed on the east coast in Batticaloa in 1602. Also that Anuradhapapura had been the capital city for 15 centuries...
Back at the hotel, we had an enjoyable chat-guitar-beer session including a friend of Sjoerd's and a Dutch-English couple which we joined for dinner. After dinner I listened to a German complaining and a Swiss "trekker" who had been on his trek for more than a year. We also wrote our journals and turned in about 21:00 after noting the odometer reading of 32,713.

Kandy SATMAP - cost of visiting Sri Lanka
Thumbnails of photographs taken on May 4, 1978 between Hambantota and Kandy
BLO fecit 20100124 - next page - contents 1978 Journey