February 3rd ~ Dambulla
Dambulla is another UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is the largest and best-preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka.
We had to make another climb today to get there, however this time it was only 300 or so uphill steps instead of the ultra-grueling 1233 from the previous day.
I did some quick math to compare the two climbs. If the average number of steps between floors of a building is 12 then to get to the caves is the equivalent of walking up 25 flights of stairs. We returned to the bus via a different route which was a little longer, but more gentle.
The previous day we climbed the equivalent of 102 floors – and then back down!
Dambulla Temple is made up of five major caves that house 153 Buddha statues.
Colorful murals cover both the ceilings and walls.
The temple closes to the public at 10:30 in the morning and a drummer sounds the warning for all visitors a half an hour in advance
After completing our tour of the temple complex, we continued onward toward the town of Kandy. The day was broken up with a stop at a roadside vegetable stall where we were treated to some corn on the cob.
Here in Sri Lanka, the corn was boiled and then dipped into a very salty water bath. They do not use butter on the corn, but it was still delicious. The salty water gave a very pleasant taste.
When we get home, Karen and I want to try the salt water method, but then dip it into melted butter, followed with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese.
Next up was a visit to an organic farm and spice garden. Our guide showed us the different plants grown here with an explanation of each spice and if it was for cooking or medicinal use.
A cooking demonstration followed with a buffet lunch of regional favorites.
The next two nights will be spent in Kandy at the OZO Hotel. Our evening was free to explore, but after two long days of walking we opted to have a refreshing drink on the top floor and a quick dinner.
GRATITUDE MOMENT: I thoroughly enjoyed visiting the cave complex and was extremely grateful that we only had 300 stairs to climb.