Tomorrow I begin a 12-day cycle tour of Sri Lanka. I arrived a few days ago to give myself some time to work through the jet lag and do a little sightseeing. So far, I’m really impressed! My good friend Charles thought I might be in for another very trying experience like our trip to Bangladesh two years ago. Where we found rancid air and chaotic traffic jams in Dhaka, here in Sri Lanka I feel much more at ease. A fresh sea breeze blows through the trees, mixing with the aroma of curry and spices. The touts are even some of the friendliest and most respectful people I’ve met in all my travels!

An Oruwa - a traditional fishing boat and the fastest sailing vessel in the world!
An Oruwa – a traditional fishing boat and the fastest sailing vessel in the world!
Fish drying in the sun outside Negombo's Fish Market
Fish drying in the sun outside Negombo’s Fish Market

There’s a very interesting mix of Hindu temples and Christian churches.

St. Sebastian's Church
Ornate churches are surprisingly common
Sri Muthumariamman Hindu Temple
Sri Muthumariamman Hindu Temple

I’m really excited to explore more of the country by bike. It’s been many years since I’ve done much cycling and even more since I owned a bicycle. Two years ago I cycled the Icefield Parkway in Jasper and loved it but came away with an irritated knee that took weeks to get back to normal. This time around, I’ve been cycling most every day and doing lots of stretching and yoga to get my body in shape. I think I’m ready for some long days in the saddle but there’s one thing I hadn’t planned on. Rain. On my way back from dinner last night a few drops started to fall. Then a flash of light and a clap of thunder – BOOOOM! The skies opened up, pouring down rain. It continued to rain all night and for much of the day today. Streets are flooded and many houses look like islands in a lake. That will certainly add some challenge and an element of adventure to a cycling trip.

Heavy rain floods roads and houses
Heavy rain floods roads and houses

If all goes well, however, I’ll get to see some amazing places like these…

Rock Fortress of Sigiriya
Rock Fortress of Sigiriya
Temple of the Tooth
Temple of the Tooth
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