We were getting the bus from Dambulla to Kandy- how, when and where- we didn’t have a clue. But I am pretty sure the bus timetable is common knowledge amongst Sri Lankans. It didn’t matter who we asked, they always pointed us in the right direction. Further and further down the road we walked, with everyone we asked simply pointing to continue down the road. As we reached the bus station we asked another lady where to go, only to find the bus just pulling up behind us with Kandy written on the front! We secured seats at the front (reserved for the clergy), next to a window = The Dream! The next two hours passed with a cool breeze blowing on our faces as we passed through many villages, each one seeming to specialise in selling a certain thing- bananas, bags of chillis, ceramic pots or woven bags and baskets.
We knew we were in Kandy when the roads suddenly became mayhem, We didn’t even wait to get to the bus station, jumping off before and heading to the train station to check times for the trains for the next day and try to reserve a seat- it turns out that there isn’t much of a queuing system or just that Sri Lankans have no problem cutting in front of foreigners. Regardless, all the reserved seats had been sold and we had to come back the next morning to buy a ticket, although these were unlimited so we were bound to get on, even if we were packed in like sardines!
We came out of the train station and undertook one of the scariest tuk-tuk journeys of our lives. Squeezing between two buses going opposite directions, if any of our body parts had been even slightly out of the tuk-tuk we would have lost them! The driver also seemed to enjoy playing chicken whilst overtaking, with an on-coming car driving straight towards us, he would pull in at the last minute, completely unphased by what I am sure was my life flashing before my eyes!
We arrived to the wrong hostel, and after a walk down the road found where we were meant to be. It wasn’t long before we were walking back into town towards the Milk Lake and the Temple of the Tooth. We donned on our long tops and trousers, leaving me looking like a wanabee hippy with my clashing combination of patterns, and headed into the temple barefoot and modestly dressed.
The evening was finished off with us heading to Slightly Chilled rooftop bar to catch the sunset. Despite the clouds, it was a beautiful sight, as we looked over Kandy below us, drinking our happy hour mojitos, it seemed like the most perfect place to be to appreciate our short but sweet stay in Kandy.