Sunday 20 August 2017

Sri Lanka's 'Cultural Triangle': Part 3 - A massage and a herd of elephants

On our final full day in Habarana, we treated ourselves to an Ayurvedic massage in our home stay, before a trip to Minneriya National Park to see the elephants.

Our Ayurvedic experience involved a full body massage, followed by 10 minutes or so of hot oil dripping on our foreheads. Apparently it drips onto our third eye... And then we went into the herbal sauna. The massage was good, but the oil dripping was a little bit weird. I'm still not quite clear what it was supposed to achieve. 

The herbal sauna was a hot room, with lots of foliage. And was pretty pleasant. We were very relaxed by the end of it.

Unfortunately, we couldn't laze around for long, as we were hungry and booked on a game drive for just an hour and half after our massage ended. So we ran out to the town to grab some lunch and then quickly headed back for our tour.

Another British couple, Caroline and Ian joined us on our trip to Minneriya National Park for our evening game drive. 

We visited two lake areas in the park and there was a big herd by each. A whole panorama of elephants if you will.

There was also a fairly big crowd of humans watchers, lined up to view the elephants. (Although to be fair, apart from this short period of time where all the jeeps ended up congregating in the same spot, it didn't feel too overrun with other tourists). 

The elephants were mesmerising to watch - these massive creatures in their natural environment, just getting along with their daily business. And they got pretty close to us too.

We particularly enjoyed watching some of the baby elephants playing with the older elephants and chasing after each other. 

We were sad to see that one of the elephants had an injured leg, but our driver told us that a vet had been called for to check up on her. 

The other elephants were very protective of the injured elephant and we were almost charged by one of them when she thought we were getting too close. We left that group of elephants alone very quickly afterwards!

There were also lots of birds and buffalo in the park. We were entertained that all the birds on the ground were facing the same way. 

They were pretty photogenic too, particularly as the sun started to set. 

We enjoyed seeing the birds and the wider landscapes of the park, but it was definitely the elephants that won the day and gave us the biggest smiles!

Related posts
Sri Lanka's 'Cultural Triangle': Part 2 - An ancient city
Where we stayed - Sri Lanka
What to do in Ella, Sri Lanka
Trip report - Tanzanian safari

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