Monday, January 23, 2017

Travel Monday: Breaking dawn atop Sithulpawwa rock

With all the activity and movement over the festive season coming to an end, I realized I needed to re-connect with nature and replenish some of my energy reserves. Though I enjoyed time with family and friends over the festive season, the surrounding environment was very much an urban jungle and a huge contrast to the everyday life I've become accustomed to in Sri Lanka. Therefore, I made a quick decision to head down south to fuel up on nature and good energy. My destination was in and around Kataragama with Sithulpawwa, which resides within the boundaries of Yala National Park, very high on my go-experience list.

I had heard about Sithulpawwa from friends quite a few years back. Its name Sithulpawwa is derived from "Cittalapabbata" in Pali, which has the meaning of "the hill rock of the tranquil mind". It's an impressive name for a very unique place. It is recorded in the Mahavamsa, Sri Lanka's Great Chronicle of the Kings of Sri Lanka, that Sithulpawwa ancient monastery was built by King Kavantissa (100-140 B.C.) about 2,200 years ago. It was constructed as fully operational mahavihara or great monastery and a place where thousands of arahants or fully enlightened beings are said to have lived at one time.

I paid my visit to Sithulpawwa at the crack of dawn. I thought this would be one of the best ways to experience the rock temple, ancient ruins and the surrounding environment. I've always been drawn to the early morning when the air is fresh, the vibration is quiet or stirring and the climate is usually cooler.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Expat News, Articles of Interest and Diary Events #5

This is the round up for the first half of January 2017. I've been enjoying some rest and relaxation with family and friends to kick off the new year. It's been abundantly nourishing for me and I'm energized to get right back into the thick of tropical life again. And as I was strolling around South Bank, I came across this reminder of home!

It feels good to be leaving behind all the talk of (hard or soft) Brexit, the slide of the British pound and its recovery, Theresa May, Prince Harry and simply everything there is to moan about. Yes, I'm ready to return to my tropical haven, though I will miss my loved ones, Marks n Sparks and a few other delights. My suitcases are full of treats to last me awhile and presents for my Lankan friends.

I've been keeping abreast of the goings-on in Sri Lanka from abroad, and you could say, it's never dull in paradise. Methinks the year ahead is going to be a challenging one! I guess we're going to have to pull together again...

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Expat News, Articles of Interest and Diary Events #4

This is the round up for December 2016. I'm a little late putting this out there due to the fact I've been visiting and celebrating with family and friends over the festive season. I'm enjoying a spell in colder climates and never-ending puddings and traditions. How was the festive season for you? I hope it was better than you hoped for and it has left a good feeling for the coming year ahead! Last month I was saying how I couldn't' believe we were at the end of 2016, and now I'm thinking... are we really into 2017 already?

So how are you doing with setting those new year goals. I've made my list of new year's resolutions and a massive list of to-do and to-visit. I can feel it in my bones that it's going to be another stellar year, though I'm sure it will have its unique challenges. I wish everyone a successful and fruitful year filled with adventure, luck and new experiences.

I'm a little apprehensive about the reports of a bad drought and power shortages for the first half of this year for Sri Lanka. But, what can you do, but pray that things won't as bad as the reports are suggesting.