Back in Sri Lanka

Buddhist pilgrims visiting the caves

After 17 hours in the air, plus a two-hour layover between flight segments, we arrived in Sri Lanka today safe and unsound, having landed at 3:30 AM. I have the hardest time sleeping on planes nowadays. I’m not certain how much of that is due to aging and how much is due to my having an aversion to sleeping in a sardine can.

After arriving it took nearly two hours to get our bags and fall into bed at our hotel, and in two-and-a-half hours we had to be ready for our guide to start us on our pre-tour check. I’m writing this blog now, trying to stay awake until we crash this evening.

Nikonians Photo Tour

I am here to lead a photo tour of Sri Lanka for Nikonians, the Number One resource for Nikon owners in the world. On my tours I find that at least a few people use different camera systems, which is a really good way for us to share info back and forth. Over the next few days I will double check accommodations and shake the bugs out of our itinerary so all will hopefully go smoothly for the participants.

Dambulla Cave Temples

Today we stopped briefly at the Dambulla Cave Temples, carved in the first century BC our of solid rock. Arriving in the parking area one is confronted by an enormous statue of the Golden Buddha, sitting in teaching repose. Along the right side of the Buddha are dozens of carved monks, walking in a steady stream to pay homage. Kinda gives one goosebumps.

Some of the dozens of carved monks paying homage

The striking white temples overlook a valley and one can get a hint of how peaceful the Buddhist monastic life must have been. Inside, one of the reclining Buddha statues is 46-feet long, carved out of one piece of solid rock.

Face of the Buddha carved from rock

Hiking up to the temples in the heat and humidity is challenging, but the rewards are well worth it. The temples offer lots of photo opps. Other temple caves offer views of the Buddha in different reposes.

The Buddha in meditative pose

From the temple one can clearly see the famed Sigiriya Rock Fortress in the distance. That will be tomorrow’s visit.

Then we got to our hotel, and as we readied for dinner, there was this.

The perfect end to the day

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