There were more couples talking shyly with one another, some even holding hands, on the hilly 1km walk to Dunhinda Falls, than anywhere else we went in Sri Lanka (see slideshow iii). These were, refreshingly, the boldest public displays of affection we encountered. There were also lots and lots of aggressive monkeys on the walk.
There are two myths connected with the falls. One concerns a king and a fern. The other is about lovers who were ordered to separate. Instead, they threw themselves down the cliff, a storm began, and the falls formed. I found this info online as it wasn’t mentioned by anyone there, nor was it in the guidebooks.
The falls are gorgeous and the walk beautiful. Again, Andrea was keen on swimming and had brought his bathers. I advised against it. Having picked up giardia (I love that the CDC calls it a germ. It’s a parasite) more than once in my Asian travels, I was in no hurry to swim the rushing waters of Dunhinda Falls, which probably wouldn’t be the best idea even if the waters are parasite-free.
The cluster of young guys on rocks nearby eating cookies, ho-ho-esque golden cakes and drinking sodas from 1.5L bottles agreed. They told Andrea that it was dangerous and he’d best not go in. While yes, we were the only foreign tourists, Sri Lankans aplenty had come to admire the falls. These boys were from Tangalle, where we’d come from the day before. We chatted a bit about this and that. They’d taken the bus there (truly unpleasant) early that morning and were headed back that afternoon. They were happy to try out their English on us, and we were happy to meet some Tangalle teens. They didn’t seem too excited about their life prospects, but who can be sure given our conversation level. We were pleased we’d been to their hometown, as we’d been almost nowhere but the beach at that point in the trip. They were funny and charming (aside from asking Andrea how much money he made, hee hee), and made the trip to the falls as fun as the impromtu ride in the tea truck the previous day.
Andrea followed their guidance and didn’t swim, though there was a Sri Lankan man washing something on the large rocks in the water (see slideshow iii). We made our way back to our driver who took us back to Ella, where we had an amazing spread of Sri Lankan curries, rice, and Lion Lager. We checked our email after and I downloaded my images onto a flash drive before heading back to Ambiente.
I could have rested and read for days enjoying the scenery and quiet at the Ambiente guesthouse, but we had limited time and train tickets on to Kandy the next morning.
Alas! That’s it for slideshow iii, which ends with our breakfast views from the guesthouse. Now to edit the next batch, the train ride through the hill country to Kandy. Oh words cannot describe how I loved that trip.