Friday, January 20, 2012

Sri Lanka...first few days

We've spent a wonderful couple of days unwinding in Negombo, just north of Colombo, at the Dephani Guest House.  We're right on the beach and have been serenaded with the breaking surf on the beach about 50 metres away--mind you, the sound competes with the whirring of the fan or air conditioner too...
Sunset from our verandah! The sun dropped below the horizon within 2 minutes at 6:15 PM.  Note the shower head on the left side--very welcome after swimming in the salt water.

I was so stimulated by our Singapore experience that I didn't want to do much besides knit and stroll along the beach.
An inshore fisherman heading out to set his nets

A catamaran waiting for customers!  This is where the word "catamaran" came from:  the Tamil word is ketti-maran.

One day of that was just what I needed, and today we had a more active day.  We hired a tuk-tuk this afternoon and travelled due north about 20 kilometres to visit a tile factory (where they were making roof tiles) and a batik workshop.

The batik workshop
Filling in the spaces with the resist wax

The tile factory--these are roofing tiles.  All women, except for two men.  Lots of heavy lifting!  These people worked in a marvelous rhythm--as each woman finished a task, the next tile was put in front of her.  The clay was extruded in another machine, cut into blocks, and then each block placed on the press.  The women in the foreground were the expert trimmers.
And of course there was a wonderful shop attached to the batik workshop.  We bought a couple of sarongs from which I'll make a shirt for Lloyd, and I bought a simple short sleeved dress.  All-in-all, a very satisfying day!

Tomorrow we move on to the interior.  We've booked a car and driver through this guest house.  We'll be back here overnight before flying to India on February 3rd.

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