We are taking it a little easy on our second day in Uda Walawe, but you might say it is all relative! We have checked in to Kalu’s hideaway, a beautiful boutique hotel tucked in behind a scrub jungle and hidden from view till you are right in front of the doorway.
Built by Romesh Kaluwitarana, one of Sri Lanka’s famous cricketers, it is a beautiful eco friendly jungle retreat perfect for those occasions when you want to get away from it all. I loved the water feature in front. There are no gutters in the construction of this hotel and the water trickles down the wires to ornamental pots where it is collected and reused in the garden!
We start the day at the elephant rehabilitation centre where young elephants who are orphaned or abandoned are hand fed and released to the wild after about 9 years. Yes, I thought that was a long transit period too! Our next stop was the Sankapala temple another ancient cave temple that has sprung up around a place where monks originally meditated.
We then visited one of the old “waluwes” in the area. This place was once the palatial home of the village headman where every young bride in the area visited before she was allowed to enjoy her honeymoon! The perks of power were evident then too. The place is now in much disrepair and I wondered why the government had not restored or perhaps converted this to a hotel where travellers could enjoy the glories of our past!
“A mind once stretched by a new idea never regains its original dimensions.”