January 27, 2016
27.01.2016 - 27.01.2016 31 °C
Right after breakfast, we enjoyed a visit from the Malabar Pied Hornbills. Apparently, they visit almost every day. Then we rented bikes from the hotel. We rode over to the large area of ruins here. Riding a bike along the side of the main road with cars, buses, and trucks passing within inches of you is pretty terrifying. Luckily, we didn't have too far to go. The road thru the ruins is a lovely brick paved road with lots of shade. We started at the far end, on the advise of Nimal, where there are fewer tourists early in the day. And it worked, we were almost alone at the first couple of sites we stopped at. Then as we progressed, the tour buses showed up and the crowds got much thicker. The ruins are very interesting, hard to believe they were built mostly in the 12th century. Lots of the intricate friezes are still very beautiful.
We found a small place in town to have lunch, after we finished in the ruins. Another terrifying bike ride! And then to the Archaeological Museum for a quick look at some of the artifacts they have recovered.
We rode back to the hotel and met up with our safari jeep driver. He loaded us into the back of his jeep truck and took us on a tour of some back roads thru villages and along some of the many irrigation canals. It was very interesting to see people going about their ordinary lives, swimming in the canal and/or doing their laundry, bathing, etc. They almost all waved and called Hello, as we went by. Some of the children came running out to the road to greet us. We saw some birds and an iguana/land monitor? as well as we traveled.
We proceeded on to back roads beside a couple of the national parks in the area. We were lucky enough to come upon a group of elephants feeding right beside the road. We also saw one of the elephants, possibly the matriarch?, start to charge a motorcycle that came by. Apparently, the elephants do not like motorcycles. I'd like to know the story behind that one.
Home we came at dusk, to a shower, and another delicious supper.