you're reading...
Uncategorized

Slackpackers On The Move

From leopard sightings to skyscrapers, we are on the move, full backpacker style. The swell started pumping during our last few days at Arugam Bay, or as our Kiwi friend Tom says, “the surf was gangbusters.” We went on exotic tuk-tuk adventures everyday, pulling over to watch elephants grazing at dawn, finding great waves, and eating piles of banana/chocolate/coconut rotis. Sri Lanka treated us so well, that we have decided to return in August for the last month of our journey. So we've stored our surfboards there and are now traveling light and fast. Okay, maybe not so fast… But two small daypacks and one duffle is a dream compared to that PLUS three shortboards. Taking a break from surfing (this is a YEAR in trim, after all), was a tough decision, but we are already enjoying the ride.

We took the long route back to Colombo, traveling by train and bus to the southern tip, then up the west side of the island. Our first night was spent in Tissamaharama, where we embarked on another half day safari, with the hope of seeing a leopard, as this area has the world's highest concentration of these animals. We had heard good things about a particular driver, Eka Deka, so we requested him to guide us through the park. We climbed into a very old British Land Rover, and proceeded to seriously haul ass out of town, passing cars, cars, busses, and other wide eyed safari goers. Clearly this guy has been doing this for a while and was hell bent on getting us to see as much as possible. Eka Deka did not disappoint and we were rewarded with many animals, including a leopard sighting. We pulled up to about six other jeeps that spotted the leopard walking off the road and into the bush. As all the other tourists sat there, scanning the bush, Chris happened to glance behind us, just in time to see the big cat saunter into the road, yawn, then proceed to lay down in the middle of the road, while about 30 tourists faced the other direction. For a few minutes, it was the two of us quietly watching the leopard lounge in the road, truly an amazing animal.

From Tissamaharama, we spent the next night in Galle, a 1600's Dutch colonial fort built on a peninsula on the southwest coast of the island. Unlike anything else we have seen in Sri Lanka, the fort was packed with narrow brick streets, colonial architecture, and small cafes and shops, giving it a very European feel. The fort, being a fort and all, is surrounded by a huge wall that is entirely walkable. From Galle, we bus hopped our way up the west coast, stopping in dry season surf spots such as Hikkaduwa and Bentota. Not to disappoint, our last travel leg of the day was on the most jam packed, sticky, sweaty commuter train. Ah Sri Lanka, we can't wait to come back!

We are currently spending a few hectic days in wealthy, modern, shopaholic Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. A quite pleasing city, with outstanding architecture, excellent public transit, cheap digs, and some incredibly humid heat. Fortunately, there are tons of air conditioned malls to get a reprieve from the sweatfest. We've spent a few days here, living the city life, sightseeing, riding public transit, shopping, eating street food, getting our fix of western food (Krispy Kreme and Pizza Hut, anyone?), and just doing some good old fashioned people watching. A very diverse city, from local Chinese and Malay, Chinese tourists, European backpackers, Aussie trash (we'll touch on that in another post), and Muslim women, faces covered in full burqas, buying designer hand bags. Consumerism really does bring the world together!

Since we are now on the slackpacker trail, rather than the surfer trail, so we are definitely hanging with a different crowd. Our “backpacker inn” in KL is quite a scene with a rather eclectic mix of twenty something Euros, a few dubious looking middle aged men, and a Japanese guy who sits with his MacBook all day, looking like he is doing very important work. The place is a funky, multilevel place, covered in original oil paintings with paper thin walls between the rooms and friendly staff.

Time to leave the city before we get hooked on junk food!

Elephant day at the beach.
Here kitty kitty.
One of the many amazing birds of Yala, a bee eater.
Two animals you wouldn't want to come across in a dark alley.
Galle mosque and lighthouse.
 
 
Galle car. Love the old stuff in Sri Lanka.

Petronas twin towers in KL. Second highest buildings in the world.
KL Tower.
More delicious street food, KL.
We took a batik class. This is Katy in the beautiful artists studio.
Batu caves. 140 foot high statue of Lord Muruga.
Inside Batu caves.
 
Advertisements

Discussion

9 thoughts on “Slackpackers On The Move

  1. Definitely believe that which you said. Your favorite justification seemed to be on the net the simplest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I definitely get annoyed while people think about worries that they plainly don’t know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and defined out the whole thing without having side effect , people could take a signal. Will likely be back to get more. Thanks

    Posted by Hdesarn | August 12, 2012, 11:36 pm
  2. Katy, has a year almost passed already?!? I’ve been following your adventures via the blog and I hope that we’ll get to sit down and catch up once you are back. Erik & I are living in PDX now, but I’m sure we’ll get a chance to meet up eventually. Roll on, world traveler!

    Posted by Karyn | July 22, 2012, 7:02 pm
    • Hi Karyn, how are you? I thought of you the other day when we were in Georgetown, Malaysia. The little India part of the city was full of sparkly, sparkly things for belly dancing clothing. I wished I could have filled a duffle bag of stuff for you! We are currently in Thailand, making our way north. We fly back to Sri Lanka in mid August. Glad to hear life is good in Portland, I will have to come visit someday this fall or winter! Katy

      Posted by 100lbfury | July 23, 2012, 12:45 am
  3. So stoked for you two and all your adventures! Everything sounds amazing!!

    Posted by Melanie | July 20, 2012, 6:37 pm
  4. I would be the dubious Middle age guy………

    Posted by Anonymous | July 19, 2012, 5:57 am
  5. Love your entries — awesome to live vicariously through your adventures. I’m sure you are planning your next trip already.

    Posted by Joe and Linda O. | July 16, 2012, 8:55 am
  6. Lying awake with a toothache reading about your travels… stoked you guys are having a good time and stoked you’ll be back soon. The next picture I want to see is of an elephant crammed into one of those tiny little cars. Cheers Jonas

    Posted by Anonymous | July 16, 2012, 2:45 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: