Watching out for the Tigers – in Ella

watch out for the tigers..

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Tuesday, Feb 26, 2008A?A?A?A?08:43

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So, the warning are out there, keep your eyes peeled.. The tigers are on the move.. The Tamil Tigers that is, bombs have killed close to 200 people here in Sri Lanka since the year has begun, and although things have quieted off a little now, trouble has struck all over the country..

It was a little disconcerting on one of my last evening in Hikkaduwa, when the regional authority decided to have a conference in the hotel opposite the dive shop I was working at, road blocks were set up, the AK’s were unpacked and police roamed the street on the lookout for the “evil” tigers..

All very mixed up I feel, why have a security sensitive event in your prime holiday destination, then why make all the local bars shut early so the ministers or officials can party till the sunrises (keeping me awake with the music).
But that is Sri Lanka at its best, short term gain over long term investment.. if something had happen during that conference, that would have been it for a long time, no one would want to visit..

Anyhow, IA?a??a??m out of Hikkaduwa for the time being, I say for the time being, because I have to head back there and pick up my rescue diver cert, passed the test and all the exercises, then the boss managed to run out of paperwork for me to fill out, so IA?a??a??ll have to head back and dot the iA?a??a??s and cross the tA?a??a??s..A?A? Up in the hill country currently and the weather has changed from the heat and humidity of the coast, a fresh chill now filters through the sky, itA?a??a??s the cleanest air that IA?a??a??ve even tasted, itA?a??a??s crisp and sharp, full of goodness..

Yala national park was visited, and also the FCO,
A?a??A?as well as coastal areas of Ampara district east of the A25 and A27 roads.A?A? We define the areas around Yala National Park as those east of the A2 and south of the A4.A?A? See the Terrorism and Local Travel sections of this advice for more details.A?a??A?

Eak! But it was worth it, even if we had to start an hour later because the army have to sweep the road for bombs, and by losing that hour in the morning we lost our main chance of spotting a leopard in the wild, although it was that wild out there really, hair raising around in a 4×4 land rover whilst 4 or 5 other vehicles all do the same, itA?a??a??s one hell of a noise that is kicked up.. The animal have to build up a tolerance to it, but only after time..

Breakfast time was a interesting, we stopped at the tourist rest area, which was made up of 3 concrete slabs and a plaque of remembers,A?A? 22 Japanese tourist were killed here when the tsunami struck, around 40 people in total were killed as the wave washed inland 1.5km.

We had a good day, besides the sore arse from bouncing about in the jeep for 6 hours..

Ella is somethingA?A? else though, up in the highest inn, run by an Aussie couple it has been a refreshing break from the usual faceless guesthouses that are on offer, they have turned the place into their home and warmly welcome guest, iggy popA?a??a??s A?a??A?a lust for lifeA?a??A? was bellowing from the hifi as we entered, what a luxury, music A?a??a?? loud music, music from back home.. itA?a??a??s weird how the small things make the difference..

More to follow..

We stayed at the Highest Inn, Ella


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