We headed out the door to grab breakfast from somewhere in downtown Matale, but the hotel owner told us he was giving us free breakfast. He felt bad about the party the night before, which had gone on until 11. In truth, the party didn’t bother me at all and I was able to sleep fine. But whatever! I’ll take free food.
It was A LOT of food. I felt a bit too stuffed afterward.
Around 9:30, we got on the owner’s motorbike, which he was lending to us for the day, and rode out to Knuckles Mountain Range.
The drive there was nice. We went through the forest and some mountain villages, and there were many beautiful viewpoints.
The higher we climbed, the colder it got, and by the time we got to the hiking entrance it was freezing. The wind was crazy, it was raining a bit, and the fog made it impossible to see more than 50 feet ahead.
After a bit of dilly dallying and hugging each other for warmth, we got going.
About 5 minutes in to the hike, we re-evaluated. Did it make sense to keep going in this weather? It was cloudy, windy, and likely to pour at any moment.
We decided to turn back around. There was no way this would turn out an enjoyable hike.
We were worried about driving in the windy weather, but as soon as we were 50 meters away from the top, the wind calmed down and it was fine.
As we were winding down the mountain, we passed a boy selling mango out of a basket. He saw us and started chasing us, yelling “MONEY! MONEY!”
We just drove past him, unsure of what to do. It was one of the strangest and saddest experiences of my life. I felt bad that we didn’t stop for him, but it was just so weird how he immediately yelled “money” at us. Not like, “Would you like some mango?” Just, “MONEY!”
We stopped by a place selling pomelo. I pointed at one, asking if it was ready to eat and making an eating motion with my hand. The guy thought I was asking him to open it, so he took it to the table and started peeling it.
Another old dude who was sitting around eating some laddu started talking to Adrian.
He was clearly losing his mind a bit and we both had no idea what he was saying. Soon he began pulling out random coins from his wallet. Some pounds, Euros, old Sri Lankan money. He mumbled something about Adrian’s bank account and Euros and then asked Adrian to write down his name and address. It was all very bizarre.
At this point, I asked the boy to stop cutting the grapefruit because I just wanted to get the hell out of there. The entire pomelo was only 50 RUPEES!!! 50!!! That’s 30 cents. In all the countries I’ve been to, pomelo is always so expensive. Never less than $5, let alone $1. Crazy.
We went on our way and stopped by Bambarakiri waterfalls, which was on the way back.
It was a pretty one, but it was too cold for swimming.
We decided to drive over to Sembuwaththa Lake, which was about an hour and a half drive away. We had nothing to do for the rest of the day, and it was supposed to be really pretty.
On the way, as we were stopping to take pictures of the landscape, a guy on his motorbike approached us to ask where were going. We told him the lake and he gave us the directions.
He asked where we’re from. When I told him the US, he told me he lived in Afghanistan as a driver for the US army. Crazy!
The last 20 minutes or so of the drive involved a lot of very bumpy roads. I was happy when we arrived safe and sound.
The lake was pretty small, but really pretty. We walked to the south end and sat on some boulders to eat our pomelo.
We slowly walked around the lake and then headed back to the hotel.
After relaxing for a bit, we went out for a run around 5:30. Adrian was doing a short one, I was doing a long one.
We started on the main road and then turned down a quieter street for the rest of the run.
People were STARING at us as we ran past them.
I’ve been stared at everywhere in Asia while running, but here it’s bad. They just STARE on and on. Some even disdainfully, like how dare we go faster than a walking pace.
Adrian turned back to go home after 2 miles, and I kept going. I was doing 8 miles total.
The dogs were so nice! I’m used to dogs getting up and growling at me as soon as they see me running towards them, but not one so much as barked at me.
Around mile 5, there was a group of boys at the side of the road shouting something at me. I didn’t know what they were saying.
I realized one of them had something in their hand and was trying to give it to me. I couldn’t tell what it was exactly, but I grabbed it anyway not to be rude. I thought it was an apple at first, but I later realized it was a passionfruit. Random, but kind!
I felt really good on this run. I ran faster than I usually do on long runs. But I should have started about a bit earlier– the last 20 minutes of my run were pretty dark.
I came home and Adrian was shaving his beard. He meant to just trim it, but messed up on one area and had to shave the whole thing. He was embarrassed and thought it looked so bad.
It was certainly different. It took me a while to get over the difference. He looked like a new person. I could actually see his facial structure and even his eyes looked different. But I liked it!! He looked 5 years younger and it was cute.
The owner ordered us dinner and we ate at the hotel. There was so much food, it was insane. He also got us beers, which was nice.
We watched Ibiza on Netflix and went to bed.
Thoughts on Ibiza: a silly movie, but I found myself laughing out loud multiple times throughout it. I’m not sure if I only found it funny because of the cast members, but I did thoroughly enjoy it. Even though I was aware of the stupidity of it.
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