Day 2 and we were back on the road. Our first stop was Kadjugama, home of the cashew nut. Kadjugama is famous and a must-do stop for any trip to Sri Lanka. The local sellers work hard for their money and their products are beautiful. Aside from being delicious in curries cashews are very healthy eating; packed full of anti-oxidants, fibre, minerals and good-fatty acids that help to lower cholesterol.
We met the local sellers and had a look at the nuts and the cashew fruit too.
Cashew fruit, better known as “Cashew Apples” look like upside-down hearts and are attached to the cashews. Cashew apples have more than 5 times the amount of Vitamin C in an orange and after steaming or boiling them can be quite tasty. The locals even make them into a liquor.
From there we headed to Pinnawella an elephant reserve which acts as a safe zone, hospital and transit home for Ep
lephants who are the victims of the clash between humans and these beautiful creatures. In daylonging gone the farmers would battle with the elephants for food and space. The winner was not always the human, but it was a fight that no one rally every one. Elephants were being killed and or maimed, and lots of human life and property was also lost. No days rather than the gun the farmers pick up the phone and call the wild life preservation department who tranquilize and remove the beautiful creatures to Pinnawella. If they have been wounded they are fixed up and rehabilitate, micro chipped and eventually released into the wild. But if they are troublesome again then they are recaptured and returned back to Pinnawella. When the British arrive there was an estimated 33,000 elephants in Sri Lanka, this number dipped to less than 3000 in 1975 until Pinnawella was started, the numbers are still low but because of the conservation efforts of the government and places like this the populatin now exceeds 5000 and brave members of our group got up close and personal with these incredible creatures.
Elephants have been an important part of Sri Lankan culture for thousands and thousands of years with early accounts of Sinhalese kings capturing and taming the beautiful animals. They used to be the bulldozers off the country, assisting to build most of the amazin cities around this beautiful country. Now there are age restrictions on the working life of an elephant, as all the heaven work damages the inner jaw of the elephant and makes it hard to chew. So a strong elephant would work from maturity 15 years old to the age of 30.the penalties for mistreating an elephant are harsh, and the indescrimante killing of an elephant will bring a life sentence.
It was a moving experience for us all and thrilling to be back in my Sri Lanka and up close with one of my favourite animals.
We are a sumptuous lunch at Saruketha Restaurant where chef Mike Jamerson took great care of us and taught us about two new curries then finished off the meal with Belli Mal tea to cleanse the system.
The tour group are learning that food in Sri Lanka is not only about satisfying the stomach but also the Ayurvedic applications of this amazing cuisine.
Along the way they were told stories of the Ancient kings ang the history of this wonderful country.
Next we’ll head to the heritage-listed site of Annurajapurah founded in the 6th century BC.
We finally got home after a long, exciting and very special day to our beautiful hotel, the Palm Garden in Anuradhapura. I’ve missed falling asleep to the sounds of the Sri Lankan wilderness.