Paradise Isle had yet another long weekend – I escaped the city and went in to the jungle. That too, to the elephant country.
We stayed in this amazing place called the “Tree Tops” off Buttala, which is on the border of Yala National Park. Mud huts, tree-top pads, in one with nature. No electricity, just kerosene lamps. Switched off my mobile, ate country rice and bathed in the well. Life couldn’t get any simpler, it couldn’t get any more peaceful.
A trek along the tracks that wild elephants tread, we explored the jungle. It was a playground of the wild bears, as it was evident all over the place. A countless number of birds were singing their hearts out, and we reached the mountain top to discover a magnificent view of the area. We were on top of a rock on par with Budurawagala monastery.
That evening, we experienced the elephants. A young couple, on their way to taste the delicacies of the farms (chena), decided to hang around the place until it was dark enough and safe enough to make a move. They were a few meters away, in no hurry, just whetting their appetites. We too, sat there in silence, being part of the jungle, for hours. They’d mind their own business, as long as we’d mind our own. How beautiful.
Totally de-stressed, we were heading back to Colombo, and I couldn’t bear the hustle and bustle of Buttala town. That lazy, back-of-beyond place felt like like a bee-hive. At least, that's how I felt. I had forgotten the madness of ‘civilization.’
Back in Colombo, I’m cherishing the memories of the most beautiful moonlit-night I’ve even seen: in the middle of the jungle, from the top of a tree. The tree-tops were bathing in moonlight, with wild creatures breaking the eerie silence from time to time... Me, in a sleeping bag, peeping out in to the open, mesmerized with the fairy-tale-like beauty all around me.
a) One of the Chena farmers...
b) treated us to “Corn-a-la-Buttala”
c) The holy mother of all trees
d) Room with a view
e) The view from halfway to the mountain peak