Trunk road (sorry)

Day 11 - Kandy

We bussed it back down to Kandy yesterday and for once arrived in a place at a reasonable hour to find accommodation. Leaning against a building next to Trinity College we decided to search again for the place where a bed for the night costs less than a bottle of Coke. Up into the hills again we went, a young Buddhist monk reoriented us and sent us back to the very building we had been leaning again. Finally we observed the small lettering of the 'Burmese Rest'. An exuberant puppy greeted us and managed to draw blood on my hand, he didn't look rabid so I should be alright.
We were welcomed at 'The Pub' with the familiarity of regulars which by flighty tourist standards I suppose we were. A beautifully cool pint of Lion on the roof terrace atop a nearby hotel ended the evening. Today (Friday) we struck out for the Elephant Orphanage. Intrepid ideas of connecting buses were forgotten with the chartering of a private taxi. We descended the hills at a decent lick, waylaid only by a political rally. There's a lot of money to be had in politics said our driver and I felt like a dreadful old colonial (natives? in government? good god!) for assuming that corruption was implied in his statement. The orphanage rescues abused or exploited elephants and....well...exploits them. At least they get something out of this deal and with a seemingly good standard of care I would guess that the former permits the latter. We arrived in time to see them bathing in the river after which they are driven up a street like some Sri Lankan Pamplona with the tat-wallahs hastily moving their goods. How can one ascertain the contentment of a Pachyderm? Certainly I would venture that their sad, wet eyes give no clue. They would seem to be afforded a reasonable degree of liberty with only a few chained for reasons unknown. I generally came out in favour of the place while still feeling that at times an animatronic herd would have sufficed given the contrivance of the photo opportunities. It's a manipulated encounter firmly on our terms rather than theirs but it does more good than it does harm. Getting people this close to these creatures (without a rifle in hand) can benefit both species.

No comments:

Post a Comment