It is only ‘Day 4’ and I already feel like I have been in Sri Lanka for two weeks, at least . It is crazy how much I have seen and experienced in so little time!
Even though I write a new post each evening I still didn’t cover the Sigiriya Rock Trek and my journey from Colombo to Habarana. Wow!
My experience in Kaudulla National Park will be on top of my list for many days to come but Hiriwadunna Village Trek was very close! Let’s be honest, it is gonna be hard to beat observing gathering of 60 elephants in their natural habitat! Really hard! Maybe scenic flight with Cinnamon Air could stand a chance, who knows ha ha ha
I must admit I was slightly worried about this Hiriwadunna Village Trek. You know how they always and everywhere promise you an authentic experiences and than let you down?! That is definitely NOT the case when in comes to Hiriwadunna Village Trek organized by Cinnamon Hotels.
I can’t say enough good about Cinnamon Hotels. They have been amazing throughout the whole stay. Well-organized and always on top of their game, no matter what the situation.
Best example is my new friend Cleila, from Keep Calm and Travel Blog, who end up in hospital in Kandy! Fortunately well take care off. Hands down Cinnamon Hotels!
But enough of my ‘bla, bla, bla’ and lets’s talk about Hiriwadunna Village Trek, which I have chosen for my happy moment of today! It was a hard choice, as Lion’s Rock was pretty spectacular as well.
Hiriwadunna Village Trek
It was afternoon when we started a trek in the village, which is only five minute away from Habarana. We got to meet and observe people working and simply going around their daily lives. We learned that they are still using barter system, which I must admit is quiet interesting.
The naturalist who was our guide was very knowledgeable and devoted to this project. Hiriwadunna Village Trek is a part of big environmental/culture program which Cinnamon Hotels run to benefits communities and wildlife parks surrounding its properties!
You will read everything about all of those great initiatives in my Good Karma Affair section very soon!
Bund of Wewa and manmade reservoir, welcomed us with many birds, butterflies and lizards!
When we had enough of chasing butterflies which obviously didn’t wanted to be photographed we embarked on a ‘boat’ or rather a ‘catamaran’. Double paired canoes joined together into one.
We cruised the lake slowly admiring Sigiriya Rock from afar, surrounding jungle and million of water lilies leaves! Very peaceful and truly calming experience.
When we reached the shore on another side we have been welcomed with drinks of sweet king coconut, which we enjoyed but not as much as a cat that joined our little group! The cat tasted a coconut and was totally loving it! Lol
After the refreshments we have been lead through more fields and explained about Human – Elephant Conflict and demonstrated how farmers try to keep elephants from destroying the crops.
On the way back we took bullock carts, which are double-ox carts. Our driver was one skilful man, I’m not sure I would be able to handle that! But on the other hand I do not even have a driving license, so I better stuck to public transport! Ha ha ha
Jungle surrounding the Wewa Tank, village and Paddy lands were a hive of evening activities. Men were fixing cars, cleaning machines in the water and working in the fields.
I loved Hiriwadunna Village Trek because this is what I love about travel. Being able to immerse myself in authentic and unique experiences while trying to understand country and people. As of now I still do not know much about Sri Lankan people except them having quiet fine sense of humour, I guess I found a right address! :)
Disclaimer: My stay in Cinnamon Chaaya Village was sponsored by Cinnamon Hotels. The Hiriwadunna Village trek was a part of organized activity for TBCAsia conference I’m attending. Having said that, all thoughts, opinions and observations are always my own.