Bundala Bound

Well, here I am in the Lagoon Inn, roughly halfway between Hambantota and Tissamaharama. it’s all open balconies, walkways and mosquito-netted beds. The slightly less than 100km took about 4 and a half hours. As usual, the buses were frequent, generally crowded, noisy and scary if you watched through the front window. I’m becoming impressed with the panache with which I leap gaily from bus to bus: unlike the two young Eastern Europeans who sat next to me out of Matara, I’ve yet to get on a bus going in the opposite direction, but there’s still time…

I’m sure gloating generates negative karma, but I’ll take the risk…

One of the things that made me grumpy on Thursday – it didn’t take much – was that, having spent time and effort setting up my laptop for Friday’s assembly, I was suddenly told that it had to be on another machine – one which did not have the required software on it. While Fathima scurried off to rectify this problem, I muttered expletives WordPress probably doesn’t let me express and hung around for a while. However, I finally gave up and went in search of sustenance.

On Friday morning when I arrived I was told everything was fine, but then with just minutes to spare, panic ensued as they couldn’t get the sound to work… Could they use my laptop? I had almost decided not to take it for the hour or so I’d be there, but had eventually done so just in case and thus Mr Doug saved the day.

Assembly went smoothly – I didn’t think my kids did as good a job as I’d have liked, but all in all it was OK given that they’d not had much practice. Nadeshani is soon to leave to do an MSc, so there were two huge iced sponge cakes to mark our departure and parents, students and staff all tucked in. I pointed out to Rick that someone had mischievously changed the school’s address on Facebook to a small island off the Jafna Peninsula, so investigations are afoot…

March Birthdays

Kindergarten enact the Hungry Caterpillar

Poor Fathima, who had bought me a lovely sentimental “thank you teacher” card decorated with paper flowers, was tearful at my departure and I must admit to a slight moistening of the eye as I said goodbye to my charges: such a nice bunch of kids, despite their inevitable irritations. I have promised to look in briefly for one last visit before heading home.

Today is Saturday and I’ve plumped for my Bundala safari to happen on Sunday, so I’m having a rest day. The Inn has an excellent viewing platform over the surrounding countryside, so I’m sitting there, able to move into the shade if need be, blogging and bird watching. Ibis, herons, egrets, peacocks and all sorts heave into view. Occasional butterflies flutter by and rather more distant water buffalo wallow in the shallow lagoons. The Inn fronts onto the main road so there’s a bit of traffic noise, but the back gives right onto the edge of Bundala NP and the birds don’t seem to mind the noise.

Last night I met some of the other guests: English, Italian, Vietnamese Canadian and a puckle of ubiquitous Ukrainians. One of the English women is hobbling on crutches after a minor road traffic accident. Minor in terms of her being the only casualty and there being no bones broken, but disabling nevertheless. Some of the travelers have hired drivers for the duration: others, like me, prefer the freedom – and lower cost! – of the bus network. Most of them seem envious of my longer timescale and that reminds me of how lucky I am. That in fact was the theme of Barbie Gall at Assembly. She is the lady of a certain age who founded TGS and spends a chunk of the year in SL. Her friends call her “Barbie” but she bears very little resemblance to the wasp-waisted, blonde figurine marketed by Mattel or whoever.

I didn’t know whether to be amused at an incident earlier today. After breakfast – which featured Tomato Jam as one of its delights – and I wouldn’t say that Papaya is one of my favourite fruits, as it always reminds me of the taste of sick – I was lounging on my bed reading ‘Crime and Punishment’ when I became aware of one of the staff standing and looking through my room window. ‘You sleeping’. I went to the door, assuming he wanted to discuss some arrangement for meals, safaris or something but apparently not. He put his hand out and stroked my beard, said ‘Good’ and went away. I may lock my room tonight.

Panorama from viewing platform

Lagoon Inn and viewing platform

Lagoon Inn

Balcony outside my room

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2 responses to “Bundala Bound

  1. Lovely pics – the impression is of gin and tonic sipped on the verandah as interesting specimens amble by. What a life!

  2. NO G&T but the odd Lion. I spared you pics of my blistered, pocmarked legs. But yes, its a nice place.

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