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By this Author: Welliesred

Pinnewala Elephant Orphanage

overcast 28 °C

Today I started out on my 3 day tour of Sri Lanka. I was picked up at 4.30am from the hotel and set out to Pinnewala Elephant Orphanage.

Pinnewala follows along the same lines as the turtle hatchery. They take in Orphand baby elephants, whoes mothers have either been shot by hunters or have been scared off by farmers and left the babies behind when running off. Some are also injured and they are kept at the Orphanage as they would not survive in the wild.

This is Tuska he is blind due to being shot by hunters for his tusks - luckily he got away.
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This is Summer, she only has 3 legs and one was blown off by a land mine.
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I arrived just at feeding time - all the elephants look well fed and cared for and they have keepers to help look after them and make sure they are behaving themselves. All the elephants are left to walk freely around the reserve apart from about four or five who are the naughty elephants and they are chained up - so stay in the naughty corner but are still well looked after.

We then walked to the baby feeding area, this is where they are given milk as they no longer have there mothers to rely on. They have 7 bottles 5 times a day - and they are not small bottles
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We then went to the river to watch them take their daily bath. You can also jump in and give them a hand - they love being splashed and having their ears washed.
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And again there was the naughty corner for any being bad they sent them to the corner of the river and chained them up.

I have so many photo's of this morning - it was a brilliant day I can't rave about it enough - even the four o'clock start did not put me off (and for me that is saying something - don't usually speak until 10am)

Posted by Welliesred 03:56 Archived in Sri Lanka Tagged animal Comments (3)

Hatching Turtles

sunny 28 °C

This evening I went to the Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery.

There are 5 species of turtle in Sri Lanka - Green, Olive Ridley, Hawsbill, Leatherback and loggerhead, they all lay eggs along the beaches in Sri Lanka, the eggs are a delicacy in Sri Lanka so are stolen by egg poachers and sold for a nice sum of money.

What the hatchery aim's to do is buy the eggs first and then hatch them in saftey they then wait until they are 3 days old and release them into the sea. These turtles are 3 days and will be released tonight.
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For a small entrance fee of SR200 (about GBP 1) you can have a tour of the hatchery and the money goes towards keeping the hatchery open. You can also pay a little extra to go back in the evening and release some trurtles yourself.
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I released four - I named them Bert, Eve, Murtle and Hurtle. (you dont have to name them - I just decided to)

The hatchery also takes care of injured turtles. One turtle has no front fins as it was captured for meat and the front fins cut off and thrown back into the sea. Another is blind (from birth) and will never be able to go back into the sea and survive. So they both stay here permantly
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The other turtles there have been injred by fishing nets and are handed over to the hatchery to make them well and then they are released back into the sea.

As usual they try to sell you something at the end of the tour - however they do say that all proceeds go back into the Hatchery and helping these animals. The hatchery was completely wiped out by the Tsunami and they have managed to rebuild it with the help of volunteers and donations.

Great evening and very worthwhile

Posted by Welliesred 03:02 Archived in Sri Lanka Tagged animal Comments (0)

First Dive - Or not !!!

sunny 31 °C

Today I was picked up at the hotel at 8.30am for a morning of diving. The dive center is at Confifi Marina and is about a 5 minute car journey away from the hotel.
The marina is on the edge of the river there was me and one other diver + 2 dive guides, we prepare to go out for 2 dives. The guys at the dive center are very helpful and brief most of the information on the dive sites before we leave.
The boat set's off down the river and then heads out to sea, however, it has to get through the breakwater ! That was pretty scary stuff, like a white knuckle ride at Thorpe Park ! Once we were through the breakwater it was alot calmer.
After about 30 minutes they got there GPS system out to find the dive site, the cool looking DM flopped over the side to go find the line and tie off the boat. 20 minutes later and we are still waiting, I was starting to feel a little ill at this point - then up pops an SMB which the Instructor grabs and it promptly comes off the line and deflates - Oh dear !

Another 10 minutes later (but felt like alot longer) the DM appears over the side of the boat, very out of breath but still smiling and still looking very cool. They then decide between them that the current is too strong and there would be no diving today. So we all head back !

So no diving, but it did mean I got to spend the day on the beach with the guys from the dive center - which meant to hassle from the beach boys. Weather is great, I looked a bit red by the end of the day ! But I did see my first elephant !!
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Posted by Welliesred 02:32 Archived in Sri Lanka Tagged boating Comments (0)

I've arrived !

sunny 29 °C

Just to let you know that I arrived safe !
The flight was long 9.5 hours - and I only drunk 1 vodka and 2 glasses of wine - hence I know how long the flight was and for once I can remember what films I watched !
(also Penny, no valium required)

I arrived at 2.30 am and then had another 2.5 hours drive to my hotel. So a very long day.

The hotel is nice and I spent the first day being lazy and sitting my the pool. I was a bit worried that I might not get out and about as I went to go on the beach and before my foot was even out of the gate 6 beach boys surrounded me and would not leave me alone. So I got a bit down that I would have to spend the whole week by the pool.

However, I went to the tourist information in the hotel and found out where the local dive center is and the taxi company that will take you where ever you want to go.

So my next few days are booked up with diving and trips getiing out and about.

No photo's yet - but hopefully tomorrow.

Speak to you all soon

Posted by Welliesred 05:23 Archived in Sri Lanka Comments (2)

Packed & Ready to go

rain 12 °C

Well it's taken nearly 3 weeks to pack for this trip. Not sure on the weight of the bags yet - or if I still have enough clothes ! But I'm sure they will let me know at the check-in desk on Sunday morning.

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On my second bottle of calms - Penny get the valium ready !

I've checked the weather for both ends of my journey:-
Heathrow; Heavy Showers, 12c and 23mph winds
Sri Lanka; Heavy Showers, 31c and 8mph winds

Great weather for the nervous flier !

Hopefully next time you see an update I will be in Sri Lanka !

Posted by Welliesred 14:58 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged packing Comments (1)

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