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Saturday, 27 December 2014

Traffic Jams on a Sri Lankan Safari - Page 2

Written by Jo Eckersley
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Close to the shore there’s a man-made structure – three curved trunks of metal in a line. We know without asking that this is a memorial to the tsunami, which obliterated huge chunks of Sri Lanka’s highly populated coastline in 2004.

 

Our driver doesn’t wait for us to ask him about it.

 

“I didn’t work here when tsunami came because I am 18. But my friend worked here then. He was lucky - no work that day.

 

“He came back to park later. ­There were no animals. No animals and no dead animals. Same across Sri Lanka. Animals knew tsunami was coming.”

 

He glances towards the sea before climbing into the cab and hitting his horn to announce our departure.

 Image 3

The heat starts to sting our eyes as we carry on, through miles of well driven tracks. We stop when we see a family of elephants bathing in the mud.

Ma 

The older elephants stand at the edge of the pool, serenely tossing brown water over their backs. The littlest elephant edges closer to its family; it starts to burrow its way under their legs, and falls over, like a toddler crawling under the table at a dinner party.

 

We watch this game with childlike fascination for 10 short minutes. Before long we're back on the humming roads of Tissamaharama, obstinately ignoring the barefooted touts who follow us down the street at a panicked pace.

 

(c) Jo Eckersley 

Yala 11

(Page 2 of 2)
Last modified on Wednesday, 31 December 2014

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