Now to the awesome trip I had after work! Ah, the perks of your work taking you to places! As soon as I finished the wedding, I headed to Pinnawala – the land of Elephants. I checked in to this hotel called ‘The Elephant Bay’, a humongous hotel in a modest location. It felt like one of those huge treasures you’d find along a narrow, unlikely path in the movies. When I heard the sound of running waters outside the reception, I knew this would be one of the best stays ever. The entire hotel overlooks a perennial river, housing rocks all the way as far as the eye can see. Only half way through the excitement, the best was yet to come. I opened the door to my room… correction, a HUGE room, with ten feet ceilings, and one entire side of the room covered with transparent glass panels with a view that was just unexplainably gorgeous. The icing on the cake, however, was the balcony, also overlooking the river, the mountains, and the whole landscape. The sound of the river constantly crashing the rocks was just bliss to the ears.
There were a lot of other hotels in the same street with a similar view, but this was the only one with a kickass swimming pool like this!
Things to do:
Watch more elephants.
Did I forget Elephants?
Channa (You should try the Kothu. It will bring tears to your eyes. Literally.)
If you’d been following me on Instagram, you’d know how much I love animals. So, it’s quite obvious why Pinnawala was first on my list of things to do.
There are two places where you get to interact with elephants.
- The Elephant Orphanage, run by the Government
- The one I found after so muchhhhhhh research, called the MEF – Millennium Elephant Foundation
We skipped the orphanage and headed to the MEF. Tickets cost about SLR 5000 per person.
They have a package called “WALK WITH THE ELEPHANTS”, where they encourage visitors to walk with the gentle giants instead of riding on them. In case you guys didn’t know, elephants cannot bear weight on their back. Their strength is only on the neck and trunk. Please choose the walking option if and when you go. Never ever ride on them.
They also have some cool volunteer programs that you can explore. I’m definitely trying one of these programs next time.
So, here, I met Pooja (the Elephant assigned to me).The foundation assigns one elephant to the visitor, which gives a full private time with the elephant for the next 45 minutes. I had the time of my life. After a long 30 minute walk, I got to feed her, bathe her, and even get a shower!