Tuesday, July 28, 2009

West Meets East

Known as Tirukōṇamalai in Tamil, this is a natural deep-water harbor that has been a port since the time of the ancient kings, and it still plays a major role in maritime trade in Sri Lanka. So it is fitting that one should try to visit this culturally enriched land even once in their lifetime. With that in mind, my team at office decided that this was the ideal time to get away from the hectic work schedules and enjoy life, at least for three days, doing a bit of recharging of the body batteries.

We started out Friday morning around 10.00 am. Could have gone earlier but, some of us have leave problems. By popular vote, it was decided to make the journey there through Puttlam and Anuradhapura, and come back through Habarana. The road from Puttlam onwards is not that great, narrow and bumpy, and it just adds more distance and time to the journey. However, I think it’s good to try each road at least once, hence my vote for the two routes. In my opinion, the Habarana route is much better and scenic. Arrived in Trinco around 8.00 in the night, to a strangely quiet and sleeping city. A change from the non-stop hustle and bustle of Colombo. It seems like a lot of people are visiting Trinco these days and the hotels are packed during the weekends, which is good in a sense.

Got up early Saturday morning and headed for the Konesvaram Temple, which is situated inside the Dutch Fort, now home to the security forces. After that, it was straight to Nilaweli. Most of the road to Nilaweli is under reconstruction to widen it, so at the moment it is a wide dirt road. Only a section of it is finished and going by that, it would be a street racer’s dream road once finished. The area is your typical dry-zone, very much like going through Hambantota. In contrast, the hotel grounds are filled with trees. It’s like they planted the trees first and built the hotel around it. This gives the whole compound a cool atmosphere.

Saturday afternoon arranged a jaunt to Pigeon Island, which is straight across from the area in which the hotel is located. The hotel has a launch as well, but there are locals who operate boat services, which costs LKR 1500.00 for 8 people. The island is a big rock with a coral beach all around it. There is a small shallow bay on one side full of fish. You have to be careful if you’re swimming there because the seabed is covered with sharp corals. Several of the guys have very painful mementos that vouch for there razor sharpness. You can definitely see plenty of coral fish here, if you don’t make a big splash and scare them away.

Three days are definitely not enough to enjoy everything, but alas, the chains of our mundane lives drag us back to reality. Unwillingly we packed our bags and started back home on Sunday.

Posted some pics here, and the rest is available on my flickr.

Try Wikipedia for more info on Trinco.

Cheers, have a good week all!

Under the Shade
View of Trinco from near Koneshwaram Temple
View of Trinco from near Koneshwaram Temple
Temple Procession
Koneshwaram Temple
View from the rear of the Temple

Koneshwaram Temple

Entrance of Nilaweli Beach Hotel
The Beach
Cool Waters
Walk this way

Ideal place for a nap
Pigeon Island
Pigeon Island

The beach early in the morn
The beach early in the morn
Waiting for passengers
Araliya mal
Secret Squirrel
Guardians of the lake
Kantale Wewa

Thursday, July 02, 2009

*Yawn…* the damn clock is slow

It sucks to come early to work only to find out that you don’t have any work assigned for the day, which means you get to sit around doing nothing. What to do but surf the net while making a half-hearted attempt to ramp up on various tools. It also sucks that your seated in such a way that everybody else can see your monitors. These are the times I wish I had a workstation tucked nicely into a darkened corner. No, I don’t mean anything NSFW, :P just watching some plain old movies. In any case, after going through all my usual sites, here I am, reading mindless trivia to fill up the hours.

Came across some interesting cat facts on a site. Yes, I’m reduced to reading cat facts now.

• 95% of cat owners admit they talk to their cats.

• A cat can be either right-pawed or left-pawed.

• A cat can jump as much as seven times its height.

• A cat can sprint at about thirty-one miles per hour.

• A cat cannot see directly under its nose. This is why the cat cannot seem to find tidbits on the floor.

• A cat has 230 bones in its body. A human only has 206 bones.

• A cat sees about six times better than a human at night because of the tapetum lucidum , a layer of extra reflecting cells which absorb light.

• A cat uses its whiskers to determine if a space is too small to squeeze through. The whiskers act as feelers or antennae, helping the animal to judge the precise width of any passage.

• A cat will almost never meow at another cat. Cats use this sound for humans.

• A cat will never break a sweat because it has no sweat glands.

• A cat's brain is more similar to a human's brain than that of a dog.

• A cat's brain is more similar to a man's brain than that of a dog.

• A cat's ear pivots 180 degrees.

• A cat’s field of vision is about 185 degrees.

• A group of adult cats is called a clowder.

• A group of kittens is called a kindle.

• Both humans and cats have identical regions in the brain responsible for emotion.

You can find the whole list here.

Found another site that also has a collection of cool cat pics. These pics courtesy of them.

Tic Toc, Tic Toc… *sigh* C’mon clock move your arse :D