Monday, July 7, 2008
A surprise visitor
One of the persons who read my blog contacted me a few months ago and so when he came to Sri Lanka he wanted to visit me. It so happened that when he called on Thursday, the 3rd I was in Ratmale, and I invited him to visit on Friday the next day and suggested we combine it with a visit to the Kaudulla National Park where the elephants were just beginning to gather in numbers as the water level of the tank was receding due to the ongoing paddy cultivation, which creates the perfect plains of grass for the elephants to frolic.
To my surprise along with this gentlemen and his wife who came with a driver, was the well known Sinhala singer Victor Ratnayaka a personal friend of theirs. They brought a packed lunch and I shared their meal with them and I showed them around my half built make believe hunting lodge and the Ratmale tank by the property.
My regular jeep driver Kumara was on the nomination trail as it was nomination day for the Provincial Council elections of the North Central Province, and so his brother Neville was able to take us to the Park.
Due to my regular assistance to the Park in catching poachers using my vehicle and errands on their behalf, we were allowed entry without charge and we had a treat seeing a number of elephants including a small herd with many young ones and pregnant females and also had the pleasure of seeing some birds along with a Hawk Eagle almost right beside us who would not move as it had a small land monitor, (thalagoya) under its claws and we saw the tail hanging down. I took them along the scenic route along Rotawewa and I was very pleased to observe that all really enjoyed the afternoon out, which thankfully was not scorching.
The visitors came back to the property and the local boys had their photos taken with Victor before they left via the Minneriya jungles back to Dambulla, and I told them to watch out for elephant on the side of the road on their way back. So George if you read this let me know if you saw any elephants, as last time I made the trip I had to wait for a herd to cross to the Minneriya tank.
I saw two herds on my way back to Godagama on Sunday the 6th at 6.30pm by the tank near the main road at 6.30pm, there were more than 50.