Friday, October 3, 2008
Kumbuk Pokuna Lodge, Ratmale, Minneriya
See www.ratmale.blogspot.com. It is a building I broke ground on August 4th 2006, which for want of funds I have not finished. It has cost me US$12,000 to date, part of which is from borrowed funds. This is in addition to the property, an acre, which I purchased from a friend years earlier.
I intend it to be both my personal home, and when I get bookings, to rent it out on short lets, to then live in the Hingurakgoda, Kumbuk Thuduwa, which is a mere 15km or a Rs25 bus ride away on a direct bus route.
Much of the structure is now complete with the finishing touches and landscaping to be completed, it will be lit by generator for the time being until I am able to afford the power lines into the property.
It has been designed on the lines of the old National Park lodges of yesteryear and will appeal both to nostalgia and those seeking an alternative experience in the wild. Herds of wild elephants come for an evening dip at the opposite side of the tank that adjoins the property and it borders the Kaudulla National Park, the entrance of which is 5km from my property.
It sleeps 8 in 4 large double beds, and is rustic and basic, but with a charm of its own surrounded by waterholes that attract a fascinating array of bird and animal life, that one can just enjoy, like a natural history program, while relaxing in the verandah section.
I have put in a lot of effort in the past two years to get to where I have at such a low cost bearing in mind what I had to do, including the construction of a well with 25 tractor loads of rock covering a depth of nearly 30ft so the well will never run dry, even during the worst of droughts.
This property is an integral part of my plan, and whose occupants can be fed from fresh produce grown on the other property, which will also form part of the visiting environment to the area to contrast the agricultural and wildlife experience of the area.
I also currently purchase fruit and vegetables from my neighbors in the area, and also get an incredibly good bees honey, when the hives are harvested from the forest once a year in July. I expect to complete this project within 6 months and begin the landscaping as soon as the rains come.