Kandy is a pleasant city, nestled up in the heart of the Hill Country, suffering from neither the pollution of Colombo, nor the sweltering smog and heat. The large man-made lake in the valley is looked down upon by the various hotels and residences that dot the steep green tree-covered hills that rise up either side of it, and the whole place appears surprisingly well-to-do. Of course, this is the tourist and business epicenter, with plenty more of Kandy’s inhabitants living beyond the commercial sector across the lake. But for now, it’s a welcome respite, and we both look forward to a good meal, the internet and a some much-needed creature comforts.
The day was spent exploring the city and strolling around the lake, eventually revisiting the stall we ended up eating the previous night after we had arrived. We had stumbled across a makeshift street restaurant stall-type thing and had stuck about for awhile, sampling various dishes, sitting about on upturned wooden boxes and chatting to locals in the quiet, grubby back-street. I paid about a pound-fifty for two noodle hoppers, two dishes of Dahl, three egg Roti’s and a fat dollop of Chili sauce. Alec went to KFC. This morning, that same street was a busy bustle of white shirts and pink and green Sari’s darting across the busy roads from shop to shop. We stopped halfway down to get breakfast at Devon Pastries (not Devon Savories), and after exploring the indoor market while the rain poured outside.
We took time to see the Kandyan Dance show later on across town that we had bought tickets for earlier. It was held in an open-air theatre near the temple that was half-filled with western families all armed with flash photography and fidgety kids. We weren’t too impressed. The costumes were beautiful, but the dancers were far out of synch despite spending more time glancing at each other’s positioning than at the audience, and the drums were used less as percussion instruments and more as bash-able objects to give the guys at the back something to do. Indeed, it was nice seeing some western faces but there was sign of any other backpackers though. Perhaps they had already been pre-warned.