Trading places: Sri Lanka


Winter is happily settling in to Melbourne: it's got its squalls, sharp winds and drizzle and is setting up shop quite nicely, thank you very much.

If I could trade places, my choice (today, anyway) would be Sri Lanka, specifically on the banks of the gracious Tissa wewa (tank, or man-made reservoir), said to have been constructed in 250-210 BC as part of a network of reservoirs across the country. Tissa wewa is beside the town of Tissamaharama, the gateway to the leopard-rich Yala National Park

The town pumps with a frontier vibe, as sticky touts peddle jeep safari tours, but the serenity of the tanks nearby give no indication of the hustling and hard sell going on behind your back. Herons fish, lily pads float languidly and spectacular rain trees (Albizia?) curve in perfect formation.

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