(Guest Post! Written by Tom, photos by me)
Pollonaruwa is one of a number of important archaeological sites in Sri Lanka, and it has world heritage status. The ancient city was the capital of the Sinhala kingdom following the fall of Anhuradhapura, the previous capital. The ruins date mainly from the 12th century AD.
The Sinhala people were Buddhists and there are many Temples and images of the Buddha, we removed our hats and shoes to enter.
There were also a number of devales (shrines) to Hindu gods.
My particular favourites were the expressive faces of the dwarf figurines, which capture the life and humour of the times.
This part of Sri Lanka is roasting hot and we made regular stops for water and coconut juice. The bloke on the stall then hacked up the shell for us with his machete so we could eat the flesh.
We went to look at ruins, but we got to see plenty of wildlife too; Naughty Toque macaques and, much better behaved, Hanuman Langurs, a crested hawk eagle, which narrowly missed Elie’s bike before catching an unfortunate palm squirrel and a rather beautiful snake (sorry Sue!) which we now know is a Sri Lankan flying snake.