Not that I have been getting a ton of sleep on this trip but just as I was settling into a deep sleep the gorgeous yet maybe a tad too early— Buddhist monks started praying- guess who is up now?!
Oh and wait for it- the singing bread truck came around bright and early as well. He comes around twice daily, morning and evening and when we try and let the locals know that in America, the only truck that sings is an ice cream truck, they laugh at you.
The lovely host made us a mix of western and local cuisine and it was amazing!
We had milk rice, little bananas, papaya, honey and tea!
Then, following breakfast, we got the opportunity to speak with and learn about our host and her family. Her husband, formally a tourist guide, recently passed from what we gather to be a brain disease. She has two daughters- the oldest is studying neurological medicine in Washington state (only made possible by scholarship) and her second daughter, here in Sri Lanka, is studying engineering.
In addition, she helped educate us on Maureen’s favorite flower- the red anthurium.
Since drivers around here make a commission off bringing in tourists to spend money- our tuk-tuk driver was more than happy to stop at a couple places on the way back to our resort.
First, we stopped at the spice / outdoor food market. Then off to our second Ayurvedic Spice Garden - which provided a free 15-minute massage and what is now a weird hair removal patch. So... yes your lotion that you rubbed my hair does safely and very effectively remove hair....but now I look a bit odd and uneven.
Oh and this was my first tuk-tuk drive of the trip!!!
White pineapple powder and juice help clean out your system
Varicose veins- a warm towel with black pepper oil and herbal balm and apply down up the process.
We made it! After a week on our own and many many hours in transit via many different methods of transportation, we had officially arrived at our final destination - Sion Surf Camp.
While we waited for the remainder of the group:
Gina, Anna Marie, Nate, Stacey, Kelly, myself and Maureen - I took the opportunity to sit, relax and soak up the sun!
I also indulged in the Today's Special Vegan (made with coconut milk) smoothie.
The resort group had finally all arrived and was ready for a quick yoga session!
All seven of us (including Gina) were blessed to practice yoga on an enclosed rooftop deck which provided for the perfect sunset view!
After yoga, we still had a bit of time until dinner. This gave Kelly and Stacey time to rest. Maureen time to move out of our room and into her own private air-conditioned room and Anna Marie, Nate, Gina and I time to sit and drool over what smells had emerged from the kitchen in anticipation for our very late dinner!
All retreat members (there was also an all women’s group and a couple additional guests) share a family-style meal that is a western-focus and dominantly western gone bad.
The locals here really don’t do western well - but local cuisine is an excellent treat.
Since the main option was not gluten-free friendly, I was served my very own spread and let me tell you- I felt spoiled and very loved. Food is clearly the way to my heart!
I was served rice, green bean curry, Dahl, and for first time on this trip a salad, and eggplant curry- which was out of this world!!
I had preferred some of the prior green bean curries and Dahl that I had while traveling Sri Lanka - not that this was bad- just not the favorite from my travels but their eggplant curry was out of this world!
I had to have had 3, maybe 4 servings before passing it off to the table for sharing.
Since it gets very dark early here (around 6 pm), there isn’t much to do in the evenings so most retire to bed early.