Wellawaya to Buduruwagala

After the swell had failed produce the goods down on the South coast we decided to see more of the country and experience the beauty of Sri Lanka's hill country and its vast tea plantations.
We set off in search of adventure, leaving the coast before sunrise to catch a long bus journey through coastal towns, winding roads and eventually up to cooler climes and off the beaten tracks. After a day's worth of travelling on the bus we finally came to our stop; a small station just outside the town of Wellawaya. The rain clouds drew in for the evening, and as we scrambled off the bus the rain had started to pour. Looking like a bunch of drowned rats we managed to find a couple of tuk tuks to take us to a resthouse for the night. After setting our bags down in our rooms we went to join the owners for a beer whilst we chatted, played cards and revelled in the solitude and seclusion of this quiet rural town with it's views of the mountains and lush rice paddies.

As the beers flowed we eventually drew up a plan of action for the next few days; to see and do as much as possible in the area. Starting early the next morning we would set off for a day of waterfalls, hikes and ancient temples, in search of adventure and a little bit of culture that had somewhat been lacking down on the coast.

First stop on our early morning adventure was the Buduruwagala (meaning 'the rock with the statue of Buddha) ancient buddhist temple. Here we saw a statue of Buddha carved into the cliff-face 
standing 51-feet tall. 

The central carving of the three figures is thought to be the Buddhist mythological figure of the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara.

We headed back to the van, after acquiring a few new furry friends, and set off in search of this amazing waterfall...

We stopped by this fresh fruit and vegetable stall, much to the delight of the monkeys that suddenly appeared out of nowhere. Hurtling down from the tree-tops, rustling through the branches and munching on corn that had been left to the side.

We left the monkeys to their grub and returned to the resthouse as the rain started to fall. We were treated to one of the most delicious Sri Lankan curries we'd had so far on the trip. The lovely owners of the resthouse completely spoilt us with a table filled with a variety of dishes and delicious flavours, from pumpkin simmering in coconut milk to bowls of spicy chicken. We finished the day with beers, full, happy bellies and endless thank yous for the amazing food.