Leaving Kandy, after negotiating the heavy traffic in the city centre, our route followed a river and passed over a dam. We headed uphill through a number of villages, tea plantations and we had spectacular views of the Knuckles mountain range.
Our first stop was at the Isiwaya Spice Garden. Here we had a guided tour around the spice garden, where we sampled their spiced tea and hot chocolate, we had a cookery demonstration, showing us how curry powder was made and a fresh Dahl was cooked in a clay pot over an open fire. Before lunch we were also given a brief complimentary massage using the oils produced in the garden.
Our next stop was the Dambulla Cave Temples. These are reached by climbing over 400 steps, 160m above the road. There are 5 separate caves containing many Buddha statues and paintings. Added to this there are the superb views over the surrounding countryside. It really is worth the climb.
Our day ended at the Kandalama Heritance Hotel, an architectural masterpiece, buried deep in the jungle, looking out across a lake with panoramic views of the Sigiriya rocks. Here we celebrated the birthdays of John Aird and Jaime Turner.