It’s days like these that I wish I was driving up highway 395 in route to Mammoth Lakes, California.
Around the globe, coastlines are dear to many in their most general form, but the Connecticut coastline holds a particular space in what is left of my New England heart. In the off season — and particularly in this when-will-it-come … Continue reading
After months of drowning you in all things-Sri Lanka, here is the very final addition: a rundown of all the Sri Lankan blog posts.
A great deal of the trip was spent in the region of the Cultural Triangle due to the mere scope of such historic significance. But that said, on the cusp of bringing that leg to an end, we made sure to experience the highlands or tea country - a true reprieve from the heat and history of the days past. Regardless of your time in Sri Lanka, this is an area you’ll definitely want to see. From Batik factories and elephant orphanages, to lush tea plantations and Horton Plains National Park, there is a different feel to the cooler, higher destinations of the highlands.
Yala National Park deserves 2 weeks all on its own. It’s the second largest National Park in Sri Lanka and as I mentioned in my post about Sri Lanka’s Wildlife, it’s chock full of everything from Elephants, leopards, monkeys and wild boar to mongoose, snakes, kingfishers, eagles and crocodiles – most of which you can see directly out your villa’s front door at Chaaya Wild Resort. From Yala, we made our way back to Colombo where we stayed at the Cinnamon Grand hotel. And then it hit us – the trip was over.
We covered a lot of ground, met some incredible people, encountered wildlife that we’ve never seen before and experienced this amazing country for all the grandeur and rebuilding its defined by. Soon Sri Lanka will land on everyone’s top 10 lists for must-see destinations. It’s already happening now. But while it’s affordable, raw, and unblemished by a total footprint of the Westernized world, now is the time to see the Pearl of the Indian Ocean.
Shortly after we visited the Hummanaya blowhole, it was on to the Wewurukannala Vihara Temple in Dickwella. I won’t rehash my words on the subject of Budhism, religion or spirituality as I did in a previous post, but I will … Continue reading
I know, I know, “The best tattoo artist in Los Angeles” is a controversial statement entitled to all the territorial scrutiny you’d like to give it, but with so many ego-maniacs, talent-less hacks, and Kat Von D wannabes buried amongst … Continue reading
In my continued mission to show you the origins of my photographs, please enjoy Part 1. We left New York City via JFK and flew Emirates (through Dubai) to Bandaranaike International Airport in Sri Lanka. It’s a long flight to … Continue reading
While I peruse the endless confines of the internet through this 15-inch titanium crack pipe, I often find photographs that I admire dearly. The problem is, I have a hard time figuring out where many of them were taken. A part of me appreciates the anonymity of an image—the unrestrained nature of not knowing, while another part disagrees entirely and searches for clues of where this moment—seized and breathless—took place.
While I don’t presume my images to be admired, I do wish to at least connect some of them with their provenance. This 3-part finale of sorts is my attempt at such a connection. I’ve included our mapped trip, a rough itinerary, links to images, and more photographs from our time in Sri Lanka. Please enjoy and send to others. Happy travels!
“If you go out looking for wildlife, you will get many disappointments: but you will be paid back by any amount of extraordinary things you weren’t looking for.” ~ Simon Barnes
Simon Barnes is right, perhaps a bit safe in his word choice, but he’s right. John Muir once said that “In every walk in nature, one receives far more than he seeks.” In a similar breathe on wildlife and our connection to it, Muir, not as delicate in his opinion, went a step further by saying: “I have precious little sympathy for the selfish propriety of civilized man, and if a war of races should occur between the wild beasts and Lord Man, I would be tempted to sympathize with the bears.”
For someone resolute on exhuming every species possible by the hand of a camera and lens in a country foreign in every aspect, I should know better than to go against the words of John Muir or, in this case, Simon Barnes. I did seek out wildlife in Sri Lanka and for the most part, I was amiably content with what I saw. As always, I hadn’t any intention of dominating or harming an animal simply because I am upright and able, but maybe there’s a slight danger in the obsessive desire to at least capture their presence– to seek out a species in an attempt to hold a moment forever. Whatever the case, Muir was right—as he often is in matters of the outdoors and our philosophical and physical response to it—in the sense that the things we do not search for often derive a more profound impact on the experience.
In Sri Lanka, wildlife is everywhere. It’s a part of what draws people to its shores and further lures us into the thickness of dense overgrowth and the ill-faded danger of the night. Wildlife, by definition, is vague and obvious. These days, nothing is truly wild nor are they full of life for that matter, but here, in Sri Lanka, it certainly feels otherwise.
Elephants, leopards, monkeys, wild boar, mongoose, snakes, kingfishers, eagles, crocodiles, and dozens of others traversed our paths, roamed our quarters and delighted us from afar, but all of them made an indelible impact on the journey at large. For me, this is what I had been waiting for. This was the connection I craved in a wildly naive and nostalgic way. It’s a powerful notion to want a connection with some form of nature or animal that does not exist on the same swath of continent that you do. It is the true essence of an exotic excursion and while this particular expedition was for the most part anything but wild–the wild “life” that we encountered supplied the substance that the trip itself was built upon.
Please enjoy some of the photos (below) from our encounter with Sri Lanka’s Wildlife and feel free to comment and share. Thank you!