Anyway, we piled everything in the car, tightly packing so much stuff around the Little Adventurers that they wouldn’t be able to move, much less poke each other, for at least the first 20 minutes. The International Man of Intrigue dumped a log book, the Lonely Planet guide, a handful of maps, and his old (non-talking, non-direction giving) Garmin in my lap and proclaimed me Chief Navigator. I wondered if this was the best idea, considering I had just tried to get in the wrong side of the vehicle. Darn right side steering wheel and left side driving!
It seemed like we had barely watched the gates shut behind us and turned off of our street when we were
The major problem with
Now that we were found, we high-tailed it out of the city at a brisk 40 km per hour. That translates to about 25 miles per hour for you non-metric speaking people. Luckily, our destination was a mere 60 km away. For some reason, the laws of motion do not apply to Sri Lankan “highways”, so that meant we were about a half a day’s drive away. This gave us plenty of time to take stock of our driving injuries thus far. Turns out the International Man of Intrigue had developed a blister from gripping the wheel too hard and my leg muscles were twitching from trying to shove my feet through the floorboard. Other than that, we were fine, so we enjoyed looking around at the surroundings. A KIK Cola billboard proclaimed, “Lankan to the Last Drop” and I proclaimed, “So is her headband and matching plastic earrings.” We saw a business that advertised itself to be “Volunteer Caterers.” What the heck does that mean? They cater for free? They only cater for volunteers? They are from Tennessee? We also got to stop to take the Little Explorers potty on a fairly regular basis. Lucky for us, you can’t just pop in somewhere and use their facilities. For one thing, there’s a good chance they don’t HAVE facilities, or the ones they have aren’t “western style”. For another, they just don’t let you do that here. Luckily, we have the coolest travel potty ever made. If you have small children, you need it. Look here. As we drove, we also realized that each town seemed to specialize in selling something: ceramic tiles in one, clay pots in another, inflatable kids’ toys in another, and one seeming to specialize in Lankans Only Jackets. So that’s where they come from…
Finally, after hours of driving, we turned off of the main road toward the Pinnewala Elephant Orphanage. That’s when I saw the most shocking thing I’d seen all day. Two women in saris were walking along the roadside. They held leashes in their hands. The leashes were attached to PORCUPINES. I SWEAR TO YOU, I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP. These women were walking porcupines on a leash. Large porcupines. I still can’t get over it. And with that, I’m going to end this chapter of our trip. Stay tuned for the continuing adventures of the Intrigue family as we do exciting things like eat lunch and visit orphaned elephants.