“At the end of the subcontinent.” Day 8 of cycling in Sri Lanka.
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“At the end of the subcontinent.”
Day 8 Cycling in Sri Lanka: Udawalawa to Tangalle.
It’s the last cycling day today. I managed to get an early night, so I wake early. The tour has gone quickly. I am a little confused by the cycling. There have been some great rides, but some tough hills that nobody really expected; too many ‘uphillies’ as our bike guide calls them. Yet, I have seen an amazing and a very diverse country.
The rain has gone. It’s hot already at six o’clock in the morning, with beautiful blue skies.
From my balcony, I look out to see the brown earth where new crops have been planted, a few green trees and the light grey waters of a river intersecting the fields.
We have another amazing ride this morning, away from the main roads, through the green jungle on compacted sand with a metallic blue river at our side.
The kilometres disappear quickly and the scenery opens up to lakes and paddy fields. Here none of the paddy fields are flooded, unlike their counterparts further north.
Our bike guide leads us to a ford in the river where we can cross.
We take turns photographing each other cycling across.
The current is strong but we all make it across safely and enjoyably.
It’s so hot again today, but maybe I’m used to it now and, on the flat route, it’s no problem at all.
On we go and the beauty of today’s cycling continues and I am appreciative of it as it’s the last day.
Today it’s an incredible cycle and I’m sorry it’s coming to an end.
At a bend, I look back and the oldies in the gang are all cycling at the rear. Why aren’t they racing? It’s their last chance. Are they spent?
Over dinner, I’d heard Linda call her team the ‘EFI’, as they have ridden ‘every f***ing inch’. Jack had told me that Steve was not a member as, although he has ridden every inch he could, he had missed the first day. Good luck to the ‘EFI’ team, but this is not for me.
This is what I was hoping to get away from, the need, need, need to do, do, do, irrespective whether I want to or not.
I think about Abraham Hicks and the creative joy of the journey. How can I do this if I am forever driving forward relentlessly? This is not a to-do list, a tick list or a process. I’m on holiday. I want to be in it and I want to witness it.
We find our hotel and park our bicycles before our final group photographs. We are now right down on the southern coast of the island in Tangalle. I find my room and I throw all my cycling gear, including my worn-out gloves and bandana, into the shower cubicle. I wash everything thoroughly and then do the same to myself.
I love cycling but I also love to stop cycling.
I manage an afternoon nap and then, late in the afternoon, I wander to the end of the hotel grounds and on to the golden beach. The sands are empty. The only sound is the gentle crash of the waves of the Indian Ocean ahead of me. There is nothing, just the vast ocean between me and the Antarctic. It puts things into perspective. Twenty percent of the Earth’s water surface stretches out ahead of me.
To the east and west, it’s just golden sand as far as I can see. The solitude has jolted me after being with the cycling gang for so many days, but I like it a lot. The peace for a while is so enjoyable.
The Travellanka Magazine Series …
Compliments to Vajirapani Hewabattage, my friend and contact at Travellanka Magazine. Thanks Pani!