Outside the station we were met by our driver and swiftly joined the queue of traffic to get out of the station. I asked if it was quieter than Colombo and the guy replied, no traffic same as Colombo. Bugger.
He didn’t lie, it was just as busy but here there are only single carriageways, not duel. The roads are also very very windy, it reminded me of the film the wizard of Oz, not because it was a yellow road or that there were lots of dogs and scarecrows, just the windiness of the roads. We drove past Kandy lake and a few statues with monkeys, but I didn’t want to see too much of Kandy, we are coming here the day after the retreat.
Along the roadside there are a lot of stalls and shops, selling fruit and various other items so I asked if we could stop and get a coconut, our driver obliged and pulled in.
The stall guy chopped away at the coconut and 30 seconds later and we had a one with a straw ready to go. He made it look very easy but that’s just because he has done it many many times. I would have definitely lost a finger and probably all the water inside. He wanted to give us another one but we decided to share, we have no desire to be stuck in a car when all you need is a pee. We still gave him the money for two and he was very very happy, so much so, he smiled and showed all of his remaining teeth, all 3 of them.
I asked the driver if the coconut was the national fruit and he said no, he said he did not know the actual name and would call his wife. He immediately called his wife and asked her, now I don’t know any local language but I’m guessing she didn’t know. 2 mins later, I’m assuming courtesy of the internet his wife called back to inform us it was jackfruit, whatever the hell that is.
We drove through several towns, all of them equally as manic as the one before and all along windy roads, we then turned off onto a smaller road with a lot less shops and people, this is it, we are almost at yoga prison!
We drove up a stone track and arrived at Rukgala where we were met by the retreat hosts who gave us a coconut each, we traded in our empty one which did confuse them at first!
Our bags were taken to our room and we could have followed them but we decided to have our lunch and admire the view, we can check out the room later. Lunch was delicious although it was the most garlicky humous I’ve ever had, no vampires or bugs will be interested in me tonight.
After lunch we were shown to our cell, sorry room and it was amazing. A large four poster bed with mozzie net surrounding it, a balcony with beautiful views, a lovely bathroom also with shutters that opened out to show the view whilst you were showering, think I’m going to like it here.
After unpacking we were all to gather in the yoga shala (open sided hut we do yoga in) for an opening brief and intention setting. As it’s getting dark we all make sure we are covered and get some mozzie spray on. I am taking no chances and I get my armour plated, repel all beasts spray on, I’m not risking being bitten, it’s like 100% deet, smells awful but does the job. We then slowly walk to the yoga shala where all the mats and cushions have been laid out for us, a pretty pattern of flowers and insense has been laid out in the centre for us to admire as we sit cross legged and wide eyed waiting for instructions.