Staying Active on Vacation, Biking + Hiking/ Nature Walk + Kayaking
This past month my family and I, along with a few family friends, ventured out to a location called Kalundewa in Dambulla which is located in the Central Province of Sri Lanka in the vicinity of Sigiriya (one of the island’s most renowned holiday location). On this trip I vouched to stay true to my goal of completing activity outside of the home whenever possible in unconventional ways.
The retreat we were staying at was extremely secluded with about a 100 acres of vacant land. This was amazing and we had a villa that was surrounded entirely by a lake and mangroves. Like anyone normal human, I could barely contain my excitement at seeing that each of the villas had around 5 bikes for transport and the bounds for riding them were, well… seemingly limitless. Just after lunch my friends and I decided to play a round of hide and seek (we were allowed to use our bikes to get as far away as we needed, but the only rule was that you had to have a phone on you and call if you weren’t found in 20 minutes). We played in pairs, and my partner and I, Mali decided to ride our bikes downhill from the restaurant, ditch our bikes and cut across this vast paddy field. The entire time we were fleeing in abject terror of getting bitten by something lurking in the grass, a snake perhaps, but we safely made it to the “safe house” which was a mud hut in the center of the paddy field. And hey, I only fell into a waist deep ditch once! We were hidden for a relatively long time but for some reason we decided that this hiding spot was just too good to give away and started running across the paddy field again. That’s when my brother spotted us and we were caught. Thankfully, we never gave our hiding place away. I would love to tell you that it all ended well but a few of the uncaught remaining people grouped up and decided to hide some-place that literally no one would find them, every time we tried to call they pick up and just end the call, which then resulted us in having to make around 6 rounds around the entire property to find them.
This wasn’t the least for our biking adventures however. We took bike rides regularly during our 4 day stay there, from the villa to the restaurant, from one bike trail to the other and we even had to bike to the swimming pool which was far outside of the property. This proved to be a great workout and I was left with extremely sore legs by the end of each day.
Hiking + Nature Walk
On the second day of our trip, the parents bustled about getting us to go on a nature walk. All the kids wanted to do however, was bike around and go swim. Needless to say our parents ended up reluctantly dragging us out to this nature walk that the manager of the hotel took us on. I must admit I wasn’t the biggest fan of it since he stopped literally every two seconds to point out some tree. The only thing of importance I really remember is him telling us about this tree with fruits that only elephants could consume and was used by ancient kings and queens to make poison, and if I remember correctly, and his was the only one in the whole of Sri Lanka. We were also briefly taken to see his greenhouse and his mushroom growing space which was rather fascinating. However, by around 12 in the afternoon we were all hungry, tired and had no water with us, and yet I doubt you would guess what the parents said. “Let’s go on a hike!” they said, “It will be fun!” they said. There was a collective amount of groaning as we were led towards yet another, long, and winding trail. My trip on this hike was made somewhat more arduous however as there were two babies on the trip, and one took a particular liking to me. Don’t get me wrong, I love babies, but much to my dismay a bit of baby babble directed in my general direction led me to suddenly having to carry another human being in my arms. I was exhausted, and yet that wouldn’t even begin to cut it. It was only then I realized what parents had to go through carrying their children everywhere. I motivated myself to walk the whole way through (without tripping or falling into the lake) thinking of it as a heavy arm workout. Thankfully, on the way back her dad took her back and… we had a puppy on the trail! It was a quick chase after that. All the kids were itching to get back to their rooms so we essentially sprinted back with this adorable dog on our heels.
If you have been keeping up with my blog for around the past two years or so, you would know that I tend to have an affinity to kayak whenever I get the chance. This was one of those golden opportunities where the entire property was surrounded by this massive body of water, and this time my experience was made even more special because my kayaking buddy was my mom. It wasn’t my first time kayaking but it certainly was hers, so it was a patient process to try and teach her that the objective wasn’t to capsize. Shockingly enough she caught on fast, most likely inspired by her massive fear of deep waters so we were able to have a somewhat rocky yet enjoyable time. I also got to go on a solo kayak for the first time in a while which was really nice because I got to cruise down the lake at golden hour, it felt quite movie like.
Overall Kalundewa was a lot of fun and just the greatest opportunity to step away from the eye-sore that is the laptop and just step into nature for a little while. I certainly would recommend going there but even more so just going to resorts with lots of space, smaller crowds and rentable bikes in general.