I woke from a very restful sleep, having found a solution to the snoring - two pillows!! Apparently though, I was the one snoring last night (I guess that’s what you call Karma!)
We were off to Matale (pronounced ‘Metarl-lay’). Stopping off first at one of the many Spice Gardens/Shops. To be honest we both thought that it was yet another ‘Tourist Trap’; having been shown around part of the grounds where our guide introduced us to a few spices that they grew there and told us about their healing qualities. He then took us to a covered area where we were invited to sit down at a table whilst he went through the lotions and potions laid out before us that had been made out of their spices, then gave us a list everything too After that, we were hurried over to a couple of chairs where The Tootster was asked to remove his shirt - luckily I wasn’t! Then a couple of ‘professional’ Ayurvedic masseuses massaged some anti-inflammatory oil into our forehead, shoulders and arms (TT got his back done too) and immediately after that we were ushered over to the shop and encouraged to buy. I felt bad leaving empty handed after all the effort they’d put into ‘the big sell’, so decided to go for the anti-inflammatory massage oil. I was told it was 2,800 Sri Lankan Rupees which is roughly £12. A bit pricey as I’d expected, but i thought it would be nice to use on those of my clients who are suffering with pain. My mistake. Once I got to the till to pay, I realised I’d misheard; the price was actually 12,800 Sri Lankan Rupees which amounts to approx £61!!! (Far more pricey than I’d expected. I apologised profusely for my mistake, told them I thought it was too much, they tried to sell me a smaller bottle that would still have cost me £30, I repeated “way to expensive” and apologised (well I am British). They looked at us with doleful eyes so we turned and scarpered - now with a headache!
Our next town was Kandy and as we drove through the centre, Jay pointed out the area where he lived with his wife and two children. This turned out to be quite fortuitous as I was in desperate need to relieve myself of the gallons of water I had been knocking back and Jay suggested we pop into his house where I could use the facilities.
Jays Home is in a beautiful rural area filled with rice gardens on either side of the windy road. It was also really lovely to meet his wife and his son; who was Home from school that day. And I was more than delighted to find their toilet was a western style one. It was probably very ignorant of me but I thought there’d be a big chance it would be a squat style loo and my legs were still not really talking to me after our climb up Sigirya Rock!
Half an hour later after a hot cup of sweet tea we bid our farewells and left. Jay had picked up a few clothes and I wasn’t overly impressed to see that one item was a warm fleece!!
My friend Jennifer and her family had been out here in Sri Lanka over the Christmas holidays and told me about the lovely Ayurvedic massage she’d had, then suggested I had one too. But I was reluctant to having had one in India six years ago and didn’t like the fact that I’d had to strip off completely. Jenny told me not to worry, that she’d been given paper pants to wear.
And so, whilst on the way to the hotel we were staying at that night, I asked Jay if he could suggest a place where I could get a proper Ayurvedic massage. He dropped me off at a Spa Centre and I booked a treatment during which time The South London Geezer went next door for his favourite therapy; a beer or two.
So you can imagine my shock when the therapist took me into the room and told me to take everything off. I reluctantly pointed to my underwear and she nodded.
To be honest the treatment was fine, at least she used a sarong to cover my more ‘personal’ areas. After the massage, she had me lay down in a contraption that I can only describe as something that looked like an old fashioned sunbed with the lid that pulls down - but this one was made from wood!
I lay down on the wooden slats through which heat and steam was rising and she closed the lid down leaving my head sticking out at the end (thank goodness). I cooked for ten minutes then she helped me out and stood me before her and towelled off the excess oil whilst I tried desperately not to slide around on my over slippery feet.
It has to be said, my skin felt amazing afterwards and I felt so relaxed that by the time we got to The Margaret Villa where we were to be staying the next two nights, I was struggling to stay awake. And that night if there was snoring, dogs howling or fireworks, I wouldn’t know, cause I slept like a baby.