It was our last day in the park. The night was relatively uneventful though monkeys were busy jumping in the trees above us and at one point surprised the group sleeping by the fire by jumping on them once or twice; mischievous little buggers! Sleeping under my net was fine; no problems and no mosquitoes.

In the morning we went in search of animals and saw deer, boars, buffalo, birds, and monkeys. At one point we got stuck in a mud hole and it took a while for us to get the jeep out. After seeing no elephants we headed back to the campsite and packed up our stuff.

We had a few glimpses of elephants on the way out, but nothing as spectacular as the day before. We did encounter one small elephant standing in the middle of a bush on the way out (and I use the word small loosely). We disturbed it and thought it might charge; it was touch and go for a while as it danced around as if trying to decide what to do. It’s decision was to leave and I now wonder if all this contact is destructive. I feel bad for elephants because there are so few left in the world.

We took a back road route to Colombo, through small scenic villages, plantations and animal reserves; the villagers waved as we drove by. We stopped in a small town to have corn and at another government rest top for dinner and spicy food. I had hoppers; hoppers are very thin waffles with an egg in the middle. These are included with every Sri Lankan meal. Sri Lankan food is unbelievably spicy. Everyone teases me because my eyes water and tears run down my cheeks whenever I eat. The purpose of hoppers is to counter balance the hot curries. We also ate a fish dish, a chicken dish, a coconut dish, and a rice sponge cake thing. It’s hard for me to know the names of everything because they say the names so fast and I can’t catch what they are saying.

The government rest houses are very nice and the food is good but it is very expensive for foreigners. The cost of meals for locals are subsidized because they are Sri Lankan citizens.