We were up early to climb some hills and visit some temples today and were feeling much more rested and energetic after our sleep deprivation from the previous day.
We climbed to the top of a Buddhist temple in Sigirya and had an amazing view of the jungle below. After that it was off for another climb to the top of the second-highest rock-temple in the area with stunning views of the Sigirya Rock Fortress. It was a tough climb for all of us but the views at the end (and the natural air-conditioning) were well worth it. It was now time for Layla to have her moment in the sun on top of an elephant. She took a ride through the swamps and jungle paths around Sigirya on top of a male Asian elephant and had a great time even though it was in the heat of midday. Next was the part of the tour we had all been waiting for: the Jeep safari. We boarded two off-road land cruisers and set out through Minneriya National Park where we saw two large herds of wild elephants eating grass and walking toward the water. It was a bit tense at one point as one of the jeeps from another group got too close to a baby elephant and the herd surrounded it and started head-butting the hood of the jeep! It was a dusty and hot ride but so worth it in the end.