Our one night in Sirigiya didn't go too well - the room was noisy and not sealed against the insects so we were under a mosquito net. We all had a bad nights sleep. Still we were up early as we wanted to climb the Sigiriya rock before it got too hot. The rock is an ancient fortress that was built in the 4th century and seeing it involves a very steep climb and 1800 steps (Why is there always 1800 steps to these places?). We set off at 8:00, before the tour groups take over. The approach to the rock was through the royal gardens which we rushed through to start the climb. We all found the climb relatively easy - Fran was most pleased as we climbed it in just under an hour. Ken had visited the place 30 years ago when it was a lot harder - just steps in the rock with a rope to hold on to. The ruins were pretty average but the views from the top were spectacular. On the way down, we passed all the tour groups - puffing and panting with local guides pushing and pulling them up!
After this we had a much needed ginger beer and sit down in the rest house. It was then off to Kandy. We opted for a Tuk-Tuk to the bus station in Dambulla and then a bus the rest of the way. We ignored the Tuk-Tuk driver who wanted to take us to Kandy and got on the bus. Of course there were no seats available but at least it was air conditioned. Slowly seats became available - including one young man who gave his seat up to the revered old gentleman that was Ken. The journey into Kandy was through the hills and the bus struggled through them stopping twice for running repairs.
It was then up to our hotel. It is on a hill overlooking the lake in the middle of Kandy. We both have balcony rooms overlooking the lake and the temple of the sacred tooth (the tooth belonged to Buddha). It was such a good view ,we sat out on the balcony eating mangoes. We ordered some beer but there was a problem - you are not supposed to have alcohol in sight of the temple so we had to promise to keep our beers below the level of the balcony. Still, one the best views from a room we will have on this trip.