Both of us woke up again feeling very hot and sweaty so we jumped into an icy cold shower – funny how a week ago we were dreaming of hot showers and now we only want cold ones!!! Headed over the road to our now ‘usual’ cafe for a massive feast of eggs, fried potatoes, toast, cereal, fruit, juice and tea/coffee. The owner didn’t have the right change so, since it’s now our local, he said he’d sort us out with change when we come back for dinner – love the fact that we’ve become predictable in less than 2 days in a town!! Totally stuffed, we headed back to the hotel to organise renting bikes. A Whatsapp message from Clare delayed us as I chatted to her on Skype for over an hour (totally worth it!!!). A dodgy start to riding our bikes as Jaynes one had a wobbly seat which made it impossible for either of us to ride so we had to head back to the hotel to swap it. Spent an hour cycling through the local villages, both of our bottoms slightly upset when the tarmac ended! Cycled past a school just as it was starting it’s lunch break and ended up being asked by several kids to give them a ‘seat’. So, we let them jump on the back of our bikes on the luggage racks and gave them a lift to their houses as locals laughed at us!!
As we continued cycling, we tried to find the lake that is mentioned on all the sign posts in town but after an hour of cycling (it was only supposed to be 2km away) we couldn’t find it – think we cycled past a small ‘pond’ which could have been pretending to be a lake…? Back at the hotel to rest and cool down while we typed out some more blogs from our trekking. Headed back out on our bikes around 4pm and went back into to temple complex to visit some of monasteries that we missed yesterday. First, we went to the Sri Lankan monastery which has a tree growing from a cutting taken from a Bodhi tree in Anuradhapura. We then visited the Myanmar monastery which reminded us of Thai architecture and has made us both really excited about going there later this month. The Cambodian monastery is still under construction – but you can tell already from what has been built and the painted murals on the inside that it will be one of the nicest in the complex. We cycled past the Thai monastery as it was closed (the only one that has strict opening times – the rest open from sunrise to sunset). Finally, we visited the Chinese which was the first monastery to be constructed here. Very opulent and ornate, the elegant pagoda-style monastery looked like it belonged in the Forbidden city. As we cycled in and out of the little streets, we saw wild deer. It was at this point that Jaynes bum began to hurt – so we decided to head back to the hotel with Jayne cycling sitting on the luggage rack rather than on the saddle!! Dinner back at our usual restaurant (obviously!!) before heading to bed.
Monday 2nd May 2016