Adventure Continues

 

Sri Lanka has really been full of adventures!
When we were in Sigiria at the Flower Inn, the owner said, ” Don’t wander far because of the wild elephants!” In all the countries and continents I have been to, this is the first time I have been told that…the elephants walk on the road and there have been several encounters that ended badly for the people!
In Nilaveli,the beach near Trinco in the North, we wandered at night past the barbed wire and soldiers but it was the scary dogs I got worried about, they growled at us and all I could think was PLEASE DONT BITE ME! I could not wait to get back near the friendly soldiers!
Although the people of Sri Lanka have been unbelieveable friendly, being on the beach walking through barbed wire was strange. We met large groups of travelers from Kandy and other parts of Sri Lanka, who were so happy to be able to be in the North now that the civil war is over and traveling is allowed. On the bus, I thought of the circus clown car but instead of all the people getting out, they all got in at every stop. When we joined the bus, we had two hours to stand and it seemed full to me but who knew that there was room for about 20 more people. You just have to SMOOSH as much as possible!
We joined another couple and spent a day on Pigeon Island. A local family took us there in their boat and we snorkeled several times. We did see neon yellow mushroom coral and two black tip reef sharks, however, much of the coral has been damaged by a combination of dynamite fishing, the navy and the 2004 tsunami. In the North, it is difficult to tell if the destruction of buildings is from the 25 year civil war or the tsunami. Our hotel, Shashira, had one side that was destroyed. They are working hard to rebuild and tourism is returning.
Passing back through Kandy, we had a chance to go to the Pinewalla Elephant Orphanage. I will have to post the photos…it did look like an African savannah. I am not sure it is the best place for the elephants but it is the top tourist attraction of Sri Lanka. 
Our next stop was the HILL COUNTRY: Nuwara Eliya and Ella for beautiful hikes in the tea plantations, after that ARUGAN BAY in the East, another area hit hard by the civil war and the tsunami but we saw them sealing the main road and painting new hotels. We did not surf but we saw many amazing surfers in the water. The Kataragama Pilgrimage festival was amazing. Can’t wait to tell you all about YMBA and the parade where elephants and dancers take “god to visit his girlfriend!” and our trip to Bundalla and Yala to see wild elephants….MORE SOON
I am writing to you from Columbo where we got our new visas so we can stay another two weeks. Just wanted to say HELLO! We will post more stories SOON.
Lisa and George

Lisa Ellen Niver

Lisa Ellen Niver, M.A. Education, is a science teacher and is an award-winning travel expert who has explored 101 countries and six continents. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, she worked on cruise ships for seven years and backpacked for three years in Asia. You can find her talking travel at KTLA TV and in her We Said Go Travel videos with over 1.3 million views on her YouTube channel. As a journalist, Niver has interviewed an Olympic swimmer and numerous bestselling authors and has been invited to both the Oscars and the United Nations. She is the founder of We Said Go Travel which is read in 235 countries and was named #3 on Rise Global’s top 1,000 Travel Blogs. She was named both a Top 10 Travel Influencer and a Top 50 Female Influencer for 2021 by Afluencer and is the Social Media Manager for the Los Angeles Press Club. She has been nominated for the inaugural Forbes 50 over 50/Know Your Value list due out in Summer 2021. She has hosted Facebook Live for USA Today 10best and has more than 150,000 followers across social media. Niver is a judge for the Gracies Awards for the Alliance of Women in Media and has also run 15 travel competitions publishing over 2,500 writers and photographers from 75 countries on We Said Go Travel. For her print and digital stories as well as her television segments, she has been awarded two Southern California Journalism Awards and two National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards. From 2017 to 2021 in the Southern California Journalism Awards and National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards, she has won four times for her broadcast television segments, print and digital articles. Niver won in 2021 as Book Critic and in 2019 for one of her KTLA TV segments NAEJ (National Arts and Entertainment Journalism) award. Niver won an award for her print magazine article for Hemispheres Magazine for United Airlines in the 2020 Southern California Journalism Awards and a 2017 Southern California Journalism Award for her print story for the Jewish Journal. Niver has written for National Geographic, USA Today 10best, TODAY, Teen Vogue, POPSUGAR, Ms. Magazine, Luxury Magazine, Smithsonian, Sierra Club, Saturday Evening Post, AARP, American Airways, Delta Sky, En Route (Air Canada), Hemispheres, Jewish Journal, Myanmar Times, Robb Report, Scuba Diver Life, Ski Utah, Trivago, Undomesticated, Wharton Magazine and Yahoo. She is writing a book, “Brave(ish): It's All About Perspective 50 Adventures Before 50,” about her most recent travels and insights. When she's not SCUBA diving or in her art studio making ceramics, she's helping people find their next dream trip.  http://lisaniver.com/one-page/

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We Said Go Travel

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