Chanting from the temple woke us this morning and a beautiful clear blue sky and Macaque monkeys playing on our terrace and roof were a joy to see. We also saw some lovely birds and a couple of mongoose!
After a typical Sri Lankan breakfast of Dahl curry, noodles, coconut sambal and fruit we left with our three wheeler and driver, Tharvanga, to walk up the sacred hill of Mihintale and visit the stupa.
We had an excellent few hours, some good exercise(!) and found Tharvanga to be a first class guide. The views from the top of the hill were amazing and the weather just perfect. We encountered a number of Macaque monkeys and saw some stunning frangipani, mango and bodhi trees.
We visited the local town afterwards, basically a couple of streets and got some water before Tharvanga dropped us back at the hotel. We freshened up and then Ranjith (the owner) asked one of his helpers to get some of the King coconuts off the tree which he did by shinnying up the trunk using just his feet and a piece of rope! He dropped 3 coconuts and once back on terra firma proceeded to expertly open them with a machete! We enjoyed the fruits of his labour sitting under a mango tree.