Sri Lankan breakfast and a large colony of the Indian Flying Fox in Peradeniya Botanical Gardens

January 8th
ホテルの前のマンゴーの木と、落ちていた齧りかけの実Our room was upstairs. The next morning we went to a terrace above the hotel entrance. A big mango tree was in front of the terrace and three mangos partly eaten by some animals were on the ground. Cloves and peppers were planted in the garden. This country is also famous for it's spices.

スリランカ風朝食Breakfast was served at the hotel. We could choose a breakfast type and we ordered a Sri Lankan breakfast. Fish curry and dal curry with roti, a bread which was made of wheat flour and shredded coconut. Roti is popular across Asia but Sri Lankan roti was thicker and harder than other countries. Fruit was also served.

The hotel arranged a tok-tok which was a kind of three wheeled motorcycle. It took us to the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens and cost 300 rupees.

The entrance fee of theBotanical Gardens was 1,100 rupees(about 750yen) which was extremely expensive considering the usual prices in Sri Lanka. For example, it cost 13 rupees from the Botanical Gardens to the city center by bus. Well, buses were exceptionally cheap. When using a tok-tok to move from one place to another in the town it cost from about 200 to 300 rupees. Meals for two people at a local restaurant cost 400 rupees. Then we noticed that there was another price presumably in Sinharese on the ticket office board next to the fee in English. It was 50 rupees. Well, it was good that this was a place where local people could relax but the price difference was far too extreme.

It was Sunday. Along with tourists there were many local families and couples. Notably, there were many couples in wedding attire having their ceremonial pictures taken. Many groups consisted of a bride , a groom, a videoman and a cameraman who were taking pictures and filming videos here and there in the Botanical Gardens.

トクモンキーIf we had gone straight from the main gate we would have quickly encountered a big colony of Indian Flying Foxes but because of incorrect information we received we had to go the long way around. On the way we saw a group of Tok Monkeys Macaca sinica which had long hair arranged radically on the top of their heads. We also encountered Indian Palm Squirrels Funambulus palmarum.

飛び交うインドオオコウモリThen finally we heard the sound of the Indian Flying Fox. The colony was spread widely from the western part to the back of the Botanical Gardens. In addition, many bats were flying above the colony in the middle of the day with calling noisily. According to a survey in September 2002 there were 24,480 bats.

A young white-bellied sea eagle Haliaeetus leucogaster flew low above the colony but no bat cared.

We found a dead bat and measured its forearm which was a little less than 20cm long.

売店でスナックを買ってお昼にするThe restraunt in the Botanical Garden only served western style food which did not attract us. The restraunt also sold souvenirs and animal and plant books which attracted us even less. There was a shop which just started to get busy as it was lunch time. We bought a water bottle, a juice bottle, a cup of yogurt and crackers which were kind of an odd lunch.

Local families brought lunch boxes and enjoyed them on the grass. The content of the lunch boxes was definately curry and rice. Sri Lankan rice was far drier than Thai rice but the local people ate them with their right hands. Many couples cuddled under trees which were off limit and park rangers often patrolled and drove them back onto the trails but soon after the rangers had gone the couples returned.

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