A Bank Holiday Feast


We spent the Spring Bank Holiday weekend in the little Cotswolds village of Notgrove. Our four-bedoomed farm cottage had all the mod cons. Robins frolicked in the garden and Roe deer peered at us from the hedge. One day, we hired Hasan, an Iranian chef to cook us a festive meal. He first served a…

Regent’s Canal Revisited


  A few days ago I took another walk along Regents Canal in East London. Spring was in full swing and cafes and bars along the canal were packed with people out enjoying the warm, sunny weather. I had a pint of excellent Camden ale and walked to Angel.       (See also “A…

Summer Time Begins!


2017 British Summer Time started yesterday and clocks went forward by one hour. It was a glorious Sunday in this Yorkshire spa-town. There was wall to wall sunshine all day. Forsythia are blooming in the gardens, verges are covered with Daffodils and parts of the Stray are carpeted with white and purple Crocuses. it was…

Sera Ella Falls


We were tucking into a rice & curry lunch at Sir John’s Bungalow and the large photograph of a spectacular waterfall on the dinning room wall caught my eye. “It is Sera Ella Falls, about an hours drive from here” the waiter said. I had never heard of Sera Ella. It looked gorgeous and I…

Birds, Leeches and the Riverston Gap


“It’s a four kilometre hike up the mountain” Padmini warned us.   I got ready with walking boots, back pack and hiking poles. We drove downhill along the B274 to the turn off to the VHF station. There is a good road to the communications towers at the top of the Knuckles Range hill but…

Pitawala Pathana & Mini World’s End


From Sir John’s Bungalow, it is only a short drive to Pitawala Pathana. The road is good, there is ample parking, and the ranger’s office has benches and a public toilet in front of it. A short distance away, new visitor centre with all mod cons is under construction. I have visited Knuckles – a…

A Day At Sir John’s


The bungalow in the Knuckles Range sits in splendid isolation. The view across the valley to the distant mist shrouded mountains is magnificent. It was once the holiday home of Sir John Kotalawala, the third Prime Minister of Sri Lanka. The five bedroom bungalow was built during the British colonial era as a residence for…

Road to Riverston


I am on a road trip again, this time on the A1 from Colombo to Riverston near Matale in central Sri Lanka, to hike in the Knuckles range of mountains I take a taxi to Borella and board the Flamingo Tours coach at six in the morning. “I will reserve the front double seat for…

Giant’s Tank


  Giant’s Tank is a marvel of ancient irrigation engineering in Sri Lanka and is a great place to see rare waders   Giant’s Tank (Yodha Vewa in Sinhalese) situated 25 km south-east of Mannar in north-western Sri Lanka is one of the largest ancient irrigation reservoirs of the Island, built by a Sinhalese king in…

Adam’s Bridge Revisited


The ancient Indian epic Ramayana documents a 30 km bridge over the Palk Strait connecting Rameswaram Island off the southeastern coast of India, and Mannar Island, off the northwestern coast of Sri Lanka. The epic attributes the building of the bridge to the ape army of Hanuman aiding Rama in his war against Ravana, the…