This blog is maintained by Kanchana and Thushara to update their friends on their activities with ECO-V
Friday, August 19, 2011
Nail-biting adventure to Lakshapana Falls
Another incredible day…its practically impossible to squeeze a day’s adventures into a single blog but I’ll give it a shot!
We begun the day at dawn with some environmental meditation and nature awareness training. Our Yathrees are connecting deeply with the natural world around them, using their 5 senses to fully appreciate nature in all its forms.
After breakfast we ventured through the beautiful high-country to Koththallena where we met our friend and adventure guide Neil, a boulder-hopping Sri Lankan adventure junkie, who led us through remote leech-infected jungle (see photo below – even my super dooper Sri Lankan leech socks couldn’t save me from the onslaught!) to the Maskelyia River.
We then scrambled, abseiled and boulder-hopped our way several kilometres downstream, to the top of the majestic Lakshapana Falls. Along the way we took full advantage of the spectacular scenery as an outdoor classroom, with the highlight of the day being some tear-jerking poetry from the Yathrees on their journey so far.
We then hiked back up to the bus, which dropped us into the nearby town of Maskelyia, where the Yathrees rounded up the locals and performed a theatre piece that they had invented about the importance of Mother Earth, and why she must be conserved.
The Yathrees then launched into a public-awareness campaign about green living, particularly highlighting the littering of the streets and water supply with rubbish. Over the next 2 hours the Yathrees covered the entire town, engaging with many locals, who pledged to take a stand for the environment and do what they could to conserve their local environment. We were then invited to ceremonies at the town’s Buddhist and Hindu temples, where we raised awareness of our mission, and were blessed by the local monks.
The day came to an end with a presentation that I gave on Australia, and the environmental issues that we face (by popular demand!). As well as some training on water quality testing, which will be put to good use in our studies of the Kelani River.