The plan for Day Two was a city tour of Colombo, followed by a six hour drive to get to the next hotel. We drove past several of the market areas, and although they were not as busy as they would get later in the day, still seemed really lively.
As we continued our tour of the city, our guide Asiri, was telling us stories about what we were seeing and Sri Lankan history. Sri Lanka was a former British colony, and despite being smaller in size than West Virginia, was really important because it was halfway between Britain and Australia. It also has a great climate for growing tea leaves, had thousands of elephants (the army tanks of their day) and sapphires - all very important things back in the 1800's.
We saw the Colombo town hall, which looks like a cross between the White House and the Capital Building, some temples and a few buildings that the Chinese have gifted to Sri Lanka, including the Lotus Lake Performance Art Center. Colombo is a really interesting city full of contrasts between modern times and ancient.
We left Colombo and headed east towards Nuwara Eliya. Even though it was a three hour drive before our lunch break, the time went really fast with all of the stories of Sri Lanka that Asiri was telling us. Before we knew it, we were at the halfway point, where our group decided to do some white water rafting before lunch. For the equivalent of US $20, we had an hour rafting trip down the Kelani River. I may have been a little nervous since I've only been rafting once before and was completely tossed from the raft (did I mention that I'm a terrible swimmer). However, this time, I stayed in the raft and had a blast! The guides were total pros and made us all feel like we were competent rafters!
After a quick lunch, we were back in our comfortable van, heading into the mountains of Sri Lanka. It was beautiful scenery and we saw several waterfalls and tea plantations. Before we knew it, we were pulling into the Grand Hotel Nuwara Eliya. I was so tired, still not being over my jet leg so just had a quick dinner and hit the sack!