Tuesday, 3 December 2013

From Jaffna to Trincomalee via Elephant Pass

Today's journey is the 257kms south from Jaffna, through Elephant Pass and onto the east coast city of Trincomalee.

Watch Your Step.....

Just south of Jaffna on the main road, we pass a 5kms stretch with absolutely no human presence.  Little red signs dotted both sides of the highway.

On closer inspection, we soon find out why

Our first checkpoint - Elephant Pass

Elephant Pass has been a strategic military base since 1760, when the Portugese built a fort which was later rebuilt and garrisoned by the Dutch in 1776 and later by the British.

During the Sri Lankan Civil War, three major battles took place on the narrow strip of land, commonly known as the "Gateway to Jaffna".

Today, apart from the routine checkpoint, a majestic monument constructed by the Sri Lanka Corp of Engineers stands dominate over the roadway, paying homage to all combatants on both sides as well as civilians caught up in the conflict.

Onward from Vavuniya, the road to Trincomalee is a shocker...admittedly most of it is being repaired, but road construction is not like Australia.

The 99.7km drive ends up taking 4 hours

 Kanniya Hot Wells

There are 7 hot springs now converted to bathing wells. The temperature of each is slightly different from each other. It is also believed the water from the wells have therapeutic healing powers and can cure many aliments. 

Trincomalee - 2500 years old

Our arrival in Trincomalee, East Sri Lanka is greeted by heavy dark thunder clouds and a deluge of rain (just like home)

 Dinner was by candlight thanks to a city wide storm blackout - a couple of cans of our old favourite (thank goodness for the big lunch on the way)

Let's see what tomorrow brings..........

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