Entrance to Sigiriya opens at 7 am, wanting to avoid the crowds and heat I made sure to be one of the first to arrive the following morning. As I approached the park I passed an older man who offered a friendly “Good Morning” and told me to enjoy, we parted as he entered at the side (locals don’t require a ticket) and I continued towards the entrance. After entering the park and making my way through the water gardens we met again, the same big smile plastered across his face as minutes before. He told me to take my time, “Slowly, slowly climb the rock” and offered a parting handshake as I continued on my way. I did as he said and continued along slowing, taking time to appreciate where I was, take a few photos and catch my breath (there’s a ton of stairs). About halfway up the rock, there he was again, my smile friend and I soon realized he’d be with me the rest of the way...
On my first day in the city, while taking a walk to explore the town, I passed “One Love Cafe” which looked like a cool place with friendly owners, urging me to stop in for a drink. I told them I’d come back, which I’m sure they hear all the time based on the “Sure, you said that yesterday” response I got. I laughed and explained that I had just arrived an hour before so I had not in fact already used that line, and I really did mean it when I said I’d come back. Wanting to follow through on my promise I paid them a visit on my second day, after my hike to Adam’s peak and a failed afternoon nap.
To be quite honest I have no idea where my desire to travel to this country originated, but it festered and grew for nearly 3 years. In a sense it's a cleaner, safer, smaller India and having always had that country on my radar it seemed like the perfect test drive.