Day 29 | Columbo Sri Lanka | Human Herons

Feb 6, 2017News0 comments

Live your life and forget your age.

Norman Vincent Peale

The curvy coastline road driving every moment nearer to sunset with ill-disciplined traffic, builds anticipation for discovering some unique experience. Like the truck pulling onto the roadway with a gigantic elephant riding in the back. On the opposite side of the road, a busy logging area sat complete with several flat-bed trucks full of logs chained to each other. Guess who put the logs on those trucks? The guide explains that the owner of the elephant is very rich. It takes 600 pounds of palm, coconut, or jack leaves to feed one elephant per day and 160 liters of water

The scenery changed as we approached a beach area near Weligama. Men with fishing poles swinging in the brilliant sun sat above the sea on small boards nailed to stilts embedded in the sand. The acrobatic fishermen perch for hours like herons on these long bamboo poles offshore.

The location of the stilts is passed down from father to son and each spot has great value. The Karawa men are known as the ?men with the sticks in the sea.? Their level in the caste system is identified by their name. Short names signify a low level and most are very poor. This unusual sight is most often seen at dawn or dusk. The new generation would prefer to live in houses instead of sitting on a bamboo pole on the beach. They would rather buy tuk-tuks for use as tourist transport because pole sitting is difficult and the fish are disappearing.

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Jackie Chase

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