Wednesday, November 16, 2011
A night at the Lodge after a long while, and it was eventful
I spent Saturday night at the ‘Lodge’ with Sirisena who has been the caretaker for nearly 2 years in attendance. When we drove in from Colombo with a car full of expectant weekenders we had to first assess what was required to spend the night and prepare a good filling meal. The new pond on the other side nr the kitchen looks nice and so I have to make sure we plant some kumbuk plants on the bank’s so that it will both provide an anchor for the bank and later a nice shade over the pond. Sirisena gave me a list of stuff he wanted including a mammoty he wanted me to get from town and went into town to do the shopping.
While shopping I met Karunasena who introduced me to the Hingurakgoda property, and he invited us for lunch all 7 of us. We then picked up one of the Youth Front boys and went for lunch and only after getting some coconuts from the Hingurakgoda property we went back to Ratmale for the night.
Of course I had to have a swim in the tank, something I had not done at all this year, a highlight even though I had to be helped in. Sirisena was in the tank collecting the fish that Jayatilleke had caught for our dinner and bites. We had brought all the other essentials from oils to kerosene and even a Hurricane lamp as the one in the property was on the blink.
The guys pooled in their expertise in cooking to provide a super meal for the night, but before that the Youth Front chap brought three of his friends and Priyantha brought a singer with his tabla, making a crowd of 12 seated on ‘tunhiriya’ mats which we brought earlier in the day singing and enjoying the refreshments and bites. We also prepared a raging fire, which we had trouble keeping alight due to the fact that the wood was not totally dry. The smoke of the fire would be used to reduce the incidence of mosquito bites as we did not have any mosquito nets.
I went to sleep earlier than the rest, but I understand that they decided to call it a night after midnight. I found them all fast asleep when I woke up at 6.30 so no doubt they were exhausted from a night of partying. I have had many such sessions with different crowds and was used to the ambience my various eclectic spots provide, but for them it was a unique experience.
We only saw one elephant that had dropped into the tank for a dip, and was told that only two days previously there were over 100 on the other side, while the local villagers were bathing on this side. I also saw the branches that had been broken by an elephant a few days previously just by the electric fence near the property.