FarCry Journal

6.00 am: A puff of sweet scented air, carrying with it the secrets of the untouched forest, wafts across the gigantic teak beams of the bungalow and a new day has begun most auspiciously at “Far Cry”. Drowsily undecided whether to luxuriate in bed for a while longer, you become aware of the chatter of birds around you, punctuated by the cat like call of a peacock, or the cackle of a brood of jungle fowl as they rustle through the undergrowth. A piping hot cup of Ceylon tea lifts your spirits, but you do not linger over it, preferring instead to make the most of the outdoors in the cool of the dawn. With a spring in your step and binoculars in hand, you cross the lawn of Far Cry, braving the early morning nip in the air to follow the alluring nature-trails that criss cross the property. You feel the freshness of the dew around your ankles as you stroll along, amazed by the variety of birds you observe. You eventually pass through a private gate to the bund of Kumbukkalli Wewa. The lake is shrouded in a light mist, enhancing the ethereal beauty of the scene.

8.00 am: Back to the bungalow, to enjoy a hearty country breakfast of milk-rice, string hoppers or “roti”, with spicy sambals and fragrant curries, followed by fresh local fruit or fruit juice.

10.00 am onwards: The bird song subsides as the day grows warmer, and you settle into your hammock under a shady tree, favourite book in hand, and binoculars at the ready. Our staff plies you with iced tea or fruit juice, as you drowse through the morning, or engage in lively banter with friends and family over a board game. Alternatively, you explore your spiritual side and practice meditation in a secluded grove or walking meditation on the specially prepared sakman maluwa.

1.00 pm: Time for lunch. Freshen up and enjoy a delicious repast of rice and curry cooked on a wood fired hearth.

3.00pm: An afternoon siesta is not your thing, so you take a closer look at the fine specimens of dry zone flora that abound alongside the shady trails of Far Cry. It is the hottest time of the day, and you wander off to the outdoor shower area where you cool off among the trees, under a refreshing stream of cold water sourced from our natural well.

4.00pm onwards: The birds are active again, as they flit around hunting for their supper. In the clear distant sky, a pair of brahminy kites circle lazily, while the mad laughter of a flock of hornbills makes you smile. As shadows lengthen, and a hint of coolness touches the air, afternoon tea is served on the lawn, accompanied by local delicacies such as halapa or pani pol crepes, a welcome pick me up after the “rigours” of the day. As the day draws to a close, watch the glorious sunset from here.

6.00pm: The staff informs you that the elephants have come to the wewa for their evening drink. You rush as silently as possible to the bund from where you watch, entranced, as the majestic beasts trundle down to the water like ghosts in the waning light. You continue your walk to the far end of the bund to the local pansala, and watch respectfully as oil lamps and incense sticks are lit by devotees in preparation for the evening pooja.

7.00pm onwards: You enjoy an alfresco candle-lit dinner on the lawn. After dinner, someone calls for a game of cards, which you play until late at night over rounds of coffee. You long to sleep now, but you have an intense longing for some moments of quiet solitude under the starry sky with the sounds of the forest gently drowsing you to sleep. You hear the lonesome cry of the elusive nightjar and the booming conversational hoot of the resident pair of brown fish owls. You shiver at the distant howl of a pack of jackals from the still forests. Before you know it, you are asleep.

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