Sigiriya: Chasing the middle of Nowhere on a Scooter

an image of rice paddies in Sri Lanka

Rent a Scooter in Sri Lanka

There’s no better feeling than driving a scooter across a one lane paved road or bumpy dirt road driving to find anywhere or explore nowhere.

“ROADS WERE MADE FOR JOURNEYS NOT DESTINATIONS”
Confucius 

Larry and I drive just to drive. We love feeling the breeze on our bodies, especially Asia’s heat. By driving through small dirt roads we experience a quieter Sigiriya and can glimpse into Sri Lankan village life.

Having a scooter allows us to drive through villages, past rice paddies, and to see some of the many lakes. Sometimes, if we are lucky enough, we can spot elephants eating at dusk. Luckily for us, we know some secret spots to find them.

Reflecting From a Scooter

image of a scooter in Asia

By driving through the silence, its easy to observe the Sri Lankan lifestyle.

We pass the greenest rice paddies and observe the hard work of Sri Lankan irrigation systems.

As quickly as the silence comes, it is taken from us. Out of nowehere the quiet is carried away with the wind when a truck speeds past you. It barrels down the same one lane dirt road as you pull over to let it pass.

Anyone who has been fortunate enough to travel by a motorbike or scooter through Asia or understands the feeling of nostalgia that overcomes you as you drive.

Seeing Villages from a Scooter

Tiny children come out of their homes or shacks to say hello. Sometimes they have enough courage and curiosity to run after you or come close enough to get a good look at you as they say hi.

We zipped past bicycles peddling through the villages who would also wave and catch a glimpse of the strangers exploring nearby.

When we pass by villages the people are so incredibly friendly. Waving, yelling hello at the foreigner, I am curious if the children have any or many options to leave the vicinity of their homes as they grow up. Or do they spend most of their time traveling as far as their feet or bicycle can take them?

These tiny roads that wind through vast rice fields and past the Sri Lankan people are some of my favorite moments during our stay in Sigiriya.

When we cruise on the scooter we can cover so much ground and take in all the sights. We pass foreign homes, rocks formations, villages and people.

An image of a fieldworker in Sri Lanka
Image of a Sri Lankan farmer in the rice paddies near Inamaluwa Junction

Village Transportation and Farm Life

Thoughts go through my mind: How many people villagers own bicycles or motorbikes? Do families have the opportunities to take a bus or a train to the city? What is traveling like for these small villages?

Bicycles are a common mode of transportation. People grocery shop from fruit and produce stands scattered along the roads. The rice paddies are so green its obvious that Sri Lankan’s have developed a great irrigation system for their crops.

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Cooking from Scratch

Most homes we drive past have their own gardens. We learn from our host mama that she makes her own curry powder and cinnamon.

She grows the bark, chilies, or other produces in her garden, picks them when they are ripe, gives them a few days to dry out, and grounds them to make her own homemade cinnamon and curry powder.

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Meet Local People

By getting off the main roads we escape the tourists, the crowds, and really interact with locals. I urge anyone who visits a developing country to meet local people.

Learn a bit of local language. Speak with your hands when you can’t understand the language, smile, offer a coconut to a stranger. One of my favorite things is taking my polaroid camera and giving photos to the children I meet.

The moments where you just watch and interact without language are always the moments I am the most grateful for.

This is why we rent a scooter: to roam, to escape, and to observe as much as we can about local life away from the hustle of towns and cities.

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My adventures and ramblings through Europe, Australia, and now back the United States. I generally write from daily inspirations or from random thoughts.

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