This year's cycling holiday is around Sri Lanka, conveniently starting the day after I had spoken at a dermatology congress. There are 13 in the group, 6 Aussies, 4 Irish, 3 UK and one Canadian There are 3 farming couples and 4 teachers so I hope for expert assessment of cows. I was also pleasantly surprised to meet Niall, an Irish teacher who was on last years trip to Cuba Our Sri Lankan guide Suresh is portly but also able to bike fast. I had a fine new mountain bike which is perfect for jumping off the road away from buses.
We rode the 25 k to Sigiriya as our starter. The rock arises up out of the flat plains. Ahead of was a party of schoolgirls in pristine whit uniforms who climbed up vertiginous ladders easily and undramatically. On the top one felt like a king surveying the landscape. Later we biked to a Buddhist temple and ascended the many steps to see Buddhas reclining deep in caves. There was a soft evening light as we biked back on small roads that took us through the lush countryside. A great start to the holiday.