Monday, October 4, 2010


Okay... new tactic! Otherwise this holiday wrap up will finish in... March. 2012. So I'll focus on highlights, which won't really cut much out, since everything was pretty amazing. But I'll try!

Lunuganga was a DEFINITE highlight and my second stop after Bentota beach. Although technically still located in Bentota, Lunuganga was a fifteen minute tuk-tuk ride through villages and paddy fields, perched on a hill overlooking a lake and an island of overgrown jungle. Being the estate of Geoffrey Bawa, I knew it would be something special... but I was unprepared for the absolute stillness and serenity which enveloped me second I was escorted through the gate. This was architecture like I had never before experienced. The initial view of the house is designed so through the corridor a glimpse beyond to the lake and island can be glimpsed. And what a view it is...

One of the other highlights of staying at Lunuganga were the staff, who are keepers of the estate and so informed and passionate about Bawa's work. From the charming Krishna who guided me through the main houses and gardens, pointing out all Bawa's favourite spots and the many incredible details of his work, to the cheekily humoured Damien who took me for a 6am stroll through the overgrown island jungle over paths and bridges he had made... and the manager Michael, whose conversation was just the right amount of witty and dry for my taste! Michael and Damien insisting on referring to everything... animals, peoples, inanimate objects... as "fellows" and "chaps" which I utterly adored. I felt like I was in a Gerald Durrell novel, listening to the lively conversation chattering on beside me.


And as if the delightfulness of my companions was not enough the beauty of the surroundings never failed to make themself known... the dining table overlooking the magnolia tree and lake, the nooks and crannies where one could sit and drink in the view, the shaded spot where Bawa sat and ate lunch every day, the meditation corners, the houses built to best capture the view and jungle environs... so delightful. During the day colourful flowers carpeted the ground, and in the evening fireflies glowed on the horizons and in the thick trees, buzzing around me as I padded over the damp grass to tea. Monkeys cavorted between the tall palms and frogs croaked in the afternoon heat, dragonflies flew over the wild waterliles and cows lazed by the pond. And no walk would be complete without the accompanying presence of four cheerful dogs.

Did I mention it was heaven??!

I will let pictures do the rest of the talking before I run out of adjectives to gush with... or before I whip myself into a frenzy of "homesickness" for this magical spot...

Did I mention it was heaven? Oh... yeah... I guess I did :)