Sunday 15 November

Posted: November 15, 2014 by saraherhodes in 1914

I posted my last letter on the off chance of it passing the Censors; no doubt it will be delayed some time.  I tackled a little more washing yesterday.  It doesn’t seem bad if it is done every other day or so.

We crossed the line about 10a.m. Friday.  Saw some more flying fish; it is marvellous the distance they can fly.  Land was just visible at 5.  The country is very hilly I should say.  The hills form a range along the coast.  There are two peaks very like Mount Lofty and Mount Barker.  Past these to the left is a very big mountain, snow clad, it is the Sugar Loaf Hill, and directly behind it is another tremendously high mountain called “Adam’s Peake”.  There is a foot mark on the top supposed to have been made by Adam when he first trod the earth.  Also there is a temple there called the “Temple of the Tooth”.  One of the Buddha’s teeth is supposed to be kept there.

I forgot to say that the land I am writing of is Ceylon.  There are a lot of Catamaran fishing boats about, some with sail, and some are still.  With the glasses I can see a rather heavy surf breaking on the shore.  A couple of these catamarans come out as we are passing, they are only about 9” wide, just room enough for a man to sit in; they are kept upright by an outrigger – a log running parallel to the boat 10 ft. away from it.

The man rides on the rigger if it is very windy to keep it upright.  The sail is a triangular piece of cloth, generally patched very much.  We have arrived at Colombo, it is a very pretty place; I can never hope to give you a real idea of it.  We are in a bay.  The country is very flat, with enormous hills about thirty miles behind.  All along the shore are big red-roofed houses, interspersed with clumps of palms.

The Galface Hotel is an enormous white stone place four story high.  The harbour is formed by a big break-water; ships are packed as tightly as possible, men of war are very prominent.  There is a Cruiser with five funnels, I think she is a Frenchman.  Outside the harbour lying in rows are the remainder of the fleet.  I saw a Junk this afternoon, it is similar to a Catamaran, only of course it is larger; has a larger hull. More like a ketch with lateen sails.

_________________________________________________________________________

Notes:

The former British Crown colony of Ceylon is now known as Sri Lanka

The Galface Hotel, spelt Galle Face and Gal Face, overlooks the Galle Face Green in Colombo, Sri Lanka

Current location:

.ColoniesMap1914 19141115

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