Welcome to our latest newsletter keeping you up to date with life at Jungle Tide. As always, let us know if you don’t want to receive them and we’ll unsubscribe you.
Garden Room improvements
Our family budget accommodation separate from the house is fine to sleep in but isn’t designed to sit around in. This has been a problem for parents with younger children who have to remain down there once the kids are in bed and had no space in which to relax. So two volunteers, David Vacl and his builder Dad Petr, came out specially for a couple of weeks to build a portico with a bench, table and chairs where Mum and Dad can sit comfortably within earshot of their kids. They also laid the foundations for our barbecue by the pool.
David has become one of the family, having volunteered with us on several occasions already. He speaks fluent English but Petr doesn’t really speak any – however what a great builder he is! Heartfelt thanks to both of you.
Speaking of volunteers, we’re about to welcome our next intake for the period from mid-April until we go to England early June. Lots of mostly garden jobs lined up for 2 them to do. And when we go to England from June to October we’ve lined up a great Housesitter, Cathy Coyte, to look after the place in our absence. More on her and on what our volunteers will have achieved in the next newsletter.
Big in Denmark
We’ve doubled our turnover in the last year (unfortunately we’ve also doubled our costs but that’s another story) and we’re really busy. Partly due to having passed some kind of milestone with Booking.com’s system which we don’t pretend to understand but has resulted in a massive increase in bookings through them so no complaints. Partly because we’ve become big in Denmark! Why? You may ask. Apparently there’s some kind of Sri Lanka travel forum popular in Denmark on which some earlier Danish guests had been singing our praises and that led to others and a real snowball effect. So we now have as many Danish guests as British ones, which is very welcome.
A trip to the north
Sally’s brother Jeremy and nephew Tom came out to see us recently and we took a long-anticipated trip to see Jaffna and the north of Sri Lanka. Jerry has written it up in his blog on our website for those who want the whole story of this fascinating and very different part of Sri Lanka. Meanwhile, here are a few pictures to give you a flavour of the place. First up, the strange island of Delft where the walls are made of dead coral…
… and where wild horses roam, uniquely to Sri Lanka (their ancestors were left behind by the Dutch and some seem to have have rather fetching perms)…
… and where one way of reaching the island is in the hold of a naval sardine tin while the way back is on a ‘private boat’ whose wheelhouse and engine room is a rusting converted tuk-tuk …
Jaffna itself is still very war-damaged. This building in the very centre of the city was obviously once of great importance but was shelled so long ago that banyans have grown up through its foundations.
South of Jaffna are some truly horrible war memorials but one fascinating one, commemorating the self-sacrificial action of a Sri Lankan soldier in destroying the strange Tamil Tiger armoured bulldozer which forms part of the memorial:
And finally on to one of the world’s oddest museums, a collection of badly damaged Tamil Tiger boats ranging from an armed jet-ski through to a half-built full-size submarine…
Work on the road to jungle Tide is still progressing. In particular the very worst remaining stretch – the short hill from Uduwela village square where the buses terminate up to the turnoff for Jungle Tide – has been completely resurfaced. There is now less than 1km of the road still to be fixed and of course the 700 metres or so of private road down to Jungle Tide which will remain bumpy for the foreseeable future. But by then you’re almost there.
Work to finish Noni’s house has run into all kinds of complications but we have now resolved them and the last bits of work are about to re-start. If you subscribed to the fund you’ll shortly receive a more detailed report.
We’ve bought six new hens, about to start laying, which will help our existing nine to keep pace with demand. And the dogs – Toffee, Suki and Kuta – are fine, though Kuta is now very old and a bit arthritic, Toffee is getting a little bit fat and rather lazy and Suki likes to spend most of her time bathing in the stream.