Bike Sri Lanka – Expedition Complete!

Icebreaker                                                                             R&R Sport SL blog                              
After biking 1273.8km over 26 days and climbing to over 2000m we have finished! This was the hardest week but also the most rewarding. We rode from Batticaloa at sea level to Nuwara Eliya at over 2000m and descended back to Negombo at sea level. We got word that the Karaveddy Preschool construction was completed and open for class again. Our bodies have lost several kg’s and feel totally depleted but the sense of reward is immensely fulfilling!

Please watch the short film we produced, Bike Sri Lanka – Pedalling for Preschools


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For earlier map details and day entries please click on earlier blog posts in the menu to the right.

12/01/14 (6km): Our last day in Batticaloa mark “M” near the Karaveddy Preschool we have helped, We visited Ranchan (OST manager) for the last time then prepped for the next week of cycling.
13/01/14 (95km): Batticaloa to Kadurawela mark “O”, long countryside road and nice to be heading back to the hills. We had a pizza that night, our first western food since we arrived.
14/01/14 (71km): Kadurawela to Sigiriya mark “P”, we saw a huge troop of about 40 monkeys! That night we climbed Pidurangala, a large rock next to Sigiriya and saw an amazing sunset.
15/01/14 (20km): Sigiriya to Dambulla mark “Q”, a short ride after a morning of torrential rain and thunder, in Dambulla we climbed a beautiful Buddhist temple overlooking the town.
16/01/14 (75km): Dambulla to Kandy mark “R”, an undulating ride with many climbs but we reached 1000km! In Matale we stopped for mangos at a stall to find a game of cricket happening at a local school, the teachers let us in to watch and we spent an hour talking with students and teachers.
17/01/14 (44km): Kandy to Pussawella mark “S” which sits at over 1000m, scenic but hard riding and found a very beautiful and cheap guest house situated in a tea plantation looking over the valley.
18/01/14 (44km): Pussawella to Nuwara Eliya mark “T” the highest town in Sri Lanka, a serious day of up, we climbed from 1000m to over 2000m (and saw noone else on bikes). Tea plantations everywhere with epic views over a massive valley.
19/01/14 (77km): Nuwara to Kitulgala mark “U”, lots of down but riddled with dug up roads, our full sus bikes proved their worth and made for a fun ride! We planned on doing 40km but had to go on further if we were going to make it back to Negombo in time for our flight, we only just made it to Kitulgala before dark to find somewhere to stay.
20/01/14 (105km): Kitulgala to Negombo mark “V”, diary entry: “WORST DAY EVER. We are sooooo pooped & hot & exhuasted & tired & hungry & sweaty & over it”. It was a hard day and our bodies had had enough. But we had done it, 1273.8km over 26 days and the school was finished. Mission complete.

See recent travel photos and more details of the completed Karaveddy Preschool below.

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A baby Toque Macaque, very personable but cheeky buggers, one stole our cashew nuts!

 

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Monkey wanted a lift

 

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Little baby torque macaques play in the trees

 

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Females grooming

 

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Female grooms a male, these two looked like a couple

 

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Yip thats true love

 

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On top of Pidurangala the views are epic

 

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Unlike the famous Sigirya rock fortress, Pidurangala has arguably a better view and noone else there

 

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A massive buddha statue is visible out on the plain

  

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A game of high school cricket in Matale between a school in Kandy and the high school in Matale, had interesting chats with the students and teachers

 

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Tea at sunset in Pussawella, a tiny village at 1000m with just two shops a couple of house and this cheap guest house

 

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Soph on the climb up to 2000m up to Nuwara Eliya, behind the ridge is Sri Lanka’s highest mountain Pidurutalagala at 2524m

 

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Finished and back in Negombo. So so exhausted! Note the salt stains on my top from so much sweat

 

The Karaveddy Preschool Before & After construction.
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Benefits of the new roof include a much stronger shelter that will no longer be blown away in large storms (a reoccurring problem), the higher pitch provides more head space and with the high quality clay tiles it provides a much cooler and healthier environment for the children. And of course it no longer leaks. The school will have many more attendance days because of this.

The total cost of the roof and reconstruction of the Karaveddy Preschool: £1760 ($3537 NZD, රු3,52,000 LKR), and £240 (about $500NZD, රු50,000 LKR) for the school supplies. The students, teachers and parents were overjoyed with the new construction and the school supplies.

Total raised so far: $5788.59 NZD (£2872.68, රු625,615.71 LKR)  (by exchange rates on 24/1/14).  Thanks again to everyone who has made a donation, your contribution has enabled all of this to happen.

So we have a substantial amount left over and we are currently communicating with the Ocean Stars Trust to determine where this can be best utilised. All expenditure will be published here.

 

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Students, teachers and some parents outside the newly renovated school

 

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The students playing games under the new roof

 

The walls needed to be reinforced to support the weight of the new clay tile roof (right). The old tin that was replaced is being sent to this school in Mavadioodai so they can open as soon as possible for class but they also need funding for construction and basic class supplies (left).
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There are many more projects like this in Sri Lanka that need our help. If you have not yet donated and would like to DONATE then please do so with our JustGiving site: https://www.justgiving.com/bikesrilanka,

or,  you can deposit donations into the follow charity account:

Bike Sri Lanka: 38-9015-0394533-00
Reference: Your name
Code: Your phone number
Account auditor: Vanessa Harwood, previous charity worker (+64 27 442 2041, nessharwood@gmail.com)

Sponsor the kids for ongoing support! The cost is very affordable, to sponsor a preschool with approx. 30 students for 1 full year for all costs is £300. Or to sponsor 1 student until 18 years old is £10 per month. This is a great system which ensures quality education for the children, there are mechanisms in place to ensure all funds are spent purely on education needs for the children. One student has just started University thanks to this system! Please make contact with Ocean Stars Trust or make contact with me for more info.

So to run 1 preschool for 1 year with approximatly 30 students costs £300. And to sponsor 1 student until 18 years old will cost £10 per month.

For more info on our expedition and fundraiser see our previous post below.

Follow my Facebook Page for the latest updates and photos and stay tuned for the movie!