Sri Lanka

Arduous road travel, heat and humidity, malaria, unsanitary conditions associated routinely with the third world and yet, Sri Lanka is one of those destinations a landscape photographer should visit, as Mike Long tells us

“Very sorry, sir” our driver said in broken English with a wry smile, “water finished.” We had been driving many hours in hot weather on dusty, poorly maintained roads and were looking forward to a shower at one of the few refuges inside Wasgamuwa National Park. We were told that there would be showers here, and yet the response was, “river there, very nice for cooling!” We came to refer to these incidents as “Widgies” as our driver’s nickname was Widgie. He was a pretty good driver and fairly reliable translator, but had a certain propensity for folly, which made life on the road interesting to say the least. On one occasion our battery died and we were far from any auto parts store (he’d forgotten the jump leads); yet, with a bent and broken coat hanger connected to a single, rusty terminal, somehow he got the car started again. So, wading into the river I lay down and let the refreshing water roll over my skin thinking our driver had it about right this time: smart guy, Widgie. Cool water, warm sun on my face, the primal yet peaceful sounds of the jungle, and then I heard two large splashes just downstream. “Definitely not fish jumping!” I said to myself, jumping up and struggling frantically through the current back to shore. Two crocodiles had entered the water not fifty feet away, just the tops of their spiny, prehistoric backs sticking out of the water, gliding easily, decisively in my general direction. As I scurried uphill and mounted the refuge steps three at a time, completely out of breath and spilling my story to no one in particular, there appeared our ever...

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