Kandy To Dambulla - Day 1
Commencing our journey from Kandy, Achala wanted to start off the campaign with a traditional/spiritual touch, as with any mainstream movement would. As a result, #සයිකලේවිරෝධය (Cycle4lk) was kicked off with a quick worship of the Sri Dalada Maligawa on the 22nd of December 2021 at 5.30 am.
Being relative newcomers to the hobby of cycling, our first few hours of the journey was a test of ourselves, gauging our abilities along the way, resulting in regular water/thambili breaks to give our unseasoned legs and backsides adequate rest.
The first seed of doubt within ourselves, whether we were cut out for this journey, came quite early for us. Climbing up a steep incline just past the Akurana town, struggling with not even 20 Km in of a 315 Km journey, Kalana especially was starting to doubt himself. But after a quick breakfast in Matale, rejuvenated, we made it to Naula in no time, where we stopped for morning tea. This stretch of the ride had given us new strength, knowing we only had about 30km to go to our stop for the night, still having in excess of two hours to midday. With our first stop at the Maligawa displaying the posters on our backs, the thought of taking our message to iconic places along our route was always in the back of our minds. But, it is here, knowing we were making good progress that we excitedly decided our first symbolic visit would be to the Rangiri Dambulu Temple. If the spontaneous nature of our entire campaign isn’t highlighted here, then it would only become more and more obvious along the way. Looking back, the public response to Cycle4lk on the road, and on social media, to say the least, has been truly heartening. There were numerous instances of people taking notice of our banners and wanting to have a word with us. In all cases, a word of support, a word of encouragement. But where all that started from, was the young lady that stopped to take a photo of us at the Rangiri Dambulu Temple. Her clenched fist raised as she wished us luck on our journey was the first moment we realised our effort could mean something worthwhile.
Ceremonial Start at The Sri Dalada Maligawa
Our First Stop at an Iconic Place on Our Journey