26th was also Nick’s birthday. The dawn chorus was melodious and a soft mist rose from the lake. A big, black wild boar grunted and ambled across the field in the valley below. Palm trees swayed in a gentle breeze and bright brown Brahminy Kites with gleaming white heads floated lazily above as we sipped tea on the terrace. Nick was wearing a Sri Lankan sarong and west and everybody smiled and nodded in approval. It was the perfect start to the day.
We were at the Albatross on Victoria lake near Kandy.
We read, walked in the hills and drank beer until it was time for lunch. We asked for rice and curry again and the chef prepared excellent Black Pork and eight different curries, all served on the terrace.
They did a “Mongolian Barbecue” that evening. We drank a bottle of Seifried Sauvignon Blanc in the lounge and had Barda Pinot Noir and Ken Forrester’s Petit Pinotage with the meal. Mongolian Barbecue was not really a BQ in the traditional sense. We selected fish and meat from the buffet (squid, prawns, seer fish, pork, chicken and beef) and the chef tossed them with vegetables, rice and noodles in a wok with great ceremony and pyrotechnics before placing a sizzling plateful of the food in front of us. We chatted and laughed and ate and had enormous fun.
Then the lights were dimmed and the chef brought in the birthday cake bright with candles and sparklers. Everybody sang ‘happy birthday’ the the waiter in a Santa hat rang a little brass bell. Nick blew the candles and the cake was cut and eaten.