Part of the allure of The River House in Sri Lanka (one of our weekend get aways) was the offer of an early morning tour of the Madu River.
On the tour guests visit three islands where locals live and work. Our first stop was on a tiny island where a local woman showed us the production of cinnamon. Cinnamon is actual harvested from a tree. Do you use cinnamon in dishes? There is a chance that it comes from Sri Lanka. I put together a short video to show you the basics of how it is harvested:
The next stop was a Buddhist temple on another tiny island. The temple here is 700 years old but is still in disrepair from the Tsunami. We were able to speak with a monk who showed us the ancient books and gave us a blessing. He said that we both had "good foreheads." He really liked James' hair and laughed when he rubbed it during the blessing.
The last stop on our tour which allowed ample time for bird watching and monkey viewing was a stop at a fish farm on the edge of the river. You could pay 500 rupees to have the fish nibble your feet but we opted out of that experience. Our guide showed us how it was done.