So here we are again, getting ready for our next bike tour.  Are we ready?

Despite knowing we are heading off, this time, to the more exotic climes of Sri Lanka more than several months ago, we left it until just two weeks before setting off to get our travel vaccinations sorted! Apparently, just two of the recommended three rabies jabs gives some level of protection! Fingers crossed that our “dog-magnet” status doesn’t cross continents.  One guide book’s advise on how to remain rabies free suggests avoiding dogs, bats and children.  Children? What sort of place are we heading to?

This will be an altogether different trip than our last.  Mainly, due to the climate and wildlife.  Whilst I’m keen to see elephants, crocodiles, leopards and other beasts in their natural habitat, it is quite rightly their habitat, and I do wonder what they might think of bikes trundling through them?  Non-rabid dogs were more than enough of an adrenaline kick as far as I’m concerned.  Seeing animals from the safety of a safari jeep at this point in time does seems to be a bit more sensible.  By the way – we are not thinking of cycling through the actual national parks (as it’s not generally allowed) but my research so far, has strongly intimated that there is plenty of wild-life wandering around generally and I’m guessing they can’t read the “end of park” signs!

Since booking our flights a UK journalist was eaten by a crocodile.  If you need to be updated on the different styles of crocodilian movement, look no further.  There’s the slither, the walk and the pounce. (possibly not the correct terminology!)  Even at my slow cycling pace I should be able to out-speed the walk and slither, it’s the pounce we have to worry about. When wanting to feed, a croc can, apparently, launch itself a distance of it’s full length in a couple of seconds.  It will usually attempt this from a hidden position or from water.  Note to self, keep away from river edges and cycle in the middle of the road when flanked by greenery, wonder how that works with the traffic?

Snakes, now they know no boundaries.  I’m repeating the mantra “they are always more scared of you than you are of them”.  That’s all very well, but with the most venomous one on the island giving a sneaky little bite, “which doesn’t usually hurt much” but then “due to it being a neuro-toxin can quickly cause muscles associated with breathing to stop working”! Shit! Can anyone lend me a bag and mask and an oxygen cylinder? (we’d happily carry the extra weight – just in case!).  Thankfully there is an anti-venom available….you’ve just got to A) notice you’ve been bitten and B) get to a hospital within about half an hour.  That’ll be easy then!

To think, we chose Sri Lanka, because someone I once met on a cycle tour (in Europe) recommended it as a nice and easy introduction to cycling in Asia………..blinking cycle tourists!