Today is a highlight. Well for me it is but maybe not for my clients, because we have to climb 1200 steps. We are heading to Sigirya Rock. The ruins of a 2000 year old palace are on top of this huge rock, hence the climb.
I had a bet with kamal about how many of my group will make it to the top. I guessed 12 out of 24 and he guessed 10.
The climb is in 3 sections. In the coach park some young men are waiting for us. They are the “helpers” sponsored by the tourist office to help the tourists climb up and down Sigirys Rock. They will go up and down the rock with a tourist for 1000 rupees (about £6 or $10). They help by carrying bags, water and they do make adifference. I have a budget for these helpers as most of my clients are quite old and a little unsteady. I hire ten helpers. The first part of our walk is quite easy and all the group manage that. Then the steps get steeper and we have a chance to climb a spiral, iron staircase that leads to cave with 2000 year old frescoes. Some of my group miss this bit out but continue on to the place known as the Lion’s claws.
The final part is another iron staircase, clinging to a sheer rock face. 300 steps. 12 of my group make it with the aid of the “helpers”.