Katie Perkin's Blog #2 - Turtles and cliff divers

While writing this second ‘blog’ of the T20 World Cup I am sitting next to the pool while some of our team clowns practice their synchronised swimming routines… it’s a good thing they know how to play cricket. We are staying at a seven star hotel now for the final stages of the T20 World Cup back in Colombo. I didn’t know you could get seven stars! It’s just all a bit flash really. Seeing the girls having a laugh and staying relaxed is great as we now build up to our crunch semi-final showdown against England on Thursday afternoon (10:00pm NZ time).

We left Galle on Monday after a couple of solid victories against South Africa and Sri Lanka. Those wins ensured we finished second in our pool and advance into the semi finals. The match against Sri Lanka was a pretty awesome experience. We were put in to field and even though the crowd was not thousands strong, the home crowd sure made a great amount of noise – cheering, singing, drumming, and clapping. They did their best to distract us from our job of bowling the Sri Lankan’s out, and although they held us off for a couple of overs, we eventually got our breakthrough and had them all out for 89.

While in Galle I went on a couple of little outings. The first was for a walk around the Galle fort (the backdrop to the Galle International Cricket Stadium), and then to the local Turtle Farm and Hatchery! The Galle fort was quite impressive. It was a large peninsula that has high stone walls that drop down into the sea. The fort area is so well protected from the sea that when the tsunami hit on Boxing Day 2004, Galle was wiped out, but the fort area was untouched! Those in the fort didn’t understand why they were getting frantic phone calls asking them if they were ok. Crazy!

One thing we saw while at the fort was a man jump off the high rock face into the crashing waves below, surrounded by large boulders! But it was ok… we paid him to do it. This guy makes his living by sucking in tourists like me to pay to watch him ‘risk’ his life. He wanted 2000 rupees (approx NZ$20) so I said no… but then all the other girls said they’d all put some money in… nek minut off he plummets! He climbed back up, but we all told him he had to do it again “2000 rupees for 2 jumps”, so he did.

The Turtle Farm and Hatchery was more low key, but Frankie (Frances Mackay), Tina (team manager), Lucy (team physio) and I got to see an animal that we wouldn’t usually get near in New Zealand. Getting to hold some of the turtles was cool, even though the signs clearly said “Do not touch the turtles”. Don’t blame us, it was the owner who passed them to us! The heaviest we held was only about 10kg, but many grown to more than 200kg! No wonder they walk so slow, imagine that much weight on top of four little legs.

Batesy’s parents have made the trip over to Sri Lanka, and on Sunday night a group of us went and had dinner at their accommodation in Unawatuna (approx 10min from our hotel). It was a stunning spot which deserved another visit, so after hotel check-out yesterday we headed back for lunch and a bit more of a walk around the lane leading down to the beach from the main road. It was good fun getting amongst some of the locals. I played my game of trying to evade the security so I could wander around without a constant shadow. This was successful for all of five minutes... they are just everywhere!

Our team bus had a bit of an issue with our visit to Unawatuna. The lane is only about 1 ½ car widths wide at best, and there is no turning bay at the end of it. The lane would be about half a kilometre, and despite us warning the bus driver and security that the bus shouldn’t go down, we were ignored. Needless to say that the bus spent the next two hours figuring out how to turn around while we walked along the beach and enjoyed some lunch. Lucky for our bus driver we have a smallish bus… had it been the Aussies monster bus I’m guessing it would have had to been abandoned and turned into another couple of shops or something!

Right-o, I better get inside and find some kai. With seven restaurants here it shouldn’t been too hard!

Make sure you keep up to date with the day to day happenings of the team via Twitter. ‘Veteran’ (as I heard her be referred to the other day) Nic Browne (@njbrowne) has just recently made her Twitter debut, so make sure you start following her… you’ll not just get updates but some pretty wise words from her too!

Keep New Zealand beautiful while I’m away.

Perky.

With Thanks To

ANZ Ford
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