Coconut Palms & Elephants in Sri Lanka

  • today When:
    1983
  • place Where:
    Sri Lanka
  • by

As a young family we take on the island on our custom touring bikes. I’m running a touring shop in Sydney and have access to any component made. With a 15 month old child on a Rex baby seat, we land at Negombo, follow the coast down as far as Hambamtota, then come up into the highlands to Nuwara Eliya. A few days later we rode onto Kandy. While we were at Peradeniya Gardens the Tamil communal conflict exploded and when we rode back to our lodging Kandy was burning.

Heading South to Galle.

Our daughter is having a rest after being such a hit with her blond hair and blue eyes.

Awake again and the audience rushes back. Because she’s on the back I have to have all the luggage on the front. Note the Sanyo Dynapower, Campag bar-end levers, centre-pull brakes, Cinelli bars and stem, Brooks Team Professional saddle.

Everywhere we go, our daughter is taken care of by the staff. They just want to be near her.

Fishing boats at Hambantota.

Climbing up into the highlands.

The roads are “reasonable” and there is very little traffic. Getting chilly.

The shops in the middle of Kandy are all on fire.

We visit the elephant orphanage. Absolutely amazing.

Back in the lowlands with flat roads, warm air and coconut palms.

Posing with the local policeman.

Author: Noel McFarlane

Noel has been building and designing touring bikes for over 30 years. He has travelled to over 40 countries while testing a wide array of parts and has now distilled his extensive experience into what you find here today; a selection of touring and adventure bikes made with utility and style in mind.

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