Elephant Pass

Standard

IMG_1303

Following a night at an unremarkable (crappy) hotel I tackled the road North with some enthusiasm. I stopped to see pilgrims descending in the early morning mist from a shrine high on the rocks.

IMG_1297
I made good time and despite roadworks and a major military checkpoint (with personal interview) I found my way to the old LTTE (Tamil Tigers) ‘capital’ of Kilinochchi.

IMG_1310 IMG_1320 IMG_1321
The road is being heavily upgraded and renewed so there were lots of roadworks to negotiate. North Sri Lanka remains a military zone and there are countless army bases and checkpoints. Every significant geographical feature threw up a heavily guarded army post or base. The land became increasingly bleak and the scars of war were everywhere. Buildings are deserted and pockmarked by shellfire.IMG_1372
What initially looked like good ground for camping became a no go area with areas marked out as minefields. Close to the road people in protective armour were working to clear the mines. I stopped to have tea at a transport cafe at Elephant Pass and which joins the Jaffna peninsula with the mainland. Historically it was the place where elephants would travel down from the Indian mainland into Sri Lanka. Now, however, it is known as the scene for two major battles between the LTTE and government. I cycled to the North coast and set up camp at a deserted Sri Lankan army post on the sun drenched beach which stretched like a ribbon of golden sand in each direction.

IMG_1325 IMG_1338 IMG_1361 IMG_1350 IMG_1349

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s