Cooking, Sketching + Riding the Rails in Asia / Travels in Sri Lanka and Mumbai

 I buttoned up the holiday season earlier than ever, and headed east on Dec. 23rd, 2018.  It had been over a year since Christopher and I had traveled internationally together, and we were both looking forward to something entirely new and different, which is why we chose to spend 5 days in Mumbai and about 2.5 weeks in Sri Lanka.

I've traveled extensively in Latin America, but before this trip, had never set foot in SE Asia.  I knew that it was going to offer a plethora of new sensory experiences, and time and time again, this rang true- the sites, sounds, feels, smells and tastes were all so notable and I did my best to record these experiences in my sketchbook journal.

I felt lucky to have cooked as much as I did during the trip. In Mumbai, We took a cooking class from Shilpa Gupti, chef residing in the neighborhood of Five Gardens, Mumbai, where visited her home and prepared an awesome four course vegan meal.  We booked this experience through the network, Traveling Spoon, a platform connecting people to locals to cook in their homes.  This was exactly the kind of tourism we were looking for: the kind that offered real connection with locals, over learning from one another through food.  Something we all were passionate about. 


Shilpa and Christopher enjoying the 4 course meal we prepared in her home in Mumbai, India. 

New Cars, old bakery.


Many Taxis have vinyl interior- probably to make surfaces more durable, but note those floral patterns. Adornment is everywhere!

Marigolds for adornment, to be strung in a line and sold for holy holidays.

Fresh chai preparation is a ritual each morning, many stalls on the streets are involved in the complex lunch delivery services too. 

Market produce rainbow including banana flower, mango, lime, yam, okra, long beans, and beets.

Coconut chicken and goat curry on Christmas day in Bandra West, Mumbai.


Pre soaked beans for sale at the market.

Fresh fish, fun shapes

Sigiriya rock on our first full day in Sri Lanka.

Riding the scenic train to Ella from Kandy in Sri Lanka. 

Vadai (deep fired lentil snacks) for sale on the train from a man hopping on for less than 5 minutes.

Fresh black pepper.  Sri Lanka is known for it's spices.  

Hike to Adams' Peak, Kandy, Sri Lanka


Making coconut Roti and sambal at Eagle Rock, next to Amba Estate Tea Farm where we stayed for 4 nights. Both Classic fresh coconut sambal and Roti are dishes I've recreated in the US since then.  

9x12" Watercolor weaving in elements from our time in the central highlands on the tea farm at Eagle Rock.  I mailed this piece to Tim, our host at Eagle Rock through the domestic mail right before we left the country.  

Tim and Christopher on the porch at Eagle Rock  

Here's our friends and fellow foodies, Dulshaan and Chathu towards the end of our time at Unawatuna Beach.  Dulshaan was our tour guide at the beginning of the trip, and we reconnected with him and his wife two weeks later and had a great time together visiting a couple cool local restaurants.  Chathu also made us homemade Deviled Chicken, such a treat! 


Things I found on the beach

Sketching on the coast while soaking up the sun.

 Cool old signs found at the Barefoot cafe in Colombo.