A strategic intervention for public awareness on health in Kotte, the Kimbulawela Walkway, encircling an organic paddy field, is just the kind of venue needed to encourage discipline in the direction of a healthier lifestyle.
Words Sonali Kadurugamuwa Photographs Indika de Silva
Mornings bring visiting birds to the sprouting paddy field. Ibis, white egrets, pond herons and other water fowl are drawn to the well irrigated pasture, while farmers begin their daily toil. Cascading over it, one can hear the endless crunch of jostle as the many brands of sports shoes and bicycle wheels hit the soft gravel on the surrounding dirt trail. Red-cheeked are some as they sincerely pant and sweat their way through a brisk walk or jog, while others seem to take all the time they need. One way or another they were going to complete, this, nearly four kilometres of Kimbulawela Walkway!
For children the Walkway represents carefree abandon. Kids whizzing past the more health focused adults, on bikes, running and blaring for no particular reason, jumping, skipping, falling over, or even just plainly staring wild-eyed into the paddy field, with what may only be believed as daring imaginations.
It’s no more than natural to feel at ease here; just you, the free ground beneath your feet and the winding dirt trail ahead. Although afternoons aren’t a favoured time to exercise, as dusk swings by, the parking lot beside the Walkway beams with shiny hoods of the many cars pulling in. In starts pouring the walkers, joggers, little cyclists and also a few sit-and-watchers, all of whom have come to this circle of life to make the most of a stress free haven, made just for their well-being. That’s not all. Across the street sits a vibrant little outdoor gym, on a patch of green, to liberate those muscles after braving the Walkway.
The distance travelled, from start to finish round the Walkway is marked on accompanying solar powered light posts, running along its entire length… One of the numerous indications that this place is in recognition of how important it is to know how far you’ve walked and also, on your part, to figure out how long it takes to do so. Keeping fit is about the ‘time and effort’ put into observing consistency on your health routine, now isn’t it? That’s |if the snack marts across the street don’t spark your interests first. Yes! This Walkway is well rounded, with food, drink and benches, on the neighbouring sidewalks. However tempting, settling down to savour may be, remember to sweat it off on the track before indulging. As full bellies are only going to go so far down that path!
Kotte is surrounded by scenic bodies of water, fauna and incessant greenery, and here too, on Kimbulawela, taking in pleasantries such as these, while on your fitness path, is nothing short of inspiring. In every way you seek to find the fortitude to keep you going and following through with a health plan, this Walkway embraces a panorama of ingredients tuned in from nature to raise and stimulate your spirits to further your feats.
Come on down… watch and learn from good decisions made by others to strive for a healthier tomor- row and then participate. Also, don’t forget to indulge in the opportunity of taking a sip from a good, revitalis- ing king coconut to quench your thirst, from across the street of course, to draw a recreational day to a close. Cheers to health!