How do they make ARAK? 

Arak is made from the "juice" of the flower bud of a "king-coconut". They cut away a little slice from the top of the bud and collect the "juice" in a calabash. This "juice" is called TODDY has a little alcohol in it (like "Federweisser" (ask Hilde about it if you don´t know) or new wine). From one coconut-tree they collect aprox. half a liter a day. You need 6 liters of TODDY to make 1 liter of ARAK which is done like making rum or any of these kind of spirits. Our sri lankan friends call ARAK "holy water" - we loved this expression! On the picture below you can see a guy walking from one tree to the next tree. He´s  "tapping toddy". It is fun to watch but I wouldn´t want to do it myself - these coconut-trees are VERY steep and high!

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This picture was taken on our way down south to GALLE, (time again to get your map!). We went there not by Tuktuk but by air-conditioned 18-seater van. On the first stop you could go on a ride with a boat with a glass-bottom to watch corral-reefs "just off the beach". "No, thank you very much, we´ll wait here on the beach!" (Did we ever tell you about a similar trip on the Florida Keys? We were sea-sick the moment the boat left the harbour and the tour lasted 3 hours...) So no pictures from the reef (not from Sri Lanka, because we didn´t go and not from Florida - we had other things to do...).

The next stop was a turtle hatchery and THAT was nice! They have five of the seven kinds of sea turtles there, collect the eggs, breed them, keep the small turtles for three to four days and set them free at night to protect them from the birds. See Antje holding one turtle in her hand?

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After that we went to see how gems are polished!

Copyright © Jörg Kühnel 1998
Page last maintained: 25.5.1998