So far so good? Perfect. Let's start with day 1.
After breakfast, we got a taxi to take us to Colombo city. The airport says Colombo international airport, but its actually very far from Colombo. It took us more than three ours to get there. Our driver did not speak English, so we had a fun time explaining where we were going to him.
Following the suggestion given by our travel guide book, we went to have buffet in Raja Bojun. Since we went for lunch, so the dishes were not as many as dinner, but they were delicious. The curry crab was simply mouth-watering. And they also have the Sri Lankan egg, which you roll with a pancake and different toppings, yum.
Apart from the good food, the staff at the Raja Bojun were very helpful. They talked to us and when they found out that we were planning to travel to Galle by train, they confirmed with the station and told us the train was not running on that day, which saved us the trouble to go to the station. They asked around and give us the suggestion to take the bus instead. We were very thankful, and found out as much information as we could before we left the restaurant.
The bus to Gall took another 4.5 hours. But the scenery on the way was just amazing. The bus was going along the coast, so from time to time we could see the beautiful beaches, palm trees and folk houses. We also saw the sunset in the bus, it was very pretty.
The place we stayed was called Fort Inn Guest House, it was listed in Lonely Planet! Residented in the former colonial town, the structure of the Inn was very western. Shame that none of us studied architecture, otherwise we would be able to find out a lot more than "western".
The owners of the Inn were a warm and delightful couple, extremely helpful with organizing trips. They organized Tutus to take us to the beach, where we saw the fishermen.
They basically just sit on a piece of stick and fish. I must admit it was very hard work. So in low seasons like April, when fishermen cannot fish a lot of fish in the sea, they started performing for the tourists, for a certain amount of rupees. And yes, the photo above was taken during the "performance" and no fish died for the purpose of shooting these photos. They were let back to the sea.
When we came back from the coast, the lady in the Inn cooked us some sandwitch for us to eat in the car. And then we went on with our 7-hour car ride, yes, SEVEN-HOUR, to Nuwara Eliya, the beautiful home of Ceylon tea.
*These are the tea bushes.
The car ride to Nuwara Eliya started fine and ended with more than 20km of S turns and U turns on the mountain. When we finally got our hotel at the top of the mountain, I felt nauseated and dizzy. On top of that I was hungry and tired. We gave our driver a bottle of water and a 1000-rupee-tip for his hard work. He was very happy, and he shook our hands, twice.
In the hotel we stayed that night, I took the most relaxing shower after I got Sri Lanka. When you are away from air conditionings and proper showers you tend to appreciate everything a lot more. I think it is good to have this kind of experience once in a while.
As an amateur photographer, my single most important mission in this trip (apart from enjoy myself) is to take great pictures. And Nuwara Eliya is such a photogenic area, plus I got up around 6am to capture these moments, so they should look good. Here is what I got.
Our day 3 officially started after breakfast. Our driver took us to the market, a Hindu temple and the Heritance tea factory.
In Sri Lanka, there were a lot of fruit sellers on the side of the road. If you feel like a coconut, do not worry, just wait for 5 minutes and you will see one. It was also interesting to see fruit trees everywhere with ripe fruits hanging on tips of the branches. The most common ones I saw were mangoes, coconuts, papayas and jackfruits. But isn't it a little dangerous though? Sharp and hard jackfruits hanging on the tree everywhere. What if it falls on someone… But anyways, seeing fruits on trees was interesting enough for a city person like me.
Another scenary I found stimulating was bus-catching. If you are a guy, not so young, not so old, buses in Sri Lanka probably will not stop for you. They will slow down, but not stop. What guys do is they run after the bus, catch the handles on the door and hop on. Same goes to getting off the bus. For the convenience of the commuters (I think), the bus doors are never closed. What happens during rush hour? Well, buses get extremely crowded like everywhere else in the world, and the doors open with several people seizing the handles on the doors and hanging half of their body outside the bus. Again, seeing this made me appreciate Melbourne's transportation a lot more.
We finished the day with another 4-hour road trip to Kandy.
Three more days to go in part 3. T.B.C.
Story and Photo by Sherry Chen