I like Sri Lanka. It's kind of an upmarket India where people have mostly learnt to put their rubbish in the bin and not on the floor. It also seems that more people have at least something, whereas in India a lot of people have absolutely nothing, giving it a really sad air. There is still staring but it usually turns into a smile and a hello. Although it's renowned for its amazing greenery and tea plantations, I felt that Kerala had the edge. It was just greener and more lush. What I did love about Sri Lanka was that everywhere had a different feel to it. Colombo was different to Nuwara Eliya which was different to Kandy which was different to Ella. Then the places in the south were all different too. The highlight of Sri Lanka for me was Udawalawe National Park where we got to see a herd of elephants bathing in a water hole. After all the animals in chains we had (unintentially) seen, this was an amazing sight, we were so lucky. I probably wouldn't come back to Sri Lanka, but only because I feel like we've seen most of what it has to offer, but I would recommend it for anyone who wants to do more than lay on a beach for a week.
Day 40 - Tuesday 20th January - Colombo/Kandy/Nuwara Eliya/Ella
Colombo was nice in the area where we stayed, clean and modern with nice places to eat and drink but descended into the usual hawker/tuk tuk chaos in the opposite direction. Kandy was much the same with a nice lake and an important temple. In the temple, without even being asked, we got put with a guide we didn't understand who had no teeth and stank, who then ripped us off. Nuwara Eliya looked like the weirdest and loveliest place. They call it little England although it reminded me more of Austria because of the mountains and architecture. We just passed through it as it was mainly just walking to do there. We're in Ella at the moment, a small hippie town with mainly just walks and views again. We're on our way to Tangalle this morning to finish Sri Lanka off with a week of beaches which I'm really looking forward to.
Really nice pub in Colombo
This is Vista House where we stayed in Kandy for 2 nights. It was owned by the loveliest couple. Our bedroom was amazing
This is where they served us our breakfast of home made Sri Lankan fish balls and sweet pancakes
This is The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic in Kandy. It is a Buddhist Temple which houses the relic of the tooth of Buddha. It is believed that whoever holds the tooth holds the governance of the country
This is Kandy War Cemetary. It was one of the most beautiful and well kept cemeteries I have ever seen. Many of the men buried here died defending Sri Lanka from the Japanese in WWII. The men were a range of nationalities; Sri Lankan, East African, Indian, Canadian, Italian, British and a Frenchman
This is Royal Botanical Gardens in Kandy. It was huge with loads of green stuff to see and monkeys everywhere
Big bendy trees
Shrubbery the colours of the Sri Lankan flag
View over Lake Kandy
This is Ruwan our driver for Central Sri Lanka, he was hilarious!
This is the Scooby Gang just popping out to check out some views
Nuwara Eliya and Gregory Lake
Our cabana in Ella
This is Udawalawe National Park. We were going to visit Pinnewala Elephant Orphanage but had heard some bad things and instead our hotel in Colombo recommended here. I am so glad we listened to them. There were no guarantees of seeing elephants with it being a national park and it was expensive, but we were so lucky and it was 100% worth it
I was so happy to see wild elephants out of chains here that I think I nearly shed a tear at this point
Loved watching them having a bath. There are some tiny ones in there somewhere, so cute!
Day 41 - Wednesday 21st January - Tangalle
Arrived at Lonely Beach Resort at about 6pm last night. It looked almost deserted and it was gloomy and the humidity was about 89%. I was having that feeling again and doubting my decision. Mat can sense now when I'm not fully happy with a place and he starts to look around quickly for positives like 'Well at least there's only 100 mozzies per square foot here' or 'it looks like we probably might have hot water in this place' or 'I doubt it'll smell this bad tomorrow....' Etc etc. That night we spent about half an hour working up the courage to deal with a MASSIVE cockroach and then another half an hour actually dealing with it. It had run out from behind the toilet while I was having a wee and made it onto my foof before I spotted the bugger! I went absolutely mental, making noises I'd never ever made before, jumping around with my undies still around my ankles and obviously Mat thought it was hilarious. When that was sorted I went to brush my teeth, leaned in to the mirror and almost put my nose on a lizard. It was fairly small though so we let him stay. Anyway, we woke up today and the sun was hot and amazing with not a cloud in the sky and we had a nice breakfast and actually I am totally in love with this beach. We are sharing maybe 5km of sand with about 10 other people. Tbh there's not much to do and it's meant that Mat and I actually have to talk to each other a bit, but it's one of the loveliest places I've ever seen.
Lonely Beach Resort
The view of the lagoon from our balcony
An arty farty picture of me on the balcony
No one for miles on Tangalle Beach that day. Absolutely perfect
After Lonely Beach we moved across the lagoon to Eagles Nest Cabanas which was lovely too
Day 45 - Sunday 25th January - Unawatuna/Galle
Arghhhh my body kills. We've had surfing lessons these last couple of days with Bandula's Surf School and I've never felt aches like this. I'm definitely not a natural. I can barely walk in a straight line sober without falling over or tripping over my feet so I'm not sure why I thought I'd be able to balance on a surf board! I was pretty rubbish the first day and started the second day off badly too. At one point I got so frustrated that I had to take a 2 minute time out where I stormed out of the sea, on to the beach and sat and sulked. I let myself cry a couple of angry tears from each eye then pulled myself together and marched my board back into the sea. No one noticed anyway as my face had been pretty much submerged since the beginning of the lesson. What made it worse was that Mat was better than me and I knew it would only be a matter of time before his stupid face pointed it out. I wish we could carry on surfing but we're not in Sri Lanka long enough and apparently the surf's not great in Thailand. So next we've got 2 days in Unawatuna and then 2 days in Galle where I'll try and actually see some sights instead of laying on a beach and feeding my face. After that we're off to Thailand where I'll be mostly laying on a beach and feeding my face.
Paddle paddle paddle paddle
I was so burnt afterwards!
This is Lara's Place in Unawatuna. It was lovely and the food cooked by Lara's Mum was the best food we had in Sri Lanka
View from our balcony
This is the best pizza I have ever had in my life from Marco Ristorante Italiano - Unawatuna
This is Galle, it was so pretty. It is a fortified city originally built by the Dutch in 1663 but handed over to the English in 1796 after the surrender of Colombo. It was clean and neat with little streets full of interesting shops. It had a super relaxed feel to it and we enjoyed it even though it was so obviously engineered for tourists to experience Sri Lanka without actually experiencing the real Sri Lanka at all
This is the Old Dutch Hospital that was established to look after the health of the staff serving under the Dutch East India Company. It is now home to some nice restaurants and bars
Mat was so desperate to watch the Liverpool game that he dropped a million hints to the owner of our guesthouse until he offered to let us use the TV in his own living area. By about 4:30am I'd lost the will to live
I like this picture of Mat's face
Mat's burger from Rocket Burger. It's #1 of 138 restaurants in Galle on trip advisor
Me looking like a turtle waiting for the train from Galle to Colombo
Up next.... Thailand