This has been jotted down whenever I spend time in airport waiting for the connecting flight to my destination.
You can either chose to live your life or lose it. I am choosing to live my life and this SriLankan trip seems to be the first step I took towards breaking my self-induced workaholism; to keep myself busy from things that I fear might distract me.
So, here I am traveling to Srilanka.
Started on 24th December from Bangalore at 6:45pm in SpiceJet. Reached Chennai at 7:45pm. Compared to Bangalore airport, Chennai airport was really in bad Condition. Since the flight to Colombo is at 00:55am, after the immigration and Security checks, I’m now waiting to board the flight to Colombo.
I boarded the flight to Srilanka on 25th Dec, 2012 @ 12:55am from Chennai and reached Srilanka @ 2:20am. Merry X’mas!!! So, here I am in Srilanka. After the immigration and security checks, got myself equipped with the local Srilankan SIM card so I can be in touch with Dimpz. I had to wait till 6 am at the airport and then got a cab to the reserved hotel. It was a nice one. A different kind, bedroom with an attached open bathroom, kind.. 🙂 The location is good. Just a walk to the beach, but not sure how safe it is to walk through those narrow streets.
Since I didn’t get enough sleep last night, I ended up resting most of the time. Moreover, most of the shops and other places were closed today due to X’mas.
Tried few Srilankan dishes – Saucy Golden prawns mixed noodles for lunch and giant prawns with huge size Srilankan bread (Indian naan, but twice it’s size) for dinner.
The second day, I explored more places, went around and got acquainted with locals and nearby shops. Checked few tour operators, but everything seems to be far and according to few tourists from Holland, you will have to waste like 6 hours traveling to those places as traffic is really bad. But, in Negombo, the traffic wasn’t that bad. Anyways, I dropped the plan to go towards South Srilanka and planned to explore the surrounding area. Googled few places and made arrangements to visit Dutch Canal via boat. So, the guy who took me is a tuk-tuk helps tourist visit the places and his brother-in-law, takes the tourists via boat and shows around. So, everything was set for 7000 Srilankan rupee. Evening he showed up near my Hotel and took me to the canal that flows from Colombo via Dutch Canal and then joins the sea. It was 6 in the evening when we started. The climate was perfect. Saw some of the rare species of migrated birds and also sea lizards. The sky was beautiful and I really enjoyed it. By the time we started back, it became dark and it was kinda scary traveling alone slowly in water between bushes where leaves from trees often touches you and two or three times, I was kinda going crazy. On top of it, the boat driver was telling weird stories of things that had happened in those areas.
Interesting thing was most of the people in Negombo used to travel to Italy via boat and once they reach Italy, they get all the Visa done. It takes like 25 days in sea. So, most of the people living in this part of Srilanka has relatives working in Italy. But, nowadays, people don’t travel to Italy as jobs are not available like before. Majority of people living in Negombo thrive on fishing and for that fact, you can see fish stalls and restaurant in every corner of this town. I haven’t seen a singly Pizza-hut, KFC or Subway that I was so used to in Bangalore. I love sea food and so I was trying out different variety of fishes/lobsters/crabs/prawns prepared in SriLankan and European style.. It was all yummy. I avoided rice as usual and opted for noodles and chips. Taste of these food were interesting. Not that spicy, but if you prefer, they customize it to suite your taste.. I love spicy once and the preparation was perfect. This reminds me of our neighbor couple (Zeeshan & Farzana) who loves to go around taste food.. I am not much into food, but here I found myself doing the same thing they used to do in Bangalore. Anyways, it was interesting.
The third day, the tuk-tuk guy picked me at my hotel and took me to places around Negombo. Saw lots of churches and temples. The best were the Buddha temple and St’ Marria’s church. Also the Dutch prison was beautiful. There were lot of stories revolving around these places. Father of one of the church (Stephans Church) was murdered due to some political rivalry 4 years back. Now, some other institution has taken over and running it. Like India, I didn’t see religious rivalry. I checked about it and they say all the religious groups respects each others religion. So, you dont get to see much fights based on religion, atleast not in Negombo.
Later at night, I had dinner at an European restaurant – Grilled pork, Barbeque Chicken and mixed fried rice. I tried to top up my mobile connection. But, for some reason it never got refilled. The day was really good and it was my last night in Srilanka. It was raining and the night was cool.
The 4th and the last day in Srilanka, I woke up late. Checked with the hotel owner if they can accomodate me till late evening since the checkout time is 12:30 noon. Unfortunately, there were other guests who has arrived and I had to vacate my room. Anyways, I boarded a tuk-tuk, paid 1000 SLR, which is a reasonable price to reach airport. From airport I started shopping and ended up buying few stuffs made of different stones and wood – Decorative pieces as a Srilankan momento.