Published: September 30th 2011September 29th 2011
Note to self, and others. I wrote this a few days ago but this silly website hasn’t let me post it until now.
Well hello one and all!
I have only been in Sri Lanka a few days but already I can tell I am going to like it. The people here seem very decent and hospitable which makes things much easier.
For me it is not the sights that make a place, but the people. After a while temples and beaches only hold limited appeal, what keeps you going is the people you are surrounded by, and in the case of Sri Lanka I may just have I have stuck gold.
After the relatively sedentary time in Thailand I felt the need to get back in to travelling again, actually physically moving around. The rest in Thailand has been rewarded because I seem to have got the desire for travelling back. What people never really tell you is that travelling, the act of moving, the punishing heat, the requirement to pack your bags and sleep in a different place every night can be jolly hard work, especially after a few months.
The irony is, however,
These are not clouds but Mountains. Which Mountains were they? Hint, I was flying to Delhi....
is that once you do settle in a place for a couple of weeks, you actually start to miss the challenge and adversity. I guess as with all things in life it’s about achieving a balance. I am going to travel hard for the first couple of weeks in Sri Lanka but then I think I will find somewhere to settle for a week or so. I am thinking in the central highlands, to escape the intense heat.
I know all these name places will mean very little to you so I will keep it brief, but I need to keep a record of where I have been and I also know some of you are sticking pins in maps and suchlike..
So. After landing in Colombo I headed to a coastal town called Negombo, they call it little Rome as it has a predominantly Catholic population.
From Negombo I returned to Colombo to catch the train up to a town called Anuradhapura, famous for some temples. I didn’t visit the temples due to the very high entrance cost (tourist pricing is government policy here, with some places costing 30 times more to me, then it would
for a local).
The train journey up was both terrible and lovely at the same time. 3rd Class is pretty vile but the people made up for it. Besides I am used to hideous travelling conditions by now. I have a huge catalogue of previous journeys to compare back to. When ever I am on difficult journey, I always compare it to the 26 hour van ride from Moron in central Mongolia to Ulaanbaatar, that specific trip is now my benchmark for sheer misery.
I left Anuradhapura today and after a mercifully short public bus trip I am now in a small town called Vavuniya. I am already feeling refreshingly off the tourist trail, the fact I was asked to confirm which Organization I worked for, or if I was a Journalist confirms this. The Hotel also proudly announces that it is UN Security Cleared. Which is nice.
Tomorrow I push up further North to a town called Jaffna. Jaffna was very much on the front line of the war and I am not sure what to expect. I hope the people remain friendly, but I am prepared they might not exactly love me as it was
the British who sowed the seeds for the war by favoring the Jaffna Tamils during the colonial occupation. When independence from the British came, the majority Sinhalese fought back against this favoritism and thus the war started. It’s not that black and white, but that is my very basic understanding of a very long and complicated conflict.
Ok, going to run, as usual the pictures say more then I could ever.
All my love and hugs.
There are more photos below