The Beach Tour - Sri Lanka 2013 - Sincere Hospitality, Early Morning Beauty, On the Road Again!

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November 23rd 2013
Published: November 23rd 2013
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Sooo - In my last blog - I mentioned that Barry wasn't feeling 100% and that he had a cough… Well I MADE him go see a Dr as it sounded like it was getting deeper into his lungs…. We asked the owner of our guesthouse, Arman- If he could recommend a good doctor in Galle… well not only did he recommend one, but he drove Barry to to the Dr. and waited for him! How is that for hospitality… We were hoping for just an address and we would catch a Tuk Tuk. The owner is Sri Lankan, but has a German wife, so they spend time between Sri Lanka and Germany. This is the third time that someone has gone above and beyond for us this trip… In our guesthouse in Bentota, they offered to do our laundry for no charge, drove us to the beach etc… The hospitality and sincerity in this country is absolutely amazing… Maybe it's because in Alberta we've grown so accustomed to such bad service, but I am constantly amazed! Anyway - back to the dr visit… Barry left, saw a Dr and was back at the guest-house in less than an hour…. He was charged the equivalent of $35USD for the visit and the prescriptions he had to get. How is that for quick access to a physician?? Anyway - turns out he has a chest infection and the dr told him to rest for 2 days and gave him some antibiotics and a few other things to help with his cough and breathing. Needless to say, we did not do too much yesterday… We did get up really early and go for a walk along the fort walls… the light at that time of day is perfect for photography, so we managed to get some great shots. After the walk, we had a Sri Lankan Style breakfast at the guesthouse and basically hung out on our patio most of the day - We both napped a bit - Barry because he was sick, and me because I haven't been sleeping well with all his coughing! So I guess was a much needed break for both of us. We did lunch at this tiny hole in the wall restaurant called the Lucky Fort restaurant - probably the best value we have seen all trip! 950 rupees (about $7.50) for both of us to eat - it was a set menu consisting of 9 curries and rice. A Sri Lankan family runs the restaurant out of their home and they have only been open a few months. the dining area was actually in their garden if you can believe - but it was very quaint and pretty with all the flowers and plants. We decided to get a few beers and watch the sunset from our patio - we ended up chatting for quite awhile with this cute couple from the UK and lost track of time… But maybe a good thing because we decided to stay at the guest house for dinner and pretty much got front row seats to the "Arms offering" procession… It is sort of like our remembrance day celebrations I suppose - anyway - they start at the Buddhist temple and there is a procession all the way to the military barracks and we got to see the entire thing! they had the entire street lit with Tiki torches!

We were up again today at the crack of dawn and headed out of Galle to Tangalle (Against doctor's orders i might add - but those of you that know Barry know how stubborn he scan be)… It was about 80km in total and we had a great start! One thing I will say about starting that early is you have at least a few hours where traffic is light and you arent constanty inhaling diesel fumes. Barry was feeling (a bit) better and we managed 35km before 7:30… our luck changed somewhat in a city called Matara, Barry unfortunately had a flat tyre and that took some time to get sorted out. After that, he was starting to lose some steam, and long story short, we rolled into Tangalle just shy of noon.

Tangalle is a pretty coastal town (very touristy) with a beautiful beach that is actually safe for swimming. The guesthouse is run by a Canadian woman (originally from Edmonton) who was in Sri Lanka doing volunteer work after the Tsumani. She fell in love with the country and decided to stay! Its a pretty little guest house with a pool and right across the street from the beach.. Barry is currently down for a nap as he is still not 100% - I think we will likely rest for the remainder of the day - enjoying the beach and/or pool… Tomorrow we are off to Udawalawe - where we are going to do an elephant safari! It's only about 60km from here so should be an OK ride… Hopefully my next blog will have lots of photos of elephants!

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23rd November 2013

Great Blog
I just came across your blog, and really glad that you are having an awesome time in SL. Specially as a Sri Lankan living in Alberta. :) Regarding hospitality, I would like to disagree that Alberta has bad service. I have found it to be pretty good. For Sri Lanka, people tend to be nicer, more humble, and more genuine the further you are from touristy areas. There are scammers, touts and the co. where tourists frequent. However, kudos to you for finding great people even in those places. :) Have a great trip!!

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