A cup of tea, a splash of serendipity and a bucket load of kindness, this is Sri Lanka - part 3

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April 27th 2015
Published: April 27th 2015
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Part 3…

Safari and car

Adam’s Peak nailed and we’re on the road to Udawalawe National Park. The 2 German girls joined Loz and I and off we went via the luxury of a car & driver (approx. £15 each and took 2 1/2 hrs) - all shattered. We arrived at Embilipitiya (yeah trying saying that drunk!) to stay at Pavana Resort - a lovely hotel with a pool and the most professional hotel manager yet. Monkey’s took a dip in the pool before we got the chance but we weren't far behind. Here we met 2 Aussie girls - Cassandra and Emma. They joined us for the Safari. Another 5:30am start. Somehow these early mornings are so much more manageable knowing you're doing something epic and it's not for work!

Off we went in the hope to spot a leopard but with the promise of birds and elephants. Not long after entering the park we came across some elephants. It was awesome to see these guys up close in their natural environment and initially I thought it was just alright to see loads of peacocks but not overly impressed as I'd seen them before.
Blue WhaleBlue WhaleBlue Whale

Mirissa, Whale watching
But then we saw one fly and that was super cool. The colours of its feathers and the wing span was very impressive. We saw many more elephants, lots of water buffaloes, different types of birds, more mono lizards and some small deer. Unfortunately no leopard's but it was super cool based on the experience we had.

The South, boat, car and buses

So It was at the end of the safari that Loz and I said our goodbyes as he headed of to the south east. I was heading for Mirissa - the middle south as well as the aussies so we travelled together. They had posher digs sorted as they where on holiday so for the first time on my own I had to find my own budget digs. Not as daunting as I though, I settled for the second place I visited. Turned out good as the guy who ran the guest house had a brother who ‘knew people' and I managed to get a posh ticket on the cheap for whale watching in the morning. I later met up with the girls and admired the postcard perfect beach and terrible service on the beach front restaurants. We stumbled across this fab reggae bar next door to where the girls where staying and enjoyed keeping one eye on the beautiful surfer boys whilst sipping on beers watching the sun go down.

The following day I was back up at 5:30am for a spot of whale watching. This was a superb experience. It took a while to spot anything but soon we had a pod of dolphins swimming next to the boat and under it - total magic! More of the same followed and finally we where lucky enough to see a blue whale in the distance. Topped of with 2 blue whales up close towards the end. Incredible. What was hilarious and something I should have captured on camera was the mass vomiting of the passengers inside the boat from motion sickness. Every time the boat switched it's engines off or turned suddenly - mass vomiting ensued into wee plastic bags. Utter carnage. There was sick bombs everywhere. Following this I bounced over to Unawatuna via bus. After sharing a couple of ginger snaps I was in with the locals and secured a seat on the bus. Once at this lovely wee beach town my haggling skills where in full swing and I managed to blag an AC room in an old Dutch building with a pool and beautiful garden in the back. I then headed for chill time on the nice beach and watched locals play cricket in the sand.

That evening I met up with Ben - he’s the boyfriend of an old friend from School, Hannah who i’d not seen in over 12 years. We went for beers on the beach and spent the night finding out about our lives and it was just lovely. Then we picked up delicious roti’s in place of chips after a night on the beers.The following day Ben showed me round his current home - the Galle Fort. This fort was built by the Portuguese and then the Dutch came and massively fortified it. It's a very beautiful wee place with lots of boutique stores and coffee shops…felt very colonial. I decided to move over to Galle for my last few days before heading for Negombo and my flight to Singapore. Here I was able to hop over to Hikkaduwa where I saw giant turtles in the sea. For my final night in the fort Ben took me out for beers. As a Muslim area it's often hard to find a drinking spot. We headed for a wee bar down a side lane and to our surprise we'd walked into a gay bar and was served pints by beautiful young men in very low cut tops whilst a German gay tour group danced badly behind us. A surreal way to end my time in the South but fun nonetheless.

I said my goodbyes to Ben and headed off on the train to Negombo (north of Colombo). On the way I met the lovely Ashley and Jenna. As I didn't have accommodation sorted I headed with them to a hostel they'd booked. Jenna had decided to stay another 2 months on this beautiful island but Ashley was ending his 6 months travelling with his last night here. We said our goodbyes to Sri Lanka with a sun downer on the beach and some dinner.The following day I headed for the airport on a Tuk Tuk, watching Sri Lankan life go by. I'm really going to miss this magical place but I hope someday I'll be back.


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udawalawe national park


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