Blogs from Southern Province, Sri Lanka, Asia

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Asia » Sri Lanka » Southern Province » Galle March 7th 2019

After a beautiful red sunset last night we had a 2 hour electrical storm with heavy rain overnight, the first for the tour. Fortunately our riding finished yesterday as traffic conditions are now too chaotic. Mirissa was a lovely beach break to wander around despite the overcast but humid conditions. Like all the coastal towns in the south Mirissa is now undergoing rapid tourist development but some traditional beach shacks remain . Mid afternoon we had a short drive to Galle exploring the impressive World Heritage listed Dutch colonial town ending with a group dinner & return to Mirissa. The towns Dutch fort still has extensive walls and ramparts and many old buildings that survived the 2004 tsunami. We walked around the ramparts & fort late in the afternoon to avoid the baking midday sun and ... read more
Mirissa Sunset
Dutch East India Co Warehouse
Galle ramparts

Asia » Sri Lanka » Southern Province » Weligama March 5th 2019

Our quads & calves were even more tender today for the start of our last riding day but our muscle memory soon kicked in for a relaxing morning ride. The ride was a flat 47 km ride via the Bundala National Park finishing on the golden sands at Hambantota. Most of the park was scrubby elephant country but nearer Hambantota we passed some dunes, wetlands, lagoons & salt pans but did not see any sign of the pink flamingos the park is known for. Hambantota is also infamous for its vast wasted investment projects including a brand new but idle international airport & a massive port both now leased back to the Chinese. After lunch we followed the coastal road to our two night stop at the Esprit Hotel, Mirissa for some free R & R ... read more

Asia » Sri Lanka » Southern Province » Hikkaduwa February 26th 2019

I went on my first weekend trip this past weekend and had a great time! We started off driving up north to Hatares Kotuwa to go on an elephant safari. It was beautiful in the reserve and we were able to get really up close with the wild elephants. The next day we hiked up Sigiriya (Lion's Rock), which is an ancient rock fortress that's 660 ft high. King Kasyapa built his palace on top of this rock, which was abandoned after his death and used as a Buddhist monestary until the 14th century. Today it is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. After the hike we then went to a spice and herbal plantation where we learned a lot about all the different uses of plants as herbal medicine and got our palms read. ... read more
Lion's Rock
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Baby turtle eggs

Asia » Sri Lanka » Southern Province February 10th 2019

Actually I didn't have any plans to visit Sri Lanka, the Island hanging as a raindrop under India. But my son asked me to join him. So at last I decided to change the cold of the Netherlands for the tropical heat of Sri Lanka. And I must say it became a nice surprise. Only ten days we had, which gave us just the opportunity to circle around the southwestern part of the island: from Galle to Mirissa, The National Parks of Uda Walawe and Yala, the Horton Plains and finally back to Negombo. Not that we were in a rush. Because we rented an car with driver, we could do it at an easy pace. If you ever plan to do the same, I recommend you our driver Sameera (Sam's tours Sri Lanka). He is ... read more
Coconuts of the King's palm
VOC inscription at the Old Gate (Galle)
Just hatched

Asia » Sri Lanka » Southern Province » Weligama August 27th 2018

Today we definitely needed a quiet day! Books at the ready and a delightful pool so we were very content to while away the day, snoozing and reading - we didn't eat much - just a bit hesitant after the night before! By 4 we needed to stretch our legs and decided to return to the headland to have a drink and watch the sun go down. Our friendly tuktuk driver was outside the hotel waiting for us - i think we must be generous with the tips!! - so he dropped us at the fishing port. there were so many boats and several off loading their catch and being watched by the harbour authority guy in t shirt and shorts, but lots of weighing of catches going on and loading up vans with carefully stored ... read more
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Asia » Sri Lanka » Southern Province » Galle August 26th 2018

Breakfast at the Spice House is a typical fruit selection with a choice of eggs, omelette etc. However there was an added surprise on the pastry plate - one was definitely a doughnut, the other we assumed was similar with a cinnamon coating. Taking a large bite proved that it was in fact a spicy curry vegetable roll, very nice but not convinced it goes well after donought and jam on toast! Tuctuc to Galle was about 32km, longest journey by this type of transport we had attempted. Apart from the kamikaze bus drivers it was relatively trouble free and we followed the coast road all the way. As it was a full moon day it was another national holiday (they get 60 per year in Sri Lanka!) so the 'fishermen on stilts' were more interested ... read more
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Asia » Sri Lanka » Southern Province » Weligama August 25th 2018

A restful morning in the ensuite tent, pottering by the river (where the locals come to play and wash themselves and clothing) and drinking coffee. Once packed we had a taxi pick us up at 12 for the journey to Mirissa. It was about 2 hours and our man knew all the back roads avoiding traffic, so we arrived to our haven in the coastal forest ( the spice house) by lunchtime. On the way we passed fields of rice, some already harvested and stubble being burnt / insects removed, some just waiting to be harvested and some threshing going on - lot of manual labour! Then we passed a man and his son on a motorbike with his son clutching hold of a big bale of rolled sticks of cinnamon bark - very valuable so ... read more
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Asia » Sri Lanka » Southern Province » Bentota August 21st 2018

R: This will be a fairly short post as we didn't do much here. With a long flight day to Australia to look forward to, we opted to have a few days of relaxation in a resort type place. We arrived about 4pm, and one of the quirks of this hotel was the boat transfer. When you arrive on the boat landing stage on the mainland you get whisked onto a small transfer boat which whisks you onto the hotel complex on a spit of sand isolated from the mainland. The hotel is fairly nice, 4* kind of resort. Large pool, quite a few families, three restaurants etc. But its location is quite special, directly on a spit which you can walk down a long sandy beach just outside the pool. We got upgraded to all ... read more
Bentota Beach
Bentota Beach
Resort Life

Asia » Sri Lanka » Southern Province » Galle August 18th 2018

R: We headed off the next morning for our next stop - Yala National Park. The day started with a 4 hour drive through the hill country. It was still pouring down in the hill country so we had a quick drive around Nuwara Eliya, including the red brick post office, the somewhat dilapidated looking race course (built by a previous British governor of Sri Lanka), and a large old British style hotel which seemed to be hosting at the time a "largest strawberry tart" contest - the one outside reception probably measured about 6 metres in diameter. There were also ponies walking all over the street - apparently they give pony rides in good weather, but are allowed to roam the streets the rest of the time. The roads are occasionally peppered with red GR ... read more
Wild Elephant Visitor
Pool by night
Galle Lighthouse

Asia » Sri Lanka » Southern Province » Bentota August 1st 2018

R: If you haven't been following us for a while, that's probably because we stopped writing about our travels. However, several people have asked us if we are going to continue with our blog, and we initially dismissed it. But it's actually quite nice to have as a record of our travels, and hopefully interesting to some of you as well. So from our current location in Bentota, Sri Lanka, we are going to start writing about our travels again. So if you are interested, stick with us. Otherwise, feel free to unsubscribe now. In time, I am also going to back fill some of our other travels, like the trans Siberian railway trip, from notes I took at the time.... read more




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