Good evening readers,
Some I have said a fond farewell to India and I'm now in Sri Lanka. My flight was at 18.40 so I left the hotel at 1pm to make sure I got there on time, I didn't want a repeat of the great rock and roll Heathrow incident lol. Of course it was the usual crazy taxi ride to the airport and at one point I thought I would be joining the taxi driver in the front seat as he slowed down to go over a speed bump after racing up,to it, at the airport! This was after narrowly avoiding a random pedestrian taking his life in his hands trying to cross the raid on a busy and fast stretch of road near the airport. No seat belts in the back seat!
I have e tickets so have to check in on line and either print my own boarding pass or print it out at the airport. Neither were possible! I don't have access to a printer unless I ask the hotel, and that can be fraught with problems itself and on this occasion the self serve machines at the airport were not working. I sussed out which check in desk I had to go to. Go to con firmed what time I could check in (I was second in the queue when I did lol) and had a toastie from costa (specially for you Vince they have costa over here so you can survive if you visit lol). I also got some cash out and changed it for dollars as this has more clout in Sri Lanka I was told, but of course as I do didn't get any Sri Lankan rupees - first rooky mistake, second one was not to get rid of my Indian rupees before I left!
Unfortunately I couldn't get the wifi to work so was bereft with no contact with the outside world lol. So I checked in with no problems, got my boarding pass, found out I had an emergency access seat so more leg room with no charge (there is a song in there somewhere lol). I cleared passport control and had a chat with the guy about my trip to India, then security and had a chat with the lady who frisked me about my world wide trip and then went through to,departures.
i then visited the WH Smiths and bought some Fox's fruit sweets , a small bar of Cadbury fruit and nut and two small bars of galaxy - ah chocolate how I have missed you. I also got 3 bottles of water buy 2 get one free, bargain! You can never have too much water.
Also i came across what looked like a hen party but I know it wasn't. It was a group of ladies in black burkas but they all,had barbie pink veils on with writing on but it wasn't in English so I don't know,what it said. They were with a couple of guys dressed in white robes similar to ones worn by Buddhist monks. All very random.
I sat by the departure gate and charged up my mobile phone for free, another bargain, in the UK they make you pay or you have to be a business class flyer!
the details I had for my trip,were sketchy to say the least just an airport meet and greet but no timings and the name of a location which appeared to be an airport, but not the same name as the one I was flying into. So,I'm had to contact the the UK to get them to contact the local travel agency in Sri Lanka to suss out the details and let me know. Rookie mistake number 3 I should have done this sooner in my trip! It's all a learning curve and every day is a school day.
So the meet and greet appeared to be at another airport so I decided to get a hotel for the night on my arrival, not that easy it seems. And then suss out the meet and greet the next as it was gone 10pm when I landed in Sri Lanka.
The flight was called and I sat next to a lovely lady on the plane. She had spent some time in Norwich or all,places when her husband was working there. She was head of HR in India and Sri Lanka for a US company and was coming over for a week. I sat and watched American hustle and it was an ok film but didn't rock my world. I also had to fill in the usual customs form for entering the country but was foiled by the what is your address in Sri Lanka so thought this would be a show stopper.
So I reached terrafirma proceeded to immigration to get my tourist visa all ok and $35 then to passport control where I had a nice conversation with the immigration man about my visit and he checked over my paper work, passport stamped ok and bag collected safe and sound.
Now to get that there hotel. So you come into the foyer and you are bombarded with taxi companies which I ignored and went outside thinking there would be a hotel near the airport complex, but that was not the case. So then I spoke to a taxi driver outside but wasn't sure he would find me a good hotel so came back into the airport. Got stopped by the armed security so I had to explain my predicament so they let me back in. So I thought I would just spend the night in the airport. I was just settling down when a guy came over to me and asked me what my problem was as he had seen me on the way out and seen me come back in agaiN and did I need a hotel.
He was from one of the taxi companies and spoke good English and took me over to the taxi desk he worked for. I explained my situation and he phoned the travel agent here in Sri Lanka to suss out what was going on. I then spoke to,him and he said I should let him know which hotel,I was staying in and he would arrange for me to be picked up the next morning. So the taxi driver then phoned round a few palaces but there was no room at the inn so 4th time lucky he found a place. $60 for the room and taxi ride. So I agreed and just warned to get my head down and stay somewhere.
So I paid and he came with me in the taxi. Not sure if it was cos he needed to speak to the hotel guy or cos the driver didn't speak English, or to try to keep him awake! I only make this point as the guy in the back commented the driver was tired, the driver then started poring water in his eyes To keep him awake! Top tip there people lol. The taxi man who spoke English chatted to me and asked me if I liked dogs and i said yes and he had brought his Labrador puppy to work with him and he was in a cardboard box behind his seat bless him. But very random. we also chatted about the UK myntripmto India and my future destinations.
The taxi ride was much less fraught than the ones in India but the driver didi have a tendency to run red lights and got flagged down by a police man on the road complete with whistle and paddle saying stop. So we were pulled over the taxi driver got out and had a severe telling off an then we were on our way again.
We got,to,the hotel,which was on a main road but it was vey quiet when we arrived just before midnight. Also,it wasn't very far from the beach, I had a sea view from my room!
So I went through the usual proceure of checking in, passport details etc and was shown my room. It was a very basic room. One clean sheet and pillow case, no top,sheet, no AC just a ceiling fan. There was a door to the balcony but with only one bolt, also, it had vents cut out above the windows to ventilate the room so I could hear any noise out side.
Now me being me and paranoia about personal,safety in mind i had my whistle on, and pushed the two plastic chairs up against my door, which as locked with a key, and with my day sack on them and my big ruck sack against the other door with one bolt, I secured the room as best as I could. I also found my Swiss Army knife, took a long piece of dental floss to use to strangle an intruder, my mozzie spray to use like pepper spray and I had an instant personal attack kit just in case. I also slept fully clothed and with the bathroom light on just in case too. suffice to,say with my paranoia I didn't get much sleep but had no incidents during the night.
Due to the vents above the windows I was woken up,by the passing rush our traffic which appeared to start at 6.30am !
So,I got up got showered and changed, had breakfast, changed up a few dollars for rupees got a bottle of water and got picked up,by the driver.. All,good and back on scheduled and all my worries lifted.
The driving is less crazy here and horns are not used so much which is a blessing. The countryside is very lush and green from all the rain. We passed lots of stalls selling fruit and veggies. There are 29 varietiesof banana including a red banana! Also,yellow coconut which has a very sweet juice inside and can be drunk out of the shell. We also passed paddie fields and rubber plantations.
We have had a down pour of rain earlier when i arrived and today was a chill day which is good really as I was knackered from lack of sleep and in the morning I will be going kayaking. We couldn't do whit water rafting as the river level is too low, but if there is more rain that could change.
We arrived at our destination for the day/night and it's called Boardrlands The complex is located on the edge of the rain forest ina purpose built complex with tents covered by open sided wooden huts, and AC a toilet block and recreational and eating area. So we are all powered up and working wifi yippee!
I sitting in the recreational area over looking the river and the rain forest. It's very quiet - no car horns it's bliss. I can hear the birds and the sound of the river so it's very peaceful.
However it appears I am the only one on this tour so I have no one to really converse with other than the people working here and the taxi driver who is a lovely chap but not staying here but is with me for the full week.
I have had a nice lunch and dinner but they gave me enough to feed 3 people lol. Some of the choices for lunch were a bit too spicy for me but it had proper vegetables and I had mixed fruit salad afterwards which was lovely. Tea was a pasta dish, salad and garlic bread and ...................... Ice cream. I will be putting back in all the weight I have lost so far at this rate lol.
So,that is me up to date. I had a sleep,this afternoon and woke up to dark skies so missed the sunset :-( But there is always tomorrow :-)
It's 9.30pm here so it will soon be my bed time lol. Sleep,well everyone
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