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Published: April 28th 2018
We get up from our damp, smelly bed in our hot, smelly room at 7 am, access WiFi and book another hotel. After a full and frank exchange of views with the receptionist about the state of the hotel, we check out and take a taxi to Colombo. By 11 am, we are checked in, showered and settle down for a couple of hours more sleep in clean beds.
We wake to a message from Booking.com saying that Sea Port registered us as a ‘no show’ which means we can’t even post a bad review of our horrible experience.
We get up and go for a walk following Lonely Planet’s suggestion for a ‘short stroll’. First point, a spot on the seafront to view pelicans perched on poles. It’s actually a huge construction site with no wildlife in sight. As one local puts it; ‘The Chinese have bought the water’.
On to the old lighthouse; here a man with a rifle tells us we can’t take photos because we’re near the naval base. Finally, Sambodhi Chaitiya; a shrine built on huge concrete legs so it is visible offshore.
Theoretically we have walked 3 sides of a square
so it should be a short walk back to the hotel. However, the road passes police headquarters and another man with a rifle won’t let us pass. I can’t face the long walk back so try begging and pointing out how sweaty I am. The guard takes pity and lets us through.
We buy a pitcher of beer to cool down and our first Sri Lankan curry, which is incredibly hot. Then it’s time to pack for tomorrow’s rail extravaganza.
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