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March 9th 2019
Published: March 8th 2019
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After about 420 kms of riding our last full day was a 150 km drive to Colombo initially along a new toll road to the outskirts of Colombo where traffic slowed to a crawl. Brief stops made at Independence Square & Parliament as well a brief orientation drive around the old town before lunch & browsing at the Barefoot Fairtrade store, a showcase of handicrafts from around the country. After lunch we took a walk through the bustling Pettah Bazaar.

Colombo is now a big modern city set on a huge natural harbour where office blocks stand shoulder to sholder with Colonial-era buildings reflecting the different eras of the Portuguese, Dutch & British empires. China is now the new empire, building huge new towers plus a massive sand reclamation of prime land around the port so that the old lighthouse is now landlocked in town.

We booked an extended checkout as our return flight was not till 1 am & spent part of the day wandering & taking in the atmosphere of Colombo. Shopping was not that interesting but Ruth managed to sniff out an antique jewellery shop owned by a delightful Sri Lankan named Percy. After much haggling 2 blue moonstone bracelets were secured but we did not have any currency with us. Percy placed the bracelets into a plastic ziplock bag & said “you take and come back later. If you no have cash you pay me next time you come sri Lanka.” He had enough faith that we would come back with the money. Extraordinary! We love Sri Lanka but are now happy to to be heading home after a tiring and most memorable trip.

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