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Published: February 5th 2020
Sunday 1 February, 2020 cont'd
We were fairly wacked out after our wanderings in Colombo. We estimate that we walked nearly 15 kilometers all told.
There are a lot of tall buildings and many currently under construction. The Chinese are involved with a lot of them.
Lights out was 10 pm.
Monday 2 February, 2020
We both slept well again and started stirring about 8 am. After showering and a slow start we left the room about 11.15 am.
The room is part of a three story building. We are on the top floor, with an external staircase. The room has a shower and toilet. Outside is a kitchen area and washing machine. A little basic but adequate and we are only paying $84 for four nights.
We walked along the coast road again. There are a number of Naval vessels at sea for the Independence celebrations. Busier today generally, we noticed.
We went through security and into One Galle face shopping Mall just after 12 pm. Downstairs to Delifrance again, for refreshments. Pat had a vanilla eclair and an iced cappuccino. I had a piece of quiche Lorraine and milk tea. The girl remembered us from yesterday.
Pat needed some new footwear, so our first mission was a search for shoes. We looked in a couple of shops, with no luck, then spotted the department store Odel's. Pat found what she wanted and at a reasonable price.
We mooched around the shops, the Mall has seven floors, so plenty to explore. Eventually more drinks were needed. We have seen many tea lounges and wanted to try one, so headed to the ground floor. T-lounges and bar, was what we found. Pat ordered a Nuwara eliya pekoe tea and I ordered an organic Ceylon green tea. We shared a cronut. All very fancy, the tea came with timers and special tea brewing things.
Back into the Mall and we made it to the top floor. A little weary by now we decided to return to our room and experience a tuktuk for the return journey.
There was one waiting of course and a short ride safely home ensued at a cost of LKR300 (£1.20). Returned to the room at 3.45 pm.
Our food so far today had only been snacks, so we planned to have a meal this evening.
After chilling we left the room at 6 pm and headed for the Marino Mall, only a short walk away.
Pat had spotted the Ocean grill & bar which was up on the 8th floor. There are not many places that sell alcohol, so that was a plus, for Pat. We went up, had a quick look at a menu and decided it all looked fine.
Pat ordered a local beer called Lion and a grilled tuna steak. I had fish & chips, which came with mushy peas, vinegar and tartar sauce and was very nice. Pat had a second beer! We had a view out to sea and it was a very acceptable meal.
A quick look around the shops and returned to the room for 7.45 pm.
Lights out was 10 pm.
Tuesday 4 February 2020
Sri Lankan independence day. Wins on premium bonds, hooray.
Not quite a good a night's sleep, but okay. We stirred about 8.30 am. After getting ready we left the room at 1030 am.
Our plan today was to look around the centre a bit more. So to cut the walking down a little, we had decided to get a Tuktuk from the rooms, to the One Galle face Mall.
A Tuktuk was indeed not far down the road, he was a meter taxi, so no preagreed price needed.
Along the way he took a phone call from who he later said was his wife and told us his sad story about his one year old daughter who needed an eye operation. He then asked us to pay several thousand rupees for this operation and was by this time crying. We arrived at the Mall, paid the meter amount gave a very small tip and left him! This was not our first experience of similar tactics to get money.
At the Mall we had coffee downstairs in the food court. We purchased some more socks for Pat and then headed out and off in the direction of the Fort area.
Pat had it in the back of her mind to try and find a ticket office at the small train station we had seen before. We wanted to buy a train ticket for later in our trip, from Ella to Kandy. However, when we were there we couldn't see any ticket offices.
Later on when we were walking towards the Lotus tower, we came across another train station. This one was much bigger and busier. We asked and were directed to counter 17. There were tourists and locals all over the place.
We found the ticket window and managed to book our trip. First class train travel for a seven hour trip for two people was LKR3000 (£12.60).
Then back out to the road and headed off to see the Lotus tower close up. We walked for quite a while and arrived at the tower. It is not currently open, which we knew, so we took pictures and moved off. There were no cafes that we could see, so a Tuktuk was in order to take us back to the Mall which has many food options. A Tuktuk was found and price of LKR 300 agreed.
Back in the Mall and we went down to the food court and into Food studio. They have multiple food outlets from various Asian locations. We chose Shiok, which was Singaporean, ordered our food, Soy chicken and Laksa chicken, then drink. This is were we found the tamarind juice drink, which we thought looked like sausages, so said it was sausage juice. The meal was quite spicy, but very tasty.
We bought a few things in the supermarket and then headed home. Another Tuktuk and we were back to the room at 2.30 pm.
Quiet for the rest of the day and light's out at 10 pm.
Wednesday 5 February 2020
Today we were moving from our current location, to be nearer the Immigration dept, which is in another part of town.
Online you can apply for a 30 day visa, but our trip is 46 days. You can get a visa up to 90 days, but you need to visit the Immigration dept to apply.
We stirred at 8 am and began packing. Pat had researched and found it was very possible to go to our next location by public transport, so we thought we would give it a go.
We headed up to the main road and found the bus stop. The number 117 bus that we wanted came straight away. Struggled on with our cases and paid LKR 20 each. (about 35 pence total) for our four stops journey.
Next was the 177 bus and a longer journey.
We only waited a couple of minutes and that bus came a!ong. LKR 60 each. This bus was in much better condition, and was a small minibus.
The conductor let us know when it was our stop and off we got. Our road was nearby and we found the rooms soon enough. Lovely place. Much more swish than before and lots of wildlife.
We settled in a little as we are only here for one night and then went to explore. We found the Immigration building to give us an idea of where to go tomorrow and bought some items from a supermarket.
We had spotted a cafe called SenSaal and had some lunch. We both chose rice meals.
In the bakery part we bought some sticky buns for our afternoon tea. Then back to the room.
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