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Published: June 21st 2017
Geo: 6.92747, 79.8484
Depart Heathrow at 2:15, very comfortable superior economy seat on a dreamliner. Two movies, two meals and a short doze later disembark at 23:30 body time, 5 in the morning Tamil Nadu time. Still dark. Immigration - completely unfazed that we are only staying 4 hours or so in their country. Change some money at rip-off airport exchange desk (£100 for 8,840 rupees - should be 10,000) walk in the dark past sleeping figures curled up on the ground to the departure terminal where we check in for our flight to Colombo. Much confusion because they want to see the credit card used for the booking, but there was a booking and a subsequent charge and different credit cards used, beyond their system's comprehension. At one point we had 5 young men staring at their computer screen, but a manager eventually arrived and sorted it. Then a long wait until the flight to Colombo left at 9:30 am their time - 4 in the morning as far as we were concerned.
Another breakfast, a cup of Ceylon Tea (why don't they call it Sri Lanka tea?) and 2 hours later we were in warm and sticky and friendly Sri Lanka and there waiting for us was Christopher - our driver and guide for the next week. Very smart, very professional, he removed all doubt about what we were going to see in that week, he had it all laid out down to the last detail for us. Stops on the way to use an ATM, to buy cashew nuts from a roadside stall - roasted cashews and chilli cashews - only a little chilli. And so to our rather lovely old colonial hotel outside Kandy, with a swimming pool.
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