Cricket, kites and curries

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September 17th 2011
Published: September 18th 2011
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Not your normal hotel Not your normal hotel Not your normal hotel

The guest house is a little different from the usual beach side hotel - the owner's motto is "expect the unexpected"!
It hasn't taken long to slip back into tropical mode. Our three days in Negombo, a popular seaside town 30km north of Colombo, has provided our introduction to Sri Lanka. Our accommodation has great ambience - a 200 year old Dutch-style colonial villa set right on the beach front in a tropical garden with lots of interesting corners. The Swiss owner, Jerry, has a local reputation as a foodie and we have enjoyed some great meals.

The locals are overwhelmingly friendly, particularly when they realise we are Australian.

Cricket is the passion here and there are two regular matches of primary age children and teenagers on the beach right outside our guesthouse, every morning and afternoon.

We spent Friday in Colombo, joining with the Aussie cricket tragics at the opening day of the 3rd Test. A shaky start for Australia but then a good recovery.

Negombo is an interesting and historic town. We spent a few hours cycling visiting the local sights. A somewhat hairy experience, negotiating potholes, tuk-tuks and the locals going about on their business.

The area is almost 100% Roman Catholic and in Sri Lanka is known as "little Rome", so plenty of

The personal touch.
churches and convents.

There is plenty of seafood from the tropical waters and a great sight each afternoon are the hundreds of square-sailed outriggers on the horizon making their way back to shore with their catches.

Right up the coast north from Colombo the flat landscape is covered with a series of lakes which were joined in Dutch times by an intricate network of canals. These are still an important means of transporting goods and we crossed over many as we cycled.

The beach next to our guesthouse is the setting for the Sri Lanka National Kite Festival this weekend. As this is the season leading to the monsoon the stiff sea breezes make sure that the hundreds of kites looked spectacular. Rick needed something like this to cheer himself up after watching Australia go down to Ireland in the RWC!

So this has been a laid back enjoyable few days before we head off on our 12 day tour of the island tomorrow.

Additional photos below
Photos: 17, Displayed: 17


Morning catch.Morning catch.
Morning catch.

The local seafood couldn't have been fresher.
Still in use after centuriesStill in use after centuries
Still in use after centuries

The Negombo canals still get plenty of use and are fun to cycle along.
Little RomeLittle Rome
Little Rome

One of the many local churches. Check out the Roman centurions.
Roadside repairsRoadside repairs
Roadside repairs

The tuk-tuks are the main form of local transport and it's not too hard to find somebody to repair a flat tyre.
Mad dogs and Englishmen....Mad dogs and Englishmen....
Mad dogs and Englishmen....

Even though it was hot we still enjoyed heading off for a bike ride to check out the local sights.
A corner in the gardenA corner in the garden
A corner in the garden

Must be coconut season, the trees are full.
Aussies vs Sri LankaAussies vs Sri Lanka
Aussies vs Sri Lanka

We had to come all the way to Sri Lanka to experience a Test match!
Lunch BreakLunch Break
Lunch Break

Ricky and Brad heading off for a break.
Aussie humour!Aussie humour!
Aussie humour!

The locals thought he was very funny.
Just outside our gateJust outside our gate
Just outside our gate

Not far to our morning walk along the beach.
Great day for kite flying!Great day for kite flying!
Great day for kite flying!

Pre-monsoon trade winds are blowing all day at this time of year.
The dining roomThe dining room
The dining room

Great spot for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
We lost!We lost!
We lost!

Rick drowning his sorrows after an Irish win.
Our first Sri Lankan elephantOur first Sri Lankan elephant
Our first Sri Lankan elephant

The local kids enjoyed a sand sculpturing competition.
Flying high!Flying high!
Flying high!

Plenty of kite enthusiasts making the most of monsoon trade winds.

18th September 2011

It worked!!
Jan - you nailed it this time round. The email arrived and the link went straight through to your blog. Lyn
18th September 2011

Congratulations and thanks for sending us the news of your travels. Wish we were there. Someone has to do it!!! Happy travels Brian and Jill
18th September 2011

Looks good, we will have to get the info when you return. Maybe thinking of a trip there ourselves?
19th September 2011

Tour Tragics
Hi there Jan and Rick, great going on the commentary and the photos please keep them going. All's well here - just one more day before baby Number 2 arrives or as Shell says one more sleep as she is being induced so as maybe not to produce a 10lb2oz again. Talk to you again soon Loads of love M x x
19th September 2011

Very pleased to be home after Pete\'s little adventure in Auckland! Upshot was she did not suffer a heart attack or stroke but doctors dont know what caused the episode at the airport. She is scheduled to see her cardiologist for a checkup next week so doubtless she will undergo further scrutiny. Meanwhile must rest (huh!). Washing is all done of course. The place you are staying looks relaxed - our kind of place. KDM not happy about RWC also - he never though the team looked right - Mortlock and Sharp should have been there from the beginning to add experience and strength. Cheers P & K
25th September 2011

Hi Rick and Jan, Fabulous photos and I can taste the curry. Woodies v Uni Woodies led 13-9 then down 16-13 and 16 all at fulltime. In 10 min e/w extra time Woodies won 19-16 a great game with an even better result. Rianing in Sydney so your garden(!) will get a good drink. Enjoy. Tim & Gill

Tot: 2.248s; Tpl: 0.055s; cc: 9; qc: 52; dbt: 0.037s; 2; m:saturn w:www (; sld: 2; ; mem: 1.4mb