Sri Lanka

So after the pigeon attack in our hotel room we were so eager to get out of India. The night before we left we had arranged with reception for a taxi to pick us up the following morning for the airport. When we got downstairs and saw no taxi, we inquired and were told, “It’s not coming.” What? We had arranged for this. “Yeah, it’s not coming.” They said this with little ambition to do anything and since they were useless, we were on our own. We ended up tuk-tuking it to the airport and saying good riddance to India. We didn’t know what to expect from Sri Lanka. Was it going to just be a smaller version of India? Was it just going to feel like India Part II? Will there be pigeons in the room?colombo_1

We got to Colombo and found immediately that things were a bit different. For one, we had hot(ish) water and fast internet (for about 2 days before it stopped working) but the streets were much cleaner and people were for the most part friendly. No ass grabs to count either which is more than I can say for Delhi. We found a proper supermarket (OMG!) and celebrated with wine and cheese. We had to stay in Colombo for just under a week to deal with our Thai visas and we spent the time recuperating.

We decided to take a weekend trip to Kandy to see the famed sacred tooth of Buddha. We took the 2.5-hour scenic train trip into the interior and stayed two nights. Kandy is in all the tourist books but we were both quite underwhelmed by it. I barely snapped any photos. And as for Buddha’s tooth, we found out it’s so sacred that you can’t even see it! We just paid to be in the presence of a fabled tooth? What?! It’s housed in a temple that you can go in and you are to have faith that it exists there. We even paid a visit to the museum to see if we could see a photo of this famous tooth, but not even that existed. This is bananas. We left Kandy with our tooth dreams decayed.


Time to get back to the beach.

Train to HikkaduwaScreen Shot 2014-01-29 at 3.39.04 PMWe took the train down to Hikkaduwa where it’s all supposed to be “happening.”


This area was ravaged by the Tsunami back in 2004 and erosion continues to be a problem. The beach disappears in sections depending on the tides. We liked their many cabanas they have set up on the beach and we did have some mighty good seafood here. We spent 5 nights here as we upped our calamari intake.

Hikkaduwa_1 Hikkaduwa_2 Hikkaduwa_3 Hikkaduwa_4 Hikkaduwa_5 Hikkaduwa_6 Hikkaduwa_7 Hikkaduwa_8 Hikkaduwa_9 Hikkaduwa_10 Hikkaduwa_11 Hikkaduwa_12 Hikkaduwa_13 Hikkaduwa_14 Hikkaduwa_15 Hikkaduwa_16 Hikkaduwa_17 Hikkaduwa_18 Hikkaduwa_19 Hikkaduwa_20Further south we went to Unawatuna, also a beach town, also hit by the Tsunami. Unawatuna feels slightly more intimate and cute and I prefer it to Hikkaduwa.

Unawatuna_1 Unawatuna_2 Unawatuna_3 Unawatuna_4 Unawatuna_5 Unawatuna_6 Unawatuna_7 Unawatuna_8_1 Unawatuna_9 Unawatuna_10 Unawatuna_11 Unawatuna_12Nearby in Mirissa, we went on a Blue Whale Watching tour. We got up at 5am and were hoping the whales were up too.

Unawatuna_13 Unawatuna_14 Unawatuna_15The Indian Ocean can be quite rough and there are numerous boats loaded with tourists all hoping for a glimpse. By the end, you either saw people throwing up, heard people throwing up, or you yourself were throwing up. All aboard!

First we saw several dolphins and eventually a few blue whales. They are magnificent. Unfortunately, I did not get any photos of them because I was:

1. Too mesmerized to focus on composition

2. I too had succumbed to seasickness and was focused on not hurling everywhere.

So my apologies, no photos, just tales of tourists throwing up.

Unawatuna_16 Unawatuna_17We allotted just 2.5 weeks in Sri Lanka and we leave on Friday to Bangkok where a state of emergency has been declared. With our impeccable timing, we are flying right into the eye of the storm. Oh my. Until then.