Sri Lanka Turtles and all

Trip Start May 2006
Trip End May 2006

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Where I stayed
Malabar House

Flag of Sri Lanka  ,
Sunday, October 19, 2008

I have very fond memories of our trip to Sri Lanka it was truly amazing and totally awe inspiring!
We flew out from Doha airport and unfortunaly our flight (shock horror) was delayed for about six hours - which meant hanging around Doha airport for that long, truly awful! All I remember is lying on the horrid hard seats and being given some food vouchers for some nasty fired food which needless to say we didn't eat!
The unfortunate thing was we were getting a connection flight from Colombo to Galle.  We had decided to treat ourselves to a once in the lifetime experience of getting a private sea plane down to Galle! We were rushed through immigration upon arrival and taken to the plane to meet the captain and co pilot as we had a take off window which was fastly approaching (the plane had to be back in Colombo that night - time was getting on!).  The ride itself was magical, Sri Lanka is such a beautiful country, it's a lush, tropical country truly amazing and seeing it from the plane was stunning! I can remember flying over the mountains, over the hill's and down along the coast! Landing was great fun, we landed in a lake on the outskirts of Galle and all the locals came to see who was arriving - probably hoping it was someone important - but no just us!
We were staying in Galle Fort; we rented a house for the week called Malabar House.  The house was truly stunning: it had a private pool which was light up by night, two day rooms which were full of comfy seats and cushions and Sri Lankan style furniture, the upstairs had a four poster bed and a balcony which lead onto the outside veranda - from here you could see the sea! The Veranda was amazing it even had a fan and a seating area so you could chill up there with a couple of books and a glass of wine which did a lot of the time! There was a chipmunk who lived up there and you could see him running about, there was also bats who came out night, we lost count of how many, and a resident cat who would ask for food!  The house also came with staff (didn't realize this at the time of booking!) a lady called Thalika and her husband! Thalika was a truly lovely person - she cooked us a curry one night with fresh prawns from the market and I can say quite honestly it was the best meal we have ever eaten! I thoroughly recommend Malabar House although they have put the prices up since we stayed there is truly is a once in a life time experience!
Sri Lanka itself was stunning - we adopted a tuk tuk driver for the week to take us out and about! There is nothing quite like riding through the streets of Sri Lanka in a tuk tuk, you get the sense of the country more so rather than being in a car or a bus! The smells of fresh flowers or food cooking, people smiling at you as you whizz past avoiding the cows, people, pot holes along the way!
Sadly as we could see there was still evidence of the destruction of the Tsunami -I suspect sadly there always will be the people and the country will be scarred for a long time.  Seeing the houses which had been destroyed and were still in disrepair, the trees still uprooted there was still sadness in the air.
Galle Fort itself where we stayed is a lovely place to go, full of old streets and houses, amazing little shops and a stunning coastline, you can see the local people swimming and fishing out there and young couples walking along hand in hand by the sea!  Galle itself is a busy town again full of restaurants, markets and shops and full of friendly people trying to sell you there goods! Sri Lanka is amazing for jewelry and gems provided you know what you are looking for and don't pay over the odds you can pick up a bargain out there, I can back with a lovely silver and gem bracelet!
Other things which we did in Sri Lanka was visit the Turtle Sanctuary - and were lucky enough to be able to set free some baby turtles which were just the right age for freedom! They were amazing seeing them moving out to the sea, their little track marks they left in the sand, and then seeing them bobbing out in the sea off on their great adventure which is life - an amazing experience!
We visited the lying Buddha and many Buddhist temples which were stunning, nestled high up in the mountains the Buddha temples are truly amazing, there were guides at the temples to show you around and the place was full of dogs who were being looked after by the monks! Well worth a trip to any Buddhist temple I think! There is something about the temples which give you an inner sense of peace and tranquility!
The Stilt fishermen are well worth a visit but I can't help feeling that they have become part of the tourist trap - as long as they earn their living and feed their family that's the main thing!
We also got the train along the coastal line, just to experience the train! Wow I highly recommend this to everyone! The train was amazing, an old train full of rust and holes, with people trying to sell you things as you get on and off and through the windows! You can sit right on the door step with the door open and just watch the world go by! People wave at you and smile and you get to see a lot more of the country than you would if you just stuck to the roads! Watch out for pick pockets thou as someone on the train tried to take our camera - it's the same in any country you visit!
Another day we decided to go out Deep Sea fishing, this I do not recommend! It involved a tin boat, a very strong current, and what I think was a piece of rope with bait on it to catch the fish! Needless to say we didn't catch anything, a good thing for me as I couldn't stand to hurt an animal! However I did manage to go a very funny shade of green and get sea sickness!
Sri Lanka is a truly magical country; I have only been there twice and spent a limited amount of time there.  I love the country and the people, the way of life out there is amazing, the country it stunning it has the amazing beaches which are mostly deserted, it has the inland hilly areas covered in tea plantations, it has remanants of the colonial empire in old beautiful buildings, huge lakes, stunning flowers, amazing markets  and shops, the country has elephants which randomly wander down the roads, the elephant sanctuary, all animals are treated with respect , and the people are truly fantastic, so lovely and friendly and generous! I cannot describe enough how lush I love Sri Lanka it's magical, I just wish it wasn't so far away!
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