Anyone for cricket?

Trip Start Jan 18, 2010
Trip End Jul 30, 2010

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Flag of Sri Lanka  ,
Thursday, July 22, 2010

After lazing on the beach we went back to Bangkok for a night before our flight to Sri Lanka. We flew into Colombo and arrived quite late so stayed at a very dated, dingy and overpriced airport hotel for the night. As we'd gone back a couple of timezones, we awoke ridiculously early in the morning and headed straight for the city.

After watching several buses go by that were stuffed full of people impersonating sardines, we managed to get onto one of the more 'expensive' air-con buses into Colombo. After about 5 minutes this bus was as full as all the others but we had seats which, unlike in India, no one asked us to share! The journey into Colombo was fascinating, it reminded us in lots of ways of being in India but at the same time it's massively different. Some very familiar smells, sounds and sights but not quite so overwhelming.

We got off the bus and straight onto a train to Galle (well I did - the bus tried to leave with Annie half on. Annie had got her rucksack wedged in the door and running after the bus all I could see was a mass of limbs and bag straps poking out!). We hadn't had a chance to get any breakfast before we got on the train but there were lots of vendors on the platform so I jumped off to get some food (unidentifiable but tasty curried bread things), safe in the knowledge that if it set off I could leg it back on as happened a couple of times in India. The journey to Galle followed the coast all the way and it was beautiful tropical coastal scenery all the way, interspersed with ruined buildings - reminders of the Tsunami in 2004.

Galle is a heritage town, an old fort and lots of old dutch mansions. When we arrived we were told that there was a big cricket match on, Sri Lanka vs India test match. It was day four of five and Sri Lanka were apparently giving India a hiding. After checking into a guesthouse we headed to the north of the fort where we could watch the cricket from the fort walls for free. There were lots of locals doing the same and we got chatting to a man who explained that the match was very important as it was Murali's last test match. I pretended to know who this was and gave him my best impressed look! (having googled him, it appears that Murali is one of the best bowlers ever!) We were impressed however when we saw Sachin Tendulkar take to the wicket for India, we'd seen a lot of him in India and all the kids in the school worshipped him. It was also great seeing Malinga bowling, after admiring him while watching the IPL earlier in the year.

We sat for an hour watching the cricket and learning the life history of the man next to us. We'd read in our guide book that lots of people have tsunami stories as the island was really badly affected. The man told us about the damage it had caused to Galle and the family he had lost. Very sad. We spent the rest of the day wandering the town and meeting lots of people who were very keen to talk to us and tell us all about themselves. At one point we found ourselves having a tour of a school, not sure how it happened but it was fun.

Off to the beach now for some hardcore chilling.....
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