Negombo - too fruity for crows

Trip Start Nov 01, 2005
Trip End Apr 30, 2006

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Flag of Sri Lanka  ,
Monday, November 21, 2005

Arriving in Sri Lanka was a real shock, like walking into a hot shower. It was very wet, very hot and very humid.

Even by Sri Lankan standards it was wet, as the taxi from the airport negotiated streets flooded right across with 2 foot of water. It rained solidly and torrentially for my first two days, I was even woken in the night with water splashing my face as the hotel roof leaked. Many people were displaced from the shanty homes which fringe the river and railway line and about five people lost their lives in the floods.

The first few days were good. I launched myself into the public transport malarkey, making friends with monks and providing all round entertainment for the locals (ooh, the monk has a girlfriend!). Very few tourists travel by train or bus around Negombo (or anywhere on the island really) as most people come on tours or hire drivers. My first train journey was a quintessential Asian experience. I stood by the open doorway (look no hands! - sorry mum) catching the breeze while a really rather good Sri Lankan musician sang and drummed for the people on our carriage.

Extending my visa in the capital city, Colombo, was a whole experience in itself, but I felt very proud to have found the right office and negotiated all the form filling, stamping at this part of the counter. signing here, verifying there and the cheeky official who kept me waiting for ages and then asked me why I was in such a hurry (they stop accepting completed forms after 12.30 so you'd have to go back the next day).

Negombo is a rather unattractive tourist beach resort, with the main benefit of being close to the airport. Here I encountered the ubiquitous Sri Lankan crows, I quite like their navy blue plumage, but they are a bit of a pest.
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