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Old 14th July 2008, 11:15   #16
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For all those who are making up their minds to go to SL, some pics from my trip
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...ew-year-2.html (This is how I celebrated my new year....)
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Old 14th July 2008, 11:41   #17
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Originally Posted by Sar View Post
We sang silly songs, drew silly pictures.
Ah, now that's the Sarah I know

Thank you for reading my blogs and now writing this one for us.

What you lot may not know is that before the damned internet and emails, Sarah and I used to write letters to each other 18 years ago. Yes, pen and paper and postage stamps. Stop shuddering.

Saru, a lovely travel story. I am smiling from ear to ear. I am so glad my blogs pulled you to Team-BHP. You write wonderfully.

Your little boys are beautiful and you deserve them. Keep writing, keep singing silly songs and keep smiling.
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Old 14th July 2008, 12:57   #18
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That's a nice travelogue and great pics. Did really enjoy them. I think my next off shore trip will be SriLanka. Thanks for sharing, Sar.
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Old 14th July 2008, 15:44   #19
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Thanks for a wonderful travelogue Sar. The smile on the boys faces is so contageous and their excitement so evident that it makes me break into a smile everytime I look at their faces .
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Old 14th July 2008, 16:42   #20
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Default Still a little more to go..

Thanks guys...ok, Anurag, we didn't travel inland at all as we were only there a week. Craig didn't want to spend any time in a car as he drives a lot here. But loved the photos you have posted, we saw so many sea urchins, some Japanese tourists would come by every morning and collect them to cook for later!

Oh Lord! I knew Sam would bring that up sooner or later, lol! I never wrote letters of that length again, you wouldn't believe how much money we would have saved on postage Thanks for the compliments, appreciate every little one. A few of my friends here have read this too, and were surprised that I could describe our holiday well. So here's the last bit.

Trip to Galle & Unawatuna
Our guide/driver Prema collected us early on Sunday morning, and we drove for what seemed like ages. It was quite a warm day by our standards, what being used to living with a/c all the time. We reached the city of Galle, which was bustling, even for a Sunday morning. Drove around the market, the boys did not want to get out and walk, which meant I could not shop. Crafty children, they are well taught by their dad. The minute I say, oh let's have a browse around, they are tired, or it's too hot. Oh well. Prema shows us the reconstructed cricket grounds, a lot of the city was destroyed/damaged with the tsunami. Then we enter into Galle fort. The first thing we notice are the houses, the surrounding buildings. Like we've stepped back in time, or to me, what old Poona Camp used to look like. Low houses, quaint, though brightly coloured. Because this is a National Heritage site, nothing can be broken down. If any repairs are to be made, they have to be done in keeping with the original style of the building, using similar materials etc. Coming into the walls of the fort, and then we walk around.

The view is stunning. Sea for miles on end, blue, blue waters. You can see the difference in the wall, where it was first built by the Portugese, then the Dutch. We walk around, Josh creeps through a hole in the wall, then quickly comes back as there were 'creepy crawlies'. We watch in fascination as a snake escapes the heat and climbs up into the wall of the clocktower. One thing that really made us laugh, was that there were so many couples. All sat in little nooks, hidden by umbrellas. Or on a bench. Very cute, holding hands, courting each other. Apparently on Sundays this is what engaged couples do. To spend time together. Then we realised there was a bunch of older ladies, sat together, gossiping away. Prema said they were either the grandmothers/aunts/chaperones. How quaint!! Never having been brought up in such an environment, it was really sweet...nauseatingly so at times

We went down to the lighthouse, admired the views again, but it was really hot! There was a little grocery store, but they only sold fizzy drinks, no juices, no ice lollies. As usual I had drinks & stuff for the boys in a coolbag, but they just wanted something icy cold..So they started getting grumpy. Both of them. With my older boy, he will sulk if things don't go his way. The younger one is more vocal, so Craig took him for a walk in the stroller. Josh & I go into this museum, which is one man's collection of things wierd & wonderful.
They even sell semi precious & precious gems, have these awesome jewellers who will make you a piece of jewellery, or you can choose some of their beautiful stuff. Not being one for anything sparkly, I did not take photos. I am not wierd, I just don't like anything gold, blingy, expensive. My only everyday jewellery is my wedding ring & a pair of silver earrings. When I go out, I wear some beautiful antique silver that I have been collecting for the past several years. Diamonds/shiny things...nah! So the guys were not impressed with me, and lost interest quickly.

We stopped outside the Dutch church for a quick photo and then drive to Unawatuna. It's great once we start moving, as the breeze helps. I would not recommend a tuktuk ride if you have very fidgety children, or more than 2 children. Prema was extremely careful, but I wouldn't be so sure of anyone else.

We drive though this very hippy looking area, again, reminded me of Goa, as there were vegetarian only restaurants, a couple of tattoo places, some people selling touristy clothes & jewellery.

We stop at this little restaurant, it's literally built on the beach. Jamie is asleep by now, so Josh and Craig go for a quick swim and I sit back and chill while our food is being cooked. I had ordered fried fish, the bloke brings me the fresh fish to look at, it seems ok to me, it's dead isn't it? He asks how much chili I want etc, and then when our meal comes, its great. Craig & the boys eat grilled chicken, chips, and I have this fish that's almost been fried to death...just. But its crunchy, tasty.

Craig has to go and buy another pair of shorts for Josh as he is just covered in sand, I can't rinse it all out of what he is wearing and he refuses to wear wet shorts all the way back. My son!!! Manages to find a pair in one of the shops, so after I help him scrub most of the sand off in a rather grotty shower room, we are back on our way to Hikkaduwa.

That evening the boys go to bed by half 6, for the first time ever, so we decide to go to the restaurant for a meal. We asked one of the waiters if he could keep an eye on them, he was sat on our patio. We checked on them every half hour even then, so we actually had our first alone time. It was nice, even when the local singing band came and sang Falling in Love with you...to Craig!!! For the first time I drank a cockail made from the local rum & brandy, with lashings of orange & pineapple juice. Yum. Very nice indeed.

The next two days, we did nothing again. Josh & Craig had their hair cut by a local barber, we bought a few touristy bits, they collected their board shorts that they had made to order, even little ones for Jamie! They were really cheap, about 300SR each. I think the boys' ones cost about 250SR. We bought some copy dvds, I bough fresh vanilla pods, that were SO cheap. They cost a fortune here and in the UK, where I usually bring them from, so this was a bonus. Craig bought a beautiful leather weekend bag, for the equivalent of 25/-. Masks, magnets for friends and a lot of packaged tea. And of course, what I always do, buy an elephant. I couldn't find any small statues of buddha, which is another thing I collect, but never mind.

It was absolute bliss doing nothing at all. Ok, I did do some laundry, but not having to iron clothes, wash dishes, make beds (I did do that) it was lovely. All too soon it was time to head back, we had our flight to catch that night. The driver collected us in the afternoon, and I think before we even left Hikkaduwa they were all asleep.

Entering Colombo airport was another revelation. If we thought the arrivals were great, the departure lounge was fab. This was even before we checked in. Of course had to check the small store they had there, buy some seeni sambal which I hadn't been able to get anywhere, and some fish pickle. The nice gentleman wrapped it in bubble wrap so it would be ok in my bags. Checking in was a bit of a nightmare, as the queues were really long. And immigration was slow, but very thorough. Very pleasant guy asks if we have enjoyed our stay, thanks us for visiting SL and hopes we'll come again. Cool!!! Then we go up to the departure lounge and it is really well kitted out. Even has a Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf! Great Electronic shop, duty free with its perfumes etc, Noritake, they even had a spa/massage place, showers, mother baby area, bookshop and a restaurant. We opt for the restaurant, it is great. Burgers & chips & milkshakes for the guys & my last BLT. Tastes like heaven!
The guys go to the mens' and Jamie & I to the mother baby room where we get washed, changed, diapered etc.

Wander about, buy some books & magazines & then it's time to board the flight. We're happy to go home, but a bit sad at the same time. Back to reality. Back to work/school/housework. It's been super, relaxing, memorable. Thanks for reading
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Old 14th July 2008, 17:24   #21
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Default More Pix

Sorry, I'm new to all this uploading of photos to a forum. Here are some more, of our guide Prema, the boys asleep & the airport at Colombo.
Should have also said, we stayed at Amaya Reef Hotel, Amaya Resorts & Spas - Sri Lanka, booked with srilanka.com, & travelled Qatar Airways
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Old 14th July 2008, 17:39   #22
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Nice travelogue. You have finished seven day trip write up in a day. By good bhpian's standard, it should be finished not less than 15 days. Just kidding.

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Old 14th July 2008, 17:39   #23
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Default The last lot

Just photos, from our trip to Galle etc. Forgot to upload.
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Old 14th July 2008, 17:55   #24
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Beautiful pictures. Loved the crisp writings. Loved the place you lived in.
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Old 21st September 2008, 22:26   #25
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Am looking at a trip to Sri Lanka. Have zero'd in on hotels but need to plan transportation from Colombo to Galle and back . Anyone know any good transportation agencies one could touch base with to organise this ?
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Old 21st September 2008, 23:19   #26
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Great travelogue there, Sar. Sri Lanka is so beautiful and so near its unbelievable that many in India still havent been there - it is so much cheaper than many domestic destinations as well !

OT: Sam used to write letters and post them???
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Old 22nd September 2008, 11:24   #27
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lovely short story. What greenery, waters, pool, food.
I had brief stopover couple of years ago. I had the breakfast of my life with a lot of fish. What a cool place. i have seen mosquito repellents just like in India.
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Old 22nd September 2008, 13:09   #28
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@ajmat: Most Hotels will do that for you. If there are 4-5 people, they have minivans which are really comfy. If you want, I can provide the number of the guys we used (Global Towers Hotel, Wellawatte).
You can also look at the option of the train. It is a short, but very scenic journey right along the coast. Those rickety wooden coaches are an experience. We did take the train quite a few times (8 am from the Fort Station in Colombo). Cheap and enjoyable.

EDIT: You looking for a day trip, or overnite stay at Galle? Car hire would be better for a day trip, IMO.

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Old 29th September 2008, 16:55   #29
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Ajmat, the hotel we stayed at offered us two modes of transport : a taxi or a rickshaw. Since we hardly ever get to use a rickshaw, it was a great novelty for us. He was a very safe driver, and it took about an hour 20 mins to get from Hikkaduwa to Galle.

OT: Sam used to write letters and post them???[/quote]
Yep. We used to write each other letters EVERY day. Mind you this was more than 17 years ago so it would be so so funny if even one letter is in existence. I don't have any I'm afraid.
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Old 29th September 2008, 18:21   #30
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A beautiful thread! Missed it the first time around.

Sar, a beautiful set of kids you have. If you have time, next time, do head down to Nuweraliya also.

Sri Lanka is a wonderful place to be. Yes, it is strange that people miss it when planning their out bound tours from India. The greenery and the architecture will give an initially feeling of being in Kerala, when travelling thru the villages.

The people are all too good! They are very hospitable. You need to experience it to believe it!

The pictures did bring back a lot of old memories of my times there. Especially at Galle. I had been at a friends place at Galle and which was just opposite to the beach road. Sadly he died when they were stuck by the Tsunami.

One strange incident that I recollect in Galle Face beach, when doing some coral boating - the sea was rough and there was no other boat. We (myself, friend and his family with two kids) got one boat guy to take us out to sea. After some time we notice another boat also, with another family, coming out to sea. Now, a wide open sea and with only two boat. At one point of time we got too close to each other and a strong wave almost landed us on top of the other boat!!! Shook us all and we had enough of it. Came back to terra firma immediately!!!
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