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April 9, 2010

Bentota – Colombo

Filed under: travel — Tags: , , — mat @ 12:44 pm

We arrived in Bentota but the guesthouse we have choosen in advance was booked up. We had a look around where to stay for one night and found the palm beach inn. Cheap (as it can be here…) but not well maintained, as seen often. Because the beach is again without any shade (but some cows or buffalos were there…) we decided just in a second to take the bus to Colombo. Ride was ok. Colombo itself is crowded and noisy. Can’t compare to any other asian capitals I’ve been before. Changed last TCs and some US $ for next days. After the shopping mall Majestic Complex we tried to catch a bus back to Bentota. What the hell…. had to go back to central bus station but no bus to Bentota. A guy told us we can buy a ticket to Galle (which is 60 km behind Bentota) and jump out in Bentota. We did. But because it was teh day before the election day all busses were overbooked as well as the streets were crowded. The ride back took more than 3 hours , on the way to Colombo we need approximately 75 minutes. The bus stopped and we jumped out but too soon. We were in Alugama, one small city before Bentota. Only advantage was to buy 2 bottles of cold Lion beer at a liqour store. Back in the guesthouse nearly 9 pm we had a late dinner with food we bought at bus station in Colombo. After the breakfast we leaved to the next place without a shower glad that we survived that place…..

April 4, 2010

Traveller business…

Filed under: travel — Tags: , , — mat @ 9:50 am

Sitting right now having a chillin cup of coffee, outside temperature feels like 40 °C. Coffee is good stuff. And it’s definitely too hot to do any other things……

Mirissa – Unawatuna

Filed under: travel — Tags: , , — mat @ 3:59 am

We took a local bus from Mirissa to Unawatuna. Very cheap, 60 rupies for both of us and a 45 minutes ride. Had a look around by tuk-tuk and decided for Upul guesthost. Nice guys and clean rooms. Without a/c 2.500 rupies for a room with fan, balcony and a beautiful view. Ok. Unawatuna beach is nice but I’ld not count it for a rank under the top ten beaches like they say here. Protected by a coral reef the sea is mostly clear and like a natural pool. Easy swimming. But no shade there from trees or coconut palm trees. That’s a little bit worse. So we don’t know where to lay down ….. anyway. Food is great and no too expensive. And we can sit close to the beach for our meals. Traveller work is done. Postcards for friends and family means to all the don’t have access to read this blog :) We found a nice resort for the next stay, let’s see if we can get a room.

April 1, 2010

Mirissa – 2nd day

Filed under: travel — Tags: , , — mat @ 4:18 pm

Nothing 2 do than sleep, eat, laidback and tanning… nice.

March 31, 2010

Mirissa beach

Filed under: travel — Tags: , , — mat @ 11:07 am

So we’re having a relax stay at Mirissa beach hotel. It’s not so bad even it’s not a backpacker guesthouse. Lot of french guys here but better than russians….Met 2 german girls after their Panchenkarma Ayuerveda treatment. Warm oil in every hole of the body. No thanks, not for me. Beach is nice. Since a long time that we’ve a beach with coconut palms. And high waves, up to 3 meters. I was in and a couldn’t imagine before how many power is behind such a wave. Incredible. Now I’m in downtown……

March 29, 2010

Tissa – starting point for Safari to Yala National Park

Filed under: travel — Tags: , , , — mat @ 12:04 pm

We became a reseller. Another couple asked our driver if they can share the care and we said ok for 25 $. Yeah, it’s “our” car for next days. So we met Paul and Natalie. A britsh-belgium couple located in Brunei where they’re teachers for mathematics and science. Very polite and for sure very britisch speaking. Sounds like “it’really nice , isn’t it ?”. The guesthouse is owned by our driver. Comfortble and clean rooms with A/C and bathroom. We agreed to have dinner together and ordered in advance the food. We took a walk to the bird fields at the early afternoon for 2 hours. After that take a little rest and went to Kataragama which is a religiuous place for muslim, hindu and buddhist people. Means at this area temples and mosques located and people celebrate religious events (like fullmoon..) together. So in case it was fullmoon a huge ceremony was ongoing. People give a lot of fruits to their godnesses and before they do so standing an a queue and wait. We had the chance to take part in a hindu ceremony means we could go inside the small temple where all where marked with a white point between eyebrows. Loud and noise because of drums and a kind of trumpets. And hot. And over and over the smell of patchouli. Fascinating. To fullfil their wishes people smash coconuts down to the ground. If the coconuts is broken after wishes came true. If not… hm, shit happens. But they may have a 2nd or 3rd try. back at the GH our dinner was waiting. A lot of food. And for sure Lion beer :) We had a nice conversation and went to bed early because next day is safari day. Means getting up at 5:00 am

March 27, 2010

Nuwara Eliya and Ella

Filed under: travel — Tags: , , , , — mat @ 12:04 pm

Arrived by private car after a nice ride. So maybe it’s a good opportunity in Sri Lanka to buy a package. Sure, not the real backpackers behaviour. Nuwara Eliya is really in the tradition of the Empire. Lot of hotels in style of an old colonial building. Espacially the Grand Hotel, very british with a nice garden including british green in front. And .. a dresscode which allows only fine dresses like dinner jacket and tie. But on the other hand there’s nothing more to see than a park (for sure, Victoria Park *g*) and a cricket field and finally a area for horseraces. Don’t know excatly how to name such area. The hotels mostly have names like “Glengower” and “Ascot”. We went out for dinner, just found it at an indian cuisine food stall. Not too bad but as soon as I’ve problems with my stomache I better go for buiscuit and white bread. Most disadvantage at our room was missing moskito net so we were hunting half night those fucking blood suckers. Damned shit. Breakfast was ok, better than in Kandy and we start our journey to Ella, which is also in the highlands but only 1.000 meters above sea level. Kandy is approximately 2.200 meters high. It was a bumpy road but our driver managed it. On the way stopped on a temple with an over 2.000 years old Buddah image. Than arrived to Ella, a very small but beautiful village between mountains. Room is very nice and is attached with a moskito net. No fan is needed coz it’s a mild highland climate. We’ll try later to climb small Adams Peak when there’re now rainshowers today. After one hour of rest heavely rainshowers. Ok no small Adams peak today.

And here for some of my german friends….

March 26, 2010

Kandy – City of tooth relic

Filed under: travel — Tags: , , — mat @ 4:31 am

That’s was Kandy is famous for. A temple where a tooth of Buddha is inshrined. And a nice lake with a lot of birds. Mandy felt scared and of course it remains us to that famous Hitchkok movie….. first night we went out for dinner to a muslim hotel (hotel in Sri Lanka means mostly a food court…..) So a “friendly” Singhalese who worked before in Germany and is married with a german woman gave us a introduction in “how to cheat foreigners”. Well, such things happen. After the dinner my stomache crashed and I was sitting at toilet half of the night. But with 2 pills and coz of my private nurse it was better next morning. Big topic next day was “how to find a laundry”. Easy going in Thailand or Malaysia. Not in Sri Lanka. Boss of the hotel recommended the Queens Laundry and for sure, best laundry in town. And finally it is, I guess but they don’t wanna clean underwear. Well, we bought washing soap and Mandy will do washing by hand :) We visited the botanic garden which is 2nd largest in Asia and it was really nice. Beautyful orchids and huge trees. After that we have been dropped of close to tooth temple. Security check 2 times at entrance points, as usual in Sri Lanka. The temple itself is not an architectural highlight, if you’ve been in Angkor Wat or Schwedagon Pagoda before. It’s more a religious issue of faith, coz in my mind (behold I tell you a secret…) there’s no tooth. *g* After back at hotel I asked the guys how much would it be to hire a car to Nuwara Elia. The hotelboss offered us during our chat a package for next days. First I thought will be much too expensive but it’s about mathematics. 5 days by private car and driver , accomodation with breakfast, safari to national park incl entrance fee and drop off at a place of our choice at southcoast for 520 bucks. And that’s fair and ok, so we agreed. And he told us, that walk-in rates for hotels and guest-houses in Sri Lanka are the highest rates, so better book online in advance. But for this you have to no exactely where you wanna be next days. Anyway, for next days it should be stressless and more comfortable. And after the highlands we’ll go to the beach……
Next hop is Nuwara Eliya. Will keep you updated.

PS if you find mistakes feel free to keep them :)

March 25, 2010

Anuhradhapura to Kandy

Filed under: travel — Tags: , — mat @ 1:52 pm

We paid fro 3 seats because no extra lagguage box was available. Nice. In front of us was a young monk sitting and we had a short conversation about the life and buddhism and he can’t believe that we have no faith in any kind of godness and not thinking about life after death. Right now I’m very far from any kind of faith. So we gave up with discussion at least. After 3 hours we arrived at Kandy which is the 2nd largest city in Sri Lanka. The central busstation is overcrowded here. We went to a guesthouse which is recommended by our travelbook but it was to expensive and so we agreed the advise of the driver and choose the Kandy View hotel. Costs in total inclusive breakfast is 25 $ per night for our doubleroom. Well let’s see how it goes here…..

Anuhradhapura

Filed under: travel — Tags: , — mat @ 1:44 pm

Well, as mentioned, Anuhradhapura was the first capital of Ceylon in fromer centuries. So in that case a lot of religious buildings located here. You have to pay 20 $ each person for a visitors ticket. But while we’re travelling on budget we were sruggeling to find another way. The driver we hired said we should pay him less than that so he will bring us through all checkpoints. And he did by talking to some guys….. I hope the Central Culture Fund will survive. And it’s the location of _the_ bodhi tree. A part from the original ones in India where Buddhas was enlightend. At the Schwedagon pagoda in Rangoon, Burma we saw the same. But not so much mambo-jumbo as here in Sri Lanka. Since the tamil tigers tried to destroy the tree by a bombing attack in 1985 you must pass 2 security checks. The tree itself is not very spectecular but for sure, it is a religious and philosophical issue. In former times up to 5.000 monks stayed here in this area for education, meditation and bring Buddhas doctrine to all people. At least we watched the places by driving in an old Toyota van. Exclusive sight seeing.
After the half day course we took the bus to Kandy because in my mind sounds better than the train.

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