Thursday, August 11, 2016

Colombo - Sri Lanka (Nava K Seen)

Final league. Final road travelling league for our 2 days in Colombo from Galle. Miles and miles already on the road, starting from Negambo, Kandy, Nurwara Eliya and Katagarama, today, its the final loop. Another road loop. Thankfully. Frankly speaking, if you are asking for my opinion how it has been so far,  let me be out-rightly blunt. Basically, honest to goodness, listen, I must agree and I must salute Sri Lanka as haven paradise. But the thing to hours from one place to the other I think made us the losers to time. I really couldn't get it. Road mode of transport literally taking up our time instead of more on sightseeing. According to our tour guide, he kept telling us there is nothing to see for this route we have opted for. Beats me. We still sense this lazy bum of a fellow is taking us for a joyride. Maybe not his fault. He is we concluded merely a driver, not a tour guide. Nevermind. But he is another person who love to sulk and complain. Like the worst one in our tour group, the rest were not too bad, this fellow is only interested in safe guarding his interest. Sulking about sightseeing spots due to lack of parking, so little knowledge on Sri Lanka and coming with it attractions, additionally, his Sri Lankan ascent, through his thick and thin birth. By the third day, we sort of knew. His tricks definitely didn't work on us. So much so we literally forced him to thirst for sightseeing spots we wanted to visit. Imagine ending up this sort of person? Whatever said, he knew he had to pull up his socks. Good. On our route to Colombo, he made it a point in stopping us at the beaches, monuments and he slowed down to driving as well so that we can peep at the whatever which attracted our attention along the way. 



Subsequently, as we have already prior agreed and arranged, we arrived at the pier for “Madu River Nature” Boat Safari in Balapitaya. Marvelous. Utterly. I loved, and I loved, hundreds of loving boat ride. Six of us, just us, in a boat for this fun ride around the islands and manoeuvred under mangroves for seeing water wildlife. Sun already at its afternoon peak, yet, we were shielded under the collapsible roof, in between our one hour and more ride, we were taken to Cinnamon Island. Cinnamon trees, cinnamon harvested and produced as cinnamon sticks, cinnamon powder and cinnamon oil. I bought. I had to buy a pack of cinnamon for my cooking, whereas tour buddy settled for cinnamon oil. 


Ending like so soon, as if at the glimpse of my eyes, wish boat ride continued to the furthest far, of course impossible, we departed and arrived at one particular restaurant in Colombo for lunch. Madness. Really. Big crowd squeezed in together, hardly any space for you to get up for helping yourself to the buffet. Considering that we were late, I can understand why food had disappeared, but the fact is that, each time food is refilled, the coming from China tourists wouldn't stop piling up their plates. They couldn't care less. They were least bothered about dining etiquette. They pushed their way through and they ate like hungry dogs. My god! I almost puked seeing them gawking. Nope. Not my scene. I didn't want to sit around. I quickly ate and literally dashed out. Tour buddies too couldn't stand the stuff-up environment. By the time I turned around to look, they were standing behind me. For the next two hours of so, as usual, when you are at the capital of a country, it has be to be city tour. Drive, see, drive, get down and see, drive and peeping from the van.  

By late evening, we had settled down in the well-maintained and facing the pool and beach room in Pegasus Reef Hotel. What a relieve! Away from thousands of tourists in this spacious nature setting. Quiet and serene, we tucked into dinner while seeing the cultural show and night soon called us back to the room.   

Next morning, after breakfast, we by right, our free and easy time to shopping. But we rain checked it. None of us were keen in shopping. Enough of seeing and knowing what can be bought in Sri Lankan. Done and over throughout the last 6 days. Nothing no strongly luring me. Instead, we visited Gangaramaya Temple. Brilliant idea. Thanks to me for spotting this temple on the pamphlet in my room. One of the bigger Buddhist temples near Beira Lake and Colombo central, Gangaramaya Temple, established in 1885, is a complex consisting of Vihara (monastery), Cetiya (pagoda), Vihara Mandiraya, Bodhi Tree, Relic Chamber, sacred relics of Buddha and his disciples, a library, a museum and at the courtyard, there are rows of elevating steps with Buddha Thai style statues.  

Our an hour in Gangaramaya Temple every bit god worthy, surprisingly, not so crowded from the time we arrived and left. Speaking to the monk later, he told us he has frequented Brickfields Buddhist Temple. Nice. Next was lunch in Xilaton Chinese Restaurant. Courtesy by travel agent for some screw ups and hiccups in our literary and hotels. Not bad. A favourable eight course meal I must say. Yum. Back to another round of city tour, and then back to the hotel for a short rest, before we permanently said bye-bye to Sri Lanka and for arriving home. 

Should Sri Lanka be on your bucket list? Yes. Go ahead. I bet you won't regret. I returned home by holding my fond memories regardless of the fumbles and failures on a couple of things.  

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