Sunday, September 11, 2011

Galle to Colombo

Having Day 5 off following the Aussie test win, meant that I had one more half day on Unawatuna beach before I needed to make my way to the airport and home.  Just a cheeky week in Sri Lanka, working in with lack of leave and uni, this trip was oh so easy.  And a perfect little escape from real life.

I had breakfast with Ken and Al, and then after a swim with Lisby, I wandered down to the beach and the Happy Banana with Fi, Dave, and Michael.  Joining Belinda, Jess, Laura, Wendy and Sam for a couple of cocktails, and lunch, soaking in the sun was perfect, before saying goodbye to the crew and heading off.

Catching the public bus from the top of the road from the Unawatuna Beach Resort, with a final goodbye to Fi and Dave, I travelled into Galle to figure out how to get to Colombo for my 1.10am flight that night.  Now I had thought that the train along the coast would have been the best way to travel, and having remembered my last train travel in Sri Lanka, I was keen for a repeat - but alas, track works for 6 months, commencing just 2 days beforehand, meant I needed to rethink.

I asked at the Railway Station for the town where the tracks would be functional again down the line, and after being accosted by a local trying to find a deal for me and my travels, and a cut for him I'm sure, I simply joined the line for the local bus and grabbed a seat.  Easy, and a whole 66Rs!  Although, once the bus pulled out of the station, it stopped a couple of times to fill all the spaces, and was soon filled as much as a bus can be filled with people!  Jammers!

The bus followed the train tracks for the most part, so this was almost as good.  The best part of the trip was that as the people thinned, jumping off at various towns along the way, I started to glimpse the ocean from the other side of the bus.  And then the sun started to set into the water, which was just gorgeous!  This was exactly what I was wanting out of this trip. 

I jumped off at Aluthgam, as advised, and found the Railway Station, only to find the last train had been an hour and a half ago.  Oh well!  I did catch some overs of a local cricket game going on next to the Station, as I took a backpack break.

Back to the main road, I hailed another local bus, and for another 60Rs, was on my way to Colombo.  Having not done this sort of solo, local and ride-by-the-seat-of-your-pants travel for such a long time, I was buoyed by the fact that I could do it, by myself, again.  So excited that I am not too old and cranky for it, and it has fueled that travel bug just a little more!

Getting into Colombo in the dark, I then got a tuk tuk to the Galle Face Hotel, for a cocktail and a light dinner.  Sitting there coated in the dust and sweat of the public bus, I was sure I stuck out over looking the ocean, but I was loving it.  I then did a quick change in the loo, ready for my flights, and made my way to the airport for my flights home.

Landing in Singapore, I checked out the Butterfly Garden, and the fish ponds of Terminal 3, being a massive sensory overload.  Getting to Melbourne on Monday night, and having Jessie pick me up, I was all set to attend my first day on Semester 2 of uni the next day!

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