Sri Lankan Sojourn 24.01.2011 – 31.01.2011

After about 3 hours of searching we finally found a resting place in Galle harbour!
The choices lay between alongside a wall with dirty black industrial fenders or attached to a bright blue plastic floating pontoon which seemed to be tethered only at one end to the land and appeared very flimsy .Hobson came to mind but eventually we managed to attach to the end of the wobbling plastic pontoon with very long stern lines to the land .We had to take the dinghy the short distance about 50 m to the wobbling pontoon pulling ourselves along the mooring line! Once on the pontoon getting to the other end to reach the land one felt one had already had too much to drink! One did not go ashore lightly! On gaining the shore we had to pass through security every time showing our shore passes in and out to the 24 hour guards .Luckily after the guard post there were plenty of people on hand to help with transport in Tut Tuts, getting SIM cards, money and shopping. For us they were all genuine and did not try to get more than they deserved .The old Portuguese fort in Galle has a faded attraction and walking around the walls is a pleasant stroll at dusk .The old Portuguese governors house has been recently renovated into a beautiful hotel, they have maintained the traditional style and creatively restored an elegant building. Once settled we went up to the hills to Nuwara Eliya at around 2000m for 3 days in a hired van .To start the journey had one night stop along the beach east of Galle at Marissa where there is a long unspoiled sandy beach and then we headed inland the following day .The climb became rather slow as it was quite steep and progress was hindered by appalling roads, rain, and an election campaign with lines of flag festooned Tut Tuts on the campaign trail .We passed through some of the ugliest towns I have ever seen! Nuwara Eliya is an old hill station from tea plantation days and still has some remnants of British occupation with a race course, English cottages with rose gardens and the Hill Club where we dined with all the trimmings and were waited on by waiters sporting white gloves! We managed some hiking but it was quite cool and wet .The return was uneventful and the boat had not moved in the harbour .
We had discovered that the Galle literary festival was in progress and we managed to hear Jang Chung and Jon Halliday talking about “ The unknown Story “ and the true story of Mao which was a real treat and very interesting .For the literati who may read this it might be worth a trip next year ! We tackled the practicalities of departure, fuel, water food and bureaucracy and finally left 1st February as it poured with rain on the evening of 31st January and the sea did not look very inviting.

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1 Response to Sri Lankan Sojourn 24.01.2011 – 31.01.2011

  1. janehoung says:

    AT last some news! So good to hear that you’re still soldiering on. Makes my life seem very humdrum in comparison. Best wishes for the next leg!

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