Mirissa, 3-4 August
We take another bus down to the next town of Mirissa for two days chilling out on the South coast’s prettiest beach. Although it’s off season in the south right now, you couldn’t tell it from the blazing sun. In case you’re wondering, yes, we are severely sunburnt right now!
Mirissa has a secret beach where we meet a lovely local family who invites us over for breakfast. Their dogs join us at the shore.
In the morning we’re waking up to the sound of Mozart playing from a tuktuk selling bread door to door and this view from the hotel:
Hikkaduwa, 2 August
We have our first experience riding on the local bus from Colombo to Hikkaduwa. There’s non stop music videos blaring and the driver’s got a half empty bottle of Kahlua in the cup holder beside him.. Not a relaxing ride. The local bus system is amazing however, we’re not having to wait longer than 5 minutes to get on a bus!
Hikkaduwa is a tiny village with giant turtles – we don’t see one though! This might have something to do with over sleeping in the morning and missing feeding time after meeting new friends the night before 😁
Colombo, 1 August
So after a 27 hour journey we arrive at our first major destination, Negombo airport in Sri Lanka.
Immediately it feels like walking into a sauna, it’s 30 degrees Celcius and pretty humid. Thankfully we know there is an airconditioned bus waiting to take us straight to the capital city Colombo.
Pettah central bus station is very intense to say the least; lorries, cars, buses, tuktuks and scooters come flying out from every direction and it feels like we’re risking our lives trying to get away from the chaos and flag down a tuktuk to get to the hotel.
The drive is about equally intense. There’s no such thing as staying in your own lane on the roads in Sri Lanka, and everyone drives formula one!
We meet the owner Aniq and his mother, who give us some excellent inside information on local culture and seem impressed to hear our itinerary for the 30 days we’ll be spending here, off to a great start!
We’re staying in an area called Cinnamon Garden, where most of the foreign embassies are at. Since the Easter bombings there’s loads of armed guards about, but it feels safe and everyone seems happy to see tourists.
With Sri Lanka being a former British colony we visit the local Victoria Park (one of many Victoria parks we’ll no doubt see on our journey)