Day 1: Arrival in Colombo after midnight on Emirates flight from Sinagpore. Transfer to the outskirts of Negombo a small village near airport and stayed at Morning Star guest house for 65 USD. A quaint guesthouse with swimming pool and nice gardens. Next day when sis arrived after a nice breakfast we took a tuk tuk to Negombo and went to the local market. I bought a dress for 2.5 EUR, some nice material for sofa for 2 EUR and a plastic nice colourful bag for over half a EUR. So far so good.
Day 2: Our tour began our driver Aruna who came to pick us up in a huge van and we took off to Kandy. On the way there we stopped at the Botanical gardens in Kandy and then went to the outskirts of Kandy to “Elegant Hotel” and elegant it was indeed absolutely stunning. With a pool with a view to die for and only 5 rooms it’s the kind of place you could easily stay a few days just chilling out. Had a lovely Lion beer with jungle view and then on to the other side of the hotel for the sunset.
(Photo Elegant Hotel)
Day 3: Off to Nuwara Eliya the Hill Plantation area with spectacular scenery on the way. They call it “Little England” as this is where the British used to come to relax and find some cooler weather. We stopped at Blue Mountain tea factory took a look at who tea is produced and had a nice cup of tea and bought tea. This place was huge. We then visited Macwood tea plantation and bought more tea. In the afternoon we went for a walk around town and yes bought more tea! In Nuwara Eliya we stayed at a homestay which was really authentic it was difficult to get there un a winding muddy road but thank Goodness we were with our driver. The place was not quite as comfortable as we would have liked and it was cold temperature dropped to 15 degrees which felt even colder in the house but we did get massive hot water bottles!! the dinner was the best of the entire journey. The rice made with coconut water just melted in your mouth and all the little dishes were just delicious to say the least. Dessert was curd made with buffalo milk and treacle syrup yum yum my sister didn’t taste it I had 2 rations!!
(Photo dinner Nuwara)
Day 4: We started our day’s tour with a 10 minute stop at Gregory Lake in Nuwara nice and pleasant to see the locals enjoying some chill time. From there we stopped at Seetha Amman (Sita temple really beautiful Hindu temple with loads of monkeys and only locals around.
(Photo temple with monkeys)
From here we went to have a cinnamon tea at the Grand Hotel as it was rainy waiting for our train to depart to Ella at 15.00 which of course departed about 40 minutes late. The hotel has a lot of hype about it but I found it too new with no real colonial feel but yes clean and good for a tea. We were e in First Class in the train which cost 1000 rupies and it was comfortable but it was rainy and mistly so was hardly saw a thing a real real shame it is supposed to be one of the most beautiful train rides in the world. What we could see was amazing and the trees so so tall the nature in this area is so beautiful. It was in a way fun as we chatted with some Japanese on the train and then the locals all started singing which was nice. Upon arrival to Ella our driver picked us up at the station (luxury or what?) and took us to Ella Nature view guesthouse. As always were out and beyond the town centre in a modest guesthouse but spacious and big beds. Dinner was horrendous though. The surprise was next morning when we saw the view from the room possibly the best I have ever had it will be very difficult to beat this view. We had a nice simple breakfast of varied fruit platter, Sri Lankan tea, eggs and toast nice, nice, nice I will never forget that view.
(photo of view at =Ella Nature view)
After breakfast we went up Adam’s peak (the small one) it was really enjoyable and once again beautiful landscape and views. It took us 37 minutes to get up to the peak. We had lunch at Chill Café with was excellent we had rice, veggies, egg and meat all wrapped up in a banana leaf!! Following we had a very good massage at XXXXXX for 3500 rupies we had a head, body and facial it was exactly what we needed. I almost killed myself getting of the bed as I forgot it was so high as I was so zoombied out and with oil on my foot slid but thank Goodness I got my balance back before slamming onto the floor. Phew!! I needed a beer after that so back to Chill café!
We passed by Rawana waterfall and Buduruwagala Buddhist temple an ancient Budhist temple on the way to Tangalla. The temple was definetely worth a stop. At Tangalla suddenly the temperature increased and just as well as it is a beach area so nice. We stayed at the Serein hotel (127 USD night), another 9 room Boutique hotel which was smack on the beach and really nice and clean. We walked all the way to the port and then returned to hotel for the sunset. We had a relaxing dinner at hotel and enjoyed a bottle of bubbly that sis bought over from Spain.
Late start on our way to Bentota stopping 2 hours at Galle where we went for lunch at the original Mamas restaurant a quirky place with nice owners where we had a nice Sri Lankan curry on the second floor it was quiet and the food was great. We still don’t know if we went to the original Mamas or the fake one nonetheless we enjoyed it. Following we went for a walk to see Lighthouse and then walked around and peeped into several shops. I bought a nice ring with Green ametyst stone. I like to buy myself a ring when I travel…. We then arrived to Shangri Lanka hotel at 17.30 pm so no time to go to beach but who wants to go anywhere when you arrive to this paradise small hotel completely of the beaten track. A gem, a wonderful small hotel with a nice pool. I immediately jumped in the pool after my nice natural pineapple welcome drink. I just love these small little places wonderful!
We went to see Bentota beach to check it out – it is a big beach nice for a long walk or to chill we ended up buying some textile from ladies on the beach we got a good bargain!! Then we went back to hotel and our driver picked us up to go to Colombo where we basically stayed in a suburb when we were on our way there I was thinking where the hell are we going to end up but once again a real gem of a house this one we booked on airbnb and we basically had a lovely room in a gorgeous house. We were miles away from anywhere so had Sri Lankan dinner there. The next day we hired a tuk tuk driver and went on a shopping spree all over Colombo. I recommend Paradise Road you can have a nice coffee and shop there and then Barefoot this one has a wonderful restaurant too. Following that we chilled out at the home, got bitten by mosquitoes and had nice Lion beer!!
Day 8: We went back to Morning Star in Negombo and had our worse meal of the whole trip so no use expanding on that one. Then everyone had come to some Xmas party on the beach so we had to walk a long way to get back to hotel and through the crowds.
Day 9: Goodbye day. Alex left straight after breakfast and I managed to have a massage at Jasmin Villa Ayurveda resort they came and picked me up and then took me back to hotel. I paid around 2500 rupies and it was very nice.
Sri Lanka offers variety when travelling: culture, landscape, beach and is a peaceful country I wasn’t knocked out by the food but loved all the rotis and curries but I can get fed up of curry everyday. Tea is amazing so neither of us had a coffee in the entire trip. You can buy tea all over the country and the airport has a great selection too. The country in general is quite cheap although in the Christmas period you basically pay double. We paid 450 USD for our driver and it was pure luxury to be picked up and dropped of everywhere. In Sri Lanka unless you want to rent your own tuk tuk and travel (some adventurous people do and I would love) but if not personal driver is the way to go if not you can do it via public transport but you will need more time and you will not be able to stop wherever you want.