Sri Lanka

Published on March 2nd, 2011 | by Simon


Coastal Sri Lanka

It’s very weird to arrive in one of the locations in Sri Lanka that was obliterated by the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami just as the Japanese tsunami is occurring. All the new buildings here and the occasional large boat stranded way inland serve as a reminder.
I can’t say I looked at the Indian Ocean and the beach in quite the same delighted way…

Completely rebuilt now, I have a gorgeous little free-standing hut about 100 metres from the beach – complete with resident squirrel and dog (plus two ponies in the grounds, and a purpose built wood-fired pizza oven which they have been firing up all afternoon; I think my first pizza in 5 weeks is on the agenda for tonight)

A couple of fish restaurants, maybe a dozen tourists at most and several totally disinterested locals makes this a totally hassle-free place.
Sri Lanka is such a throw-back to past times. Madeira cake, swiss roll, and ginger nuts on sale in all the shops. Though I had a wonderful local rotti made with jaggery which is raw palm sugar. Came out as a very hot, very sweet, and very sticky wrap.
The trains continue to fascinate. Traffic is controlled by a beautifully crafted and polished bell system which has been in continuous use since the railway was built 135 years ago…

About 40kph is all you are going to achieve on the local 3rd class train with much shunting of goods trucks at some of the stations.

And all this interspersed with a little hill-climbing exercise…


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