(Written 7th September)
Our stay in Negombo was to be for a brief one night, which was plenty of time for us to enjoy the beach. We arrived at our hostel and were greeted by the lovely Latta, who gave us a drink and booked us in for the night. We headed straight for the beach, which we could see from our hostel balcony. It stretched for miles and was so quiet. The waves pulsed against the shore and you could tell the current was strong, while the breeze was warm and stopped us from getting too hot. On the shore, little crabs, as far as the eye could see, were continually popping out of little holes, carrying out a thankless task of emptying their homes from sand which was soon to reappear as people walked passed and the waves came up and filled them with water.
|Negombo beach and some ominous, low cloud|
For lunch we had sweet rice and vegetables in a little restaurant. Half way through eating there it became really quiet and we suddenly realised just how loud the restaruant had been. Music, the noisy fan, and the busy street outside. A powercut and a lull in the traffic seemed to bring the area to a standstill. Of course the peace and quiet didn’t last for long as the tuk tuk’s whizzed past and the buses came down the road always driving on their horns. It has to be said- the roads are Mad. With seemingly few rules, there is an unwritten code of conduct that makes driving an organised free-for-all, if such a thing is possible.
David (at least we think that was his name!?), from Germany, had promised us a beautiful sunset in the evening. But the clouds on the horizon successfully hid it from us as we shared some beers on the balcony before heading to dinner. It didn’t seem long since we had last eaten and despite wanting a change from rice, I found myself ordering another curry- chicken in coconut, with three accompanying vegetarian curries too. Nowhere near as spicy as the curry in Colombo, I definitely made the right choice although it had taken me an age to decide what to have!
My sleep was hot, sweaty and restless. The fans seemed to do nothing to the heat although the mosquito net did save me from a few bites I’m sure. An early wake-up for breakfast and we were on our way by 9.30 heading for the bus station with the 34 bus to Kurunegala as our first ride on the route to Dambulla. Well, this was a breeze compared to Colombo and despite there being a confusing two 34 buses, within one minute we had been directed to the right one and were on our way!