A short entry about my digs.

Trip Start Jan 08, 2014
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Trip End Apr 09, 2014


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Where I stayed
Galle Centre Home

Flag of Sri Lanka  ,
Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Following my mental map, I navigated through a lively market area (they always seem to be close by the transport hubs) and came to Upper Dickson Road which is where I was aiming for.  Glad to see the old inbuilt compass has not quite deserted me yet.  As the name suggests it is up a bit of a hill which did involve a bit of a slog with the kitbag.  Eventually I came to where I was looking for and, as the image suggests, it looked a bit, shall we say, off the beaten track.  I knew I was in the right place because of the sign.  I dragged my kitbag as it was certainly not in rollalong mode now and eventually reached my destination from where I shall let my VT tip explain things.

"I am not sure I should even post this tip as the establishment I am going to write about is going to get so popular and I am not sure I shall be able to get a reservation if I return!

On arrival in Galle I had decided to walk to my guesthouse as it was only a short distance from the station and managed this with luggage in about 15 minutes, although a tuktuk should only cost 100SLR from either the train or bus station, which are adjacent. I had memorised my map (no technological GPS stuff for me, I couldn't use it anyway) and was
slightly unsure of what to make of the pretty rough unpaved track that Iencountered. Still, dragging the no longer rolling rollalong down the lane I came on what looked like a rather large private house although the sign for the English School confused me even further. When I walked in and saw all the paraphernalia of education I was quite sure I had thewrong place but I shouted a hello anyway.

A lady appeared from the back and welcomed me warmly. This turned out to be Marga, the
delightful Dutch lady who runs the place with her Sinhalese partner Eranda who is equally wonderful. She spoke to me in perfect English as most people do and this is a good thing as she is indeed an English teacher here. Allow me to explain. The couple had taken the premises to run the school but as it has about seven bedrooms they decided to maximise the space and live downstairs whilst letting out the upstairs room. They had started to do this on 27th December 2013 and I had arrived just less than a month later so it really is a new venture and obviously not in any guide books yet although they do have an online
presence.

After the formalities Eranda showed me upstairs along adelightful verandah and into the spacious and beautifully appointed living area you can see in one of the images. The five bedrooms lead off, each door being designated by it's own little symbol. I was in the chilli room which suited me nicely. I was shown to mine which was simplybut very tastefully furnished as you can again see. It was a fan room which I prefer to air-con anyway as air-con tends to give me a bad throat. There is no TV but there is a large one in the communal area
although I never saw it switched on the whole time I was there. People tend to sit around and chat or go online for which purpose there is a fast wifi connection that works all over the premises.

A quick further tour revealed the two wetroom shower / toilets and the kitchen which is equipped with a fridge and kettle but no cooker. The owners
don't really want people cooking here although you are welcome to bring your own food back and consume it. There are tea and coffee making facilities.

A word about the bathrooms. There is one double room that has an en-suite but the rest of the rooms use the two facilities mentioned. I should mention that the friendly staff keep them spotless and as there are only a potential seven people using them I never had to
wait for one.

The whole establishment really feels like stayingat a friends home and that is what you are effectively, in someone's home. As it is a home, smoking is not allowed indoors but it is pleasantto sit with a cup of tea and a cigarette on the verandah and watch the many little squirrels scampering about on the powerlines or the sun coming up over Galle.

English or Sinhalese breakfasts are available at a cost of $4US although it is not a meal I usually take so Icannot comment on that.

The situation is very central although the off-road position ensures that traffic noise is never a problem. I used to walk everywhere in town and the Fort area, which is the major attraction in town is easily reached in 15 minutes. Should you want, Eranda can get you a tuktuk whose driver isn't going to rip you off.  Coming from further afield, airport pickup is available at a cost of $70.

You can bring you own alcohol here although none is served.  Should you wish to go out and not go as far as the Fort there are two excellent hotel bars a short wander up the hill.

One little anecdote may serve to summarise the type of place this is.I had been extending my stay on a more or less daily basis as I was enjoying the accommodation and the city so much and on the last night due to some computer issue or another Marga asked me very nicely if I would mind changing rooms for that night and coming downstairs to stay in her
personal guest room (not usually let out). No problem as I was probably partially the cause of the problem anyway and I was given a lovely en-suite single and encouraged to use the owners personal kitchen if I wanted to make tea or coffee.

That is the sort of place it is, clean, friendly, comfortable and laid back. It really does deserve to succeed and I have no doubt that it will.

Highly recommended."

That is what I wrote on Virtual Tourist a while back and I stick by it, it was a brilliant place.

Well, if that was the digs, I was off to a flying start and well pleased with myself for having picked it.  I think I shall break here so I can use my allocation of images for each entry to show you just how wonderful this place was.  10 a night?  Are you joking?  You wouldn't get a bed in a homeless hostel in London for that.

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