27th April - what a difference a good night's sleep makes! We woke up having enjoyed the rare luxury of over 8hrs of quality sleep, raring to go and looking forward to exploring the town of Negombo
. After a hearty brekkie which featured the world's largest teapot we went for a walk along the golden beach, soon discovering for ourselves the reason there are so many fatalities due to drowning off Sri Lanka's beaches; the waves are huge and the current is STRONG! We then visited the local fishmarket before taking refuge from the stares (all men here stare A LOT, all the time) and cat-calls of the local fishermen (and the disapproving looks of their rather fearsome looking, machete-wielding wives) in a rather impressive local church - Negombo is the heartland of Christian Sri Lanka, the people having converted en masse to Catholicism during the mid-sixteenth century under the influence of Portugese missionaries. After a freshly caught seafood lunch of grilled prawns and cuttlefish we headed into Colombo and caught the public bus (do we never learn?!) to Galle. Two and a half hours into the two and a half hour journey and we were still in the suburbs of Colombo, and an hour after that we had broken down for the second time in less than a week, this time with a broken tyre. Finally, after 6 hours and with all our earthly possessions squeezed in the back of a tuk tuk, we rather ignominiously coasted into Galle, tired but excited to explore the Unesco world heritage fort the next morning.
26th April - we arrived in Colombo airport (again something of a misnomer, located as it is over an hour's drive from the city) in the early hours, completely exhausted from several days travel and disrupted nights sleep. The day passed in something of a blur; we checked into our hotel in the little seaside resort of Negombo, slept, travelled by private express bus to Colombo (which took 'only' 2hrs 30mins to cover the 40km), where we applied for our Indian visas (half asleep). Too tired to appreciate Colombo's hustle and bustle, we then caught the public bus back to Negombo (loud, sweaty, overcrowded and horrendously slow, but ultimately bearable as we slept most of the way) where we got an early night. Did I mention we were pretty tired?!