The Lovely Laguna of Unawatuna

Trip Start Feb 23, 2009
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Trip End Mar 18, 2009


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Where I stayed
The Villa, Unawatuna

Flag of Sri Lanka  ,
Friday, March 6, 2009

     We flew from Bangalore to Colombo, Sri Lanka, and we were stunned to see that at the duty free stores in the airport, they sell things like washing machines and Macintosh computers. "Who goes to the airport to buy a washing machine?" asked Miles. He also gaped at the sign that said drug laws in Sri Lanka are enforced with the death penalty.

    Our driver from Red Dot Tours, who would transport us for the next few days in Sri Lanka, was named Hasantha Kulatunga. We sometimes had trouble understanding his English, but I ended up being very impressed at the wide body of knowledge he had about Sri Lanka. He knew about sports, history, agriculture, industry...it was hard to stump him. He was also informative about the civil war that has been going on for decades, and the high security around Colombo designed to prevent further terrorist actions by the rebels. We were certainly startled to see the number of machine guns aimed at traffic on the little road leading to and from the airport. Soldiers seemed to be everywhere, and they seemed to be very alert.

    We had a crazy itinerary, which was the result of me trying to cram a lot of activities in before Miles had to return to the US. So when Hasantha picked us up, we had about a 5 hour drive to the south of the island, to get us to the beautiful beach of Unawatuna. We stopped for dinner on the way at a jewelry resort called Aida, which was one of the few disappointing meals of the trip.

    We stayed at a small hotel called The Villa, in Unawatuna, which had been recommended to me for it's proximity to good scuba diving, and the good restaurant at the hotel. There were just two rooms on our floor, and so Miles took one and Jae and I took the other. Each room had a four-poster bed with mosquito netting, but the beds were so big that there was hardly room for anything else in the room. I was very pleased that there was air conditioning, which, combined with the mosquito netting, meant I would probably get some sleep. The only problem we had there was that there were few wall plugs, so our army of electrical devices would have to get charged on a triage basis.
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