Kandy to Colombo

5 04 2008

Woke up very early again to get to Colombo. The train left at 6:15 so I wanted to leave the hotel by 5:30.

All the lights were out, I woke up the front desk clerk from a nap – he was very apologetic. I told him not to worry, I would rather be sleeping myself! They called a tuk for me – no negotiations this morning on fare, as he knew where he had me.

A quick cool ride to the train station before the sun rises, so cool in fact that the windows are not even open in our coach. All baggage is searched as we enter the station. I board my coach, noticing the only real difference between 1st and 2nd class is that the seats are a bit closer together, and do not recline. On the other hand, the seats are wing back, which makes napping easier. This activity is what most everyone on my coach does, after eating a takeaway breakfast.

I am luckly sitting on the other side of the train this time, so I can see a different view – even if for most of the ride my view is the side of a mountain.

We go down the hill to the plains, it is a 1:44 slope, not that great, but I do notice what looks like two run away tracks at stations. They arch off the main and go up quickly against the grade.

By 8:50 I am in Colombo – entering the station at full commuter push. The air is still cool-ish (maybe 30) so I walk to the hotel. It is only 3 blocks and 15 tuk ride offers away! I enter again the coolness of the Hilton and ask for an early check in. Given the 35% occupancy rate, it is given. Plus, I am upgraded to an executive floor. Score.

For a couple of hours I sit, relaxing, going through photos, looking at the very active port, taking photos I shouldn’t 😉

I decide to have a walk in the old city. Not much to see there really, as it is pretty much security checkpoints, so I head to the Galle Face Green. It is a nice walk up along the Indian Ocean, watching the ships on the horizon. I chat with some kids off school for lunch, who are playing in the ocean, showing them some photos I took. It was really nice to talk to some people who just wanted to chat and practice english, and who did not want anything else.

Had lunch in the new commerical district south of downtown, and then walked back to my hotel. I am pretty sure I looked like some kind of steamed meat – i know I felt like it!

That evening I took drinks and dinner in the lounge – as it is all free – and watched the sunset from the 19th floor. Had after dinner drinks with a couple of technical people from Singapore until late in the evening, forgetting that I had an early flight out.

Up early the next morning, already checked out. One hour hotel car ride to the airport (fun to be in) and I am checked in. The flights and my tickets work!!!!

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