Driving Through Sri Lanka

After a couple weeks on a boat surfing and relaxing in Indonesia, it was time to do some exploring by land so I rented a car in Sri Lanka and did some driving!  I was pretty scared at first to drive in a country like this, but after a couple days of madness I figured it out and got through the trip without much trouble.

I started in Negombo, walking through the city watching how the locals live.  I love wandering down side streets to find little gems that are often missed my tourists.  I found some fun local eateries and then went on a boat tour of the area. The tour itself wasn't all that exciting, but it was fun to pick the brain of a local.

From Negombo I headed south with a first stop in Hikkaduwa. I walked through the town and found a place to go diving.  I had pretty low expectations of the diving here based on the water conditions, but was pleasantly surprised by the quality of small see life and terrain.  It was basically a big boulder field with all kinds of short caves to swim through. From Hikkaduwa, I headed south for more water time in Mirissa, then bolted across the country to the East side where I could surf a little in Arugam Bay. 

I didn't get the best surf (especially having just left Indonesia), but it was still a good experience.  There was an old man in the water with a flute of some sort and we would catch a wave and ride it while playing tunes.  That was definitely the first time I've seen something like that!  From Arugam Bay I headed inland for a little hiking and a train ride.

I stopped in Ella and hiked the Ella Rock trail. It was pouring rain and there was quite a bit of lightening, but I got through it unscathed.  The end view was somewhat covered by clouds, but it was pretty cool to feel the exposure of a pretty high cliff with no one around.  The trail was semi-unclear but there was a dog that led me the right way.  I know that sounds crazy, but this dog would wait at every branch in the trail to make sure I went the right way.  I had never experienced something like that!  I wanted to give him a treat at the end, but he took off once I got back.

I heard a train ride through the tea country was a must do, so I hopped on the train from Ella to Kandy.  It was a LONG ride in a very crowded train.  It was nice to see, but I would not do it again.  Because I had a car, I had already seem a lot of the countryside people enjoyed seeing by train.  Either way, it was a unique experience and I got to hang off the side of the train, which is something I would never get to experience in America.  After taking the train back to Ella, it was time to head back towards the major city of Colombo for my flight home.

I booked a flight with a day layover in Tokyo on the way home so I could explore another city.  I love Japan the first time I went and was excited to eat more good food and check out some shrines.  I lucked out and ended up there at the tail end of cherry blossom season so that was a nice treat.  I visited one of the local parks and wondered for a few hours before searching out some local food.  Then it was time to head home and get back to work.

Nice little boat tour of Negombo

The Sri Lankan way of sailing

I met a guy with a Gate River Run shirt on so I had to take a picture with him

The juice master at work

Crowded trains

And a couple pics from the long layover in Japan


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