What’s happening in Sri Lanka? Currently it is raining and raining hard. We were told November is the start of the dry season. Oh well, life goes on. So I fell asleep like I was in a coma. Why you ask? After flying half way around the world and dragging yourself through various airports and security checks, the mind and body gives out. Woke up around 7 AM by my wife’s cell phone ringing. I wish we were somewhere where cells and the internet did not work. Looked out the terrace window and saw the beautiful and calm Indian Ocean starring back at me. Looks like a large lake with very calm waves. Finally dragged myself out of bed and had to have lots of java. Needed the java to start the engine and get into gear. Always have lots of coffee when I travel and need it to function while away. Who taught me that? My buddy Andy. The only guy I know of who has quadruple shots of coffee in the morning and when he goes to sleep. What a guy. Why drink four cups of coffee when you can pack it all into one cup? Makes sense to me. Think about it. A way to streamline your time. If you drink two cups of coffee in the morning, have the same cup with an extra shot. Saves time and effort. One problem with this way of drinking coffee. The drinking of coffee is supposed to be a way that you relax and ponder your thoughts and possibly read the daily papers. Almost every morning I sit in our local Starbucks and watch the insanity unfold as people rush in for their coffees that they had preordered in their take out containers. Just watching the scene gets me uptight and upset about facing my day. In Slovenia, coffee is never served in take outs. They use real china and you sit and either read the paper or watch the world go by. Why can’t we go back to this simple and basic way of coffee drinking? I challenge everyone to do this for one week and see if this way of drinking coffee makes the quality of their life better.
Went down to breakfast and had my java with some interesting breakfast items. Sat next to a couple from San Francisco, who have been traveling for six weeks and was leaving today for Singapore. Told us that Sri Lanka is an interesting and appealing country with lots of beautiful things to see. Did you ever have curry for breakfast? Did not sound appealing to me and as you know, I have had sheep head. I had a sunny side egg made in a light dough type of pouch that was very good. Olivia and myself love breakfast in other countries since there are usually some interesting items on the menu that are characteristic of that country. Curry, chicken and rice were all offered at breakfast.
It was now time for our walk on the beach. We walked for miles and miles. Passed some locals bathing and some strange looking sailboats and catamarans. Most of the catamarans I have ever seen and been on have all been made of either fiberglass or metal. Not these. They were all made of wood and the sailboats had one big sail. I have seen a few movies shot on the Nile and these sailboats looked like those with only one large sail. It seemed like we were in a time warp and seeing boats that had been never seen in America. We passed local fishermen who were dragging their nets out the water with large catches of small fish. They laid the small fish on the ground to dry in the sun. Lets speak a little of the sun. The sun here seems to be “Africa Hot”. For all of the new comers, “Africa Hot” is a phrase that my wife, Olivia, coined on describing the weather in Cambodia. The sun is intense and got more intense as the day wore on. The humidity also fell into the “Africa Hot” terminology. When I took my camera out, the lens immediately fogged up like my glasses. The Indian Ocean was so warm and comforting. it appeared to be saying to me, “Come and let me comfort you from your long journey”. We walked by lots of interesting sites and took some great pictures of the scenes around us. I love to take pictures of people living their lives and especially in different cultures. I try to have the pictures tell a story of these people and how they lead their lives. The area we are staying in is called “Negombo Beach”. It is on the west coast of Sri Lanka. One of the guests told us that there is no land mass south of here until you get to Antartica. Maybe I should stay here. But that’s another story for my last day. Once we walked far down the beach, Olivia decided that she wanted to visit a Mosque that she saw in the distance and got onto the road or what the locals call a road. The Tuk Tuks are interesting here. I have been on Tuk Tuks that are pulled by bicycles, motor bikes and paddled by people. How about three wheeled Tuk Tuks with a tiny engine and a small back seat for the passengers? I saw one that said Corvette on it. Please, a corvette dressed up as a three wheel Tuk Tuk. No way.
Walked to the Mosque and looked inside. Looked pretty barren to me and then it was time to walk back to the hotel on the local road. Saw people living in the conditions that they live in. I have seen much worse and many of the conditions looked similar to some of the countries of Southeast Asia. Got asked many times if we wanted a Tuk Tuk ride but decided to gut it out. Probably walked a total of 6 miles through “Africa Hot” conditions. Along the way had to have water. A large bottle of water costs sixty rupees or about forty cents. We then came upon an oasis. I blinked and couldn’t believe our luck. Out of nowhere came an air-conditioned and beautiful coffee shop. Of course, stopped in. I had my iced coffee and Olivia had iced Mango tea. Sri Lanka is known for its tea. We passed lots of shops selling various blends of local tea. It was then onto our hotel and collapse. Got back around 1 PM and collapsed on the bed for a well earned walk.
Our trip orientation was at 4:30 and we finally met our fellow travelers with our tour guide. There are eighteen people in our tour and within that group are six travelers from Australia. We each introduced ourselves and were told the plans for the following day.
Onto dinner and our first group dinner. Ate at the hotel again and had some interesting conversations with two couples from Toronto and their perspective of what is happening in the United States.
Time to get back to reading and enjoying my time in this beautiful five star hotel