14.09.2013 - 16.09.2013 32 °C
After our excellent day at Sigiriya and the national park we were in two minds as to where to go next. Option one was to go further north to Anuradhapura, the ancient city of Sri Lanka or to begin our journey to the south coast. After discussion, and a bit of research we chose the later. We really wanted to get back to the coast and see some of the beautiful Sri Lanka beaches.
In order to get from Habarana, our base for Sigiriya and the National Park, down to the south we had to go back to Kandy. We had decided that our first stop on the south would be the Galle. From there we can travel along the south and east coast easily to any beach we please. We caught the local bus again back to Kandy, although as we were not at the beginning of the bus route, it was standing room only by the time we boarded. With our giant bags this is always a pain. Fortunately we did not have to wait long for a seat, and we were crammed in at the front. It was not a pleasant bus journey, and seemed to take forever. We were glad to finally arrive in Kandy, even though it was of course, raining.
We made a trip to the train station immediately to find out what time the train to Galle is for the next day. You can imagine our excitement when the guy behind the ticket counter told us 5am. Even better we can not pre buy the ticket, therefore we had to turn up at 4.30am to make sure we got one. With that early start to look forward to, we jumped in a tuk tuk to a guesthouse.
We did not plan to do anything this time around In Kandy, the weather in Kandy seems to just be rain, interrupted by heavier rain. We dropped off our bags and got a another tuk tuk down the hill into the city to grab some dinner. We went to our favourite eatery in Kandy, the Kandyan Muslim Hotel. This is the third time we have been and it is still intimidating, walking in, sitting down, everyone momentarily stops eating to look at you before going back to there food. We ordered an array of fried snacks, samosas etc, a few roti and a curry to dip them in. Washed down with two very sweet, strong cups of tea and a grand total of less than £2.50. Before going back to the guesthouse to get an early night, we bought some cake, a bottle of water, a newspaper to take back with us.
Then, around 9pm just as we were going to bed Chelsea began to throw up. This continued throughout the night, neither of us got any sleep, and 4am was upon us quicker than we would have liked. Chelsea though was not up to a seven hour train journey, with god knows what quality of toilet, so we decided to stay in Kandy another day, until she was better.
She carried on being ill yesterday morning but improved by the afternoon, we managed to go out for something to eat, but the rest of the time was spent in our room. We think that she has eaten something off, maybe one of the fried snackS we ordered. Its a shame for Chelsea because she was loving eating them, now the thought of them makes her queasy.
We still had to deal with the 5am train, and this morning we somehow dragged ourselves out of bed, and into a tuk tuk down the train station. There was an alarming amount of people out and about to say what time it was. We bought our tickets, an boarded the train. Even though there was at least ten carriages the train was full, there was the odd seat but each time we approached we were told by the person next to vacant seat it was being saved for someone. Maybe they did not want to sit next to us. We ended up sat on our bags in between carriages outside the dreaded toilet. It was way too early for the drama. We tried to sleep best we could but the train was loud and made frequent stops. By the time the sun came up we were packed in like sardines, a few stops later it got to the point where people were hanging on to outside of the train, stood on the steps that helped passengers on and off.
This only continued until the train reached Colombo, and there was a mass exodus, We had been on the train for around three hours by this point, sat on our bags and stood up with zero room between us and other passengers that had somehow crammed on. Thankfully we got seats by this point and the remainder of the journey to Galle, another three hours or so passed in relative comfort.
Our first impressions of Galle are great, we have not done much today apart from have a wander around the old town within the old fort walls. It is the most touristy place in Sri Lanka we have visited so far but it is easy to see why. Inside the old fort, narrow streets are lined with crumbling Dutch colonial buildings, most are either guesthouses, high end hotels, restaurants, or shops now but there are still some working buildings and plenty of local people strolling around. The old fort is a small outcrop of land completely encased by the old walls and surrounded by the Indian sea on three sides. It is a really beautiful town, and we plan to spend a few days here slowly walking the streets and seeing some of the sights.