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Trip Report Sri Lanka trip report July 2012

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I am currently sitting pool/Oceanside at the Roman Beach Hotel in Hikkaduwa and thought this would be a good time to start my trip report. Info on Sri Lanka is hard to come by so I hope this will help someone else in their planning as all the other trip reports have helped us.

We left the US, east coast on a Mondya and arrived on Wednesday evening. I shouldn't complain, we flew bus class on Cathy Pacific; but it was grueling. We flew BOS to NY, layover, then the "long haul" NY to Hong Kong. Business class does have sleeping pods so it wasn't horrible. We had a long layover, we arrived in Hong Kong to open the airport. We showered in the lounge, which is a godsend and took te airport express into town and walked the "Avenue of the Stars" and all around. It was nice to get some exercise. We headed back to the airport, showered again before heading out for the next leg. I should add that we were not well received when we wanted to leave the "transit" lounge they had to escort us and another woman and were taken to task!

We were routed Hong Kong to Singapore to Colombo. Here is a head's up, the Singaporean gov't requires all passengers to deplane and go back thru security, this means you must dump your duty free liquor, this is announced when leaving the plane. We werenot happy, we were tired and cranky anyway but that really did us in.

We arrived in Colombo very late but it was smooth sailing thru immigration and customs, the e visas work great. Our luggage arrived which to be honest I had my doubts about.

We were scheduled to stay at the Serendib guest house in Negombo, and they were going to pick us up at the aiort, again, they were there and off we went. When we arrived at the Serendib they whisked us to our room which was cool, with a very large comfortable bed and they skipped the check in formalities. We were very grateful. We then slept for 15 hours and awoke at 3:00 pm the next day. Funny thing they knocked on the door to check on us to make sure we were okay just as we were starting coffee and tea.

We showered and Buddika, one of the owners, walked us to the road to show us the way. We walked the beach which we pretty much had to ourselves. The guest house had recommended a fish restaurant for dinner, Kamlo, which we ate at and highly recommend. I had a prn cocktail and a grilled sole plate, my husband had a mixed seafood grill and for desert we shared fried bananas with honey and icecream, the total bill was around $30.00 usd.

So back to the hotel, we had scheduled to be picked up by a driver Friday morning so back to sleep. We had no trouble falling asleep, but staying asleep was another story. I was up at 2:20 am ans my husband joined me at 3:45. We didn't need a wake up call! Breakfast was cooked to order on the terrace by the pool. Full English breakfast followed by a fruit plate and fresh squeezed juice.

Sour driver was on time, we were impressed. Now we feared we were going to have to go into Colombo as we needed to pick up air tickets from Trinco back to Colombo from Helitoursat the end of our journey. The driver suggested as we passed by the airport that perhaps we could pick them up there. Here is the surprise, you have to pay to park, okay, then they charge you to go into the airport, each. We did this as it made sense. We did get our tickets, it took a while and the young woman who cleared me thru security did an overly ambitious frisk!

Now we were really on the road to Hikkaduwa. Everyone talks about it being a long journey, time wise and it certainly was. For some reason we did not use the new super highway the Chinese have built, I think it was the charge, but we spent 4 hours on the journey. We were really beat when we finally arrived.

We are staying at the Roman Beach hotel in Hikkaduwa. It is a little beyond the center. It has 6 rooms, all facing the beach and pool and with huge balconies. The rooms are very large and comfortable with a wall of glass facing the ocean. The pool here is large, at least 25 yards. It is also on a great stretch of beach they you will have to yourself. Breakfast is cooked to order and oh can have an English or Sri lankan breakfast.

We have eaten At 2 places so far, Refresh which I don't recommen although the setting is lovely and Red Lobster, not part of the chain in the US which doesn't have the watering setting but the food is good.

Tomorrow we will leave for Galle and ultimately Yala. I will share more in the next few days.

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