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less than 6 weeks to go - help me refine my Sri Lanka itinerary.

less than 6 weeks to go - help me refine my Sri Lanka itinerary.

Sep 2nd, 2012, 06:04 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 52,380
Re the train, tickets becom available 10 days prior to departure and your T/A needs to be quick off teh mark as 1st Class goes really quickly. in 2011 they couldn't be booked online and our operator had to call a man near the station who went to buy the tickets and brought them to us at the station just before we departed (i think the tickets cost $2 and the booking fee$10!).>>

out of interest, I just tried the railway website. there are tickets available on other lines, but not on the scenic one between Kandy and Haputale or the intermediate stations, not for any dates. I have to assume that tickets for this line are not available on line - I'm thinking I'll wait til we arrive and see what we can sort out then with our driver.
annhig is offline  
Sep 5th, 2012, 11:25 AM
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i was interested to get a phone call today from the ICC no less informing me that my T20 tickets were on their way - which is funny as they arrived last week. first time that anyone has done that with those sorts of tickets!

BTW, anyone got any ideas on what sort of vehicle is best suited to the sorts of roads we'll encounter on our trip? we are being offered a standard car [a nissan bluebird Sylphy, whatever one of those is] or a people carrier. the advantage of the latter is that the driver knows a lot about birds, which is an interest of ours too.

any disadvantages in having the bigger vehicle?
annhig is offline  
Sep 5th, 2012, 11:30 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 32,628
What is a people carrier? Is it a van? We had a larger vehicle than the Nissan Sylphy, it was more a mid-sized Nissan and it was great. The disadvantage of a tiny car is that you'll be spending lots of hours on the raod. So I'd consider comfort first. All of the raods we were on were big enough for buses.
Kathie is offline  
Sep 5th, 2012, 12:43 PM
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sorry Kathie,

if the agent in Sri Lankan means what I mean by a people carrier, it is probably what you'd call a MPV. slightly wider, higher and longer than a normal car with adjustable and flexible seating, and sliding doors. [usually].

the sylphy is not a model I'm familiar with so your opinion on it is helpful as are your points about comfort factor and buses - thanks! I think that we will go for the people carrier - especially as it comes at the same price as the Sylphy.
annhig is offline  
Sep 5th, 2012, 09:00 PM
Join Date: Jul 2006
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Terms like "MPV" and "People Carrier" are not at all familiar in local lingo, I think they mean a van.

Cars are generally more comfortable, smoother ride softer suspension etc, but less able to take you off the main roads. Vans will be more spacious, and you have a higher angle of view so probably better for sight seeing. Van can be slower and the seats etc not as comfortable as a sedan car.

It's your call....
Mohammed is offline  
Sep 6th, 2012, 06:46 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2006
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thanks, mohammed.

I think we'll go with the "people carrier" as it is likely to give us more space and as you say give us a higher angle for seeing the sights as we go along. also it sounds as if the driver may be more knowledgable about birds which will be good for us.

BTW, I've reported Mr. magic parking for advertising.
annhig is offline  
Oct 10th, 2012, 01:22 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 52,380
just got back yesterday, and wanted to say a huge "thank you" to all of you for your help and advice. We had a fantastically good time, in fact at times we were almost pinching ourselves in case we were going to wake up. Sri Lanka is so beautiful with such a variety of countryside that we were never bored even on the quite long road trips that we had inflicted on ourselves. [I should have taken more notice of the thread that talked about driving times, but by then virtually everything was booked!]

Kathie - thank you especially for the steer towards the Kandalama and to you Mohammed for the advice on routes and vehicles - it was a van and it was fine, and our driver was great. I'm never going to be able to over-take like him, but fortunately i don't have to. Crellston - thanks for the advice about the trains. sadly we never managed to work one into our itinerary, mainly because the place we were staying at in Nurewa Eliya was so difficult to get to, we didn't want to leave again until we had to! a definite for our next trip.

Things I wish we'd known before we went:

1. Road conditions are very difficult. yes, i know you told me that but seeing in this case is believing. I could never have believed that it could take 3 hours to do the 82 kms between Kandy and Nurewa Eliya but it did and it does.

2. some extra U$ would have been useful to pay for entry at the cultural heritage sites and for "safaris"; having to convert from $ to £ to Rupees to work out the costs was a pain. another £200 in $ would have been a good idea.

3. Not to tell the bank that we were going away. yes, that's right, NOT to tell them. the cards from the banks we didn't tell worked fine, the ones we did got blocked. so there i was sitting in the cafe of the royal Victoria gardens in Nurewa eliya speaking to the bank trying to get them to unblock the cards that they said were not blocked. YES THEY WERE. At least it was raining at the time so i didn't have much else to do. It took 2 long phone calls to sort but we got there eventually. I still haven't phoned the bank now we're home to find out what happened as I'm waiting for a time when I have a lot of energy to shout at them.

4. Do take a number of different cards from different banks in case one doesn't work. we did do this and it was just as well we did.

Can't think of anything else at the moment - though I'm sure there are some. Thanks again to all of you, for helping to make the trip so successful.

Mohammed, I hope that your enjoyment of the T20 final wasn't ruined too much by the result. we watched it on the big screen on our hotel lawn and thought it was pretty good, considering the start the WI got. BTW, having the cricket to talk about to the local people we met was a great ice-breaker. Everyone in SL is a cricket expert!
annhig is offline  

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