Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Vacation that Was - Sri Lanka

About slightly more than a year ago, my sister and I decided to take our parents on a *holiday outside the country. After some deliberation, we finally picked Sri Lanka because none of us have been there before, and it seemed like an interesting place to visit, and (ahem) didn't have any visa requirements. We also got a local tour agent to help us with the booking of the accommodation and recommended places of interest because we didn't have the time to plan one on our own.  

Almost a year later, I finally sit down and attempt to transcribe the experience of the vacation that was - the 4 days in an island known to the world as Sri Lanka. 

(insert sound of a tape rewinding in an old cassette player)

Feb 02, 2011 - Leaving and Arriving


Cheap flights come with a price - your sanity and sleep deprivation. Having the flight out of the country so early in the morning meant that none of us slept well the night before. We reached the airport without a problem though. The flight itself was fine, except that we ended up being seated right at the back of the plane, and it was bustling with activity (more so than any other flights I've ever taken) Four hours later, we touch down at Colombo airport greeted by a slight drizzle. No baggage related disasters this time.

First leg of the journey - Colombo to Sigiriya (via Kurunegala)

Within minutes, we met up with our guide for the next leg of the journey (from Colombo to Sigiriya via a place called Kurunegala) It was a long drive, and the sleepy tourists slept most of the way. Our guide wasn't gifted with much conversational skills either and just left us to sleep without describing much of the what we passed through except for one part where he got very, very excited over a pineapple plantation and a statue. The rain was slightly heavier around this time.

  
The statue - although I personally find the clock tower much more interesting

We drove on further into the island as we headed on towards Sigiriya, and the rain just decided to get heavier with each turn of the wheel. Water flowed along the roads pretending they were really shallow rivers, mothers carried tiny schoolchildren piggy back to/from school as the rain poured on them, and you could barely see anything more than a few metres in front of you. After passing by an elephant tethered to a tree, we went in to another muddy (formerly dirt) road which led to a restaurant for lunch. The wind that blew about us was cold - something none of us expected in a tropical country. 

Lunch was remarkably good, though, despite being buffet style (I'm not a fan of buffets as they usually rather focus on quantity instead of quality) The curries were delicious and full of flavour. Due to the rain, we had to switch up our plans a bit. We were initially supposed to go to this place called Sigiriya Rock first before going to the hotel, but due to the rain we ended up at the hotel first.

*growing up, family vacations were practically non-existent, even in the country as my dad worked shifts and ended up having to work while everyone else was on leave. This continued until he retired a few years ago.

to be continued


15 comments:

  1. sri lanka sounds exotic. its in my vacation diary too :) yeah, rain can spoil your experience and having a guide who speaks well is very important. i also like the clock tower though.
    growing up, family vacations were out of the question for us too. dad worked shifts and at a point held two jobs.
    looking to read more abt this holiday :)

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    1. I'd say it is a very interesting place indeed, and I do hope I can do it some justice.

      I used to be very sad when I was younger cos everyone used to go off for family vacations and had exciting stories to tell.

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  2. how lovely that you and your sister decided to take your parents on a holiday

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    1. I suppose when you look at it that way, it does. We argued quite a bit while we were there though. : D

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  3. Sri Lanka would have been a place I avoided because it sounded too exotic for my tastes but if it rains there I may have to rethink my stance. Did he ever explain why he was so excited?

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    1. Shouldn't the 'exoticness' (sp?) of a palce make it even more intriguing?

      No, I never found out why... all I remember was waking up from sleep and hearing snippets of the conversation between the guide and my dad.

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    2. It makes it intriguing yes and we all love a little intrigue but I don't handle exotic weather such as high amounts of sun and heat well.

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  4. Sounds fun so far! The elephant thing is crazy to me...

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    1. My sis is terrified of elephants as well, so I can imagine. I'm not that brave either. I know for sure that I'd never go on any elephant rides ever.

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  5. Rain beats snow, but still it can be a pain and throw a wrench in vacation plans.

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    1. Well, it wouldn't have been too bad if we were prepared for the rain. It was supposed to be a bit dry when we visited.

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  6. You've blogged about rainy holidays before. I hope the rain doesn't follow you around. ;)

    I took a holiday with my brother about 10 years ago - never again!

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    1. It gets worse, King of Scurf. Ha ha.

      Holidays are a bit weird that way, I guess... you actually learn how well you get along with someone after going on holiday with them. My mom found out that her sister is annoyingly bossy after going on a trip with her for ten days. She too said never again.

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  7. Cheap flights never treat me well, either. I inevitably get seated between two screaming babies. Every time, without fail. And I'm a very bad flyer. Thanks for stopping by!

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    1. Two screaming babies? Oh man, that's just awful.

      Thanks for stopping by too :)

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