Srilanka Sojourn

15th Aug 2012
Photo of Srilanka Sojourn 1/8 by Neha
About to Rain
Photo of Srilanka Sojourn 2/8 by Neha
Coconuts all the way, Bentota
Photo of Srilanka Sojourn 3/8 by Neha
Photo of Srilanka Sojourn 4/8 by Neha
Spicy sauce and crispy wafers
Photo of Srilanka Sojourn 5/8 by Neha
At the Turtle Hatchery
Photo of Srilanka Sojourn 6/8 by Neha
View from Cessna
Photo of Srilanka Sojourn 7/8 by Neha
Yummy Egg Hoppers
Photo of Srilanka Sojourn 8/8 by Neha

Your best travel journeys will always be last minute plans, ideas you came up with on a drunken night with close friends. Our trip to Sri Lanka was the sum of one such discussion. My closest pal has two kids, both could give the devils in Sri Lankan history a run for their money. It was going to be an extended long weekend, thanks to the public holiday and the weekend combined, we said let’s see a place we’ve never seen before. Always a good choice.

We decided to fly out of Chennai, for it’s proximity to island country. I love the idea of new experiences, it’s the thrill i feel that makes me immensely happy. For this one it started with flying from Chennai to Lanka on a much smaller plane, a kind of a Cessna but I think I have that wrong. The view mid-air is simply stunning, all that blue just makes you want to dive right in. It’s that moment when you also start to think about your first sky dive, moments of immense courage like I call them.

Photo of Bentota, Southern Province, Sri Lanka by Neha
Photo of Bentota, Southern Province, Sri Lanka by Neha
Photo of Bentota, Southern Province, Sri Lanka by Neha
Photo of Colombo, Western Province, Sri Lanka by Neha
Photo of Sea Turtle Hatchery, Matara Road, Habaraduwa, Southern Province, Sri Lanka by Neha

Since the trip was a short one we couldn’t really travel to all the places we’d like to but Bentota was definitely on our list. A pretty long trip from the Colombo airport, this one was well worth it. We got there in the night and first up was a lavish dinner. I’ve heard so much about Sri Lankan cusine, this was one plate couldn’t wait to dig into! Sadly sea food doesn’t fare well for me but the spicy chicken curry and rice, fried prawn wafers, food cooked in coconut gravy was the one of the best meals I’d eaten.

They say every morning is a new one, new beginnings and this was a day for all things pretty. We head out to the beach and it hits you….. smack in the middle of your gut. Golden sand, deep blue water and a never-ending expanse of intense green trees. Coconut water by the dozen, lots of amphibians I’ve never seen before happily merging with the grass. With my luck I was surprised I didn’t step on one of them, causing them instant death.

The best part about Bentota could easily be the sunset, it’s stunning. We got lucky with a bit of rain and that rain and shine combination was well just beautiful. There is no better feeling in the world than to just float in the water with the evening sun upon your face, the sound of the waves, a song in your heart, eyes shut…. it’s your space, your little getaway corner, where all the problems in the world seem much smaller than they are, where you feel you must have done something right, to be here right this moment.

All of us being animal lovers, we had to to visit the sea turtle hatchery in Bentota. The Olive Ridley Turtle, the Loggerhead, the green turtle, the Leatherhead turtle, The Hawksbill it and they were all there in different stages of their lives, from a newly born to the grandfather! It’s surprising that marine turtles that roamed the seas for over a 100 million years and now only about 7-8 species exist. it’s endearing to see fed baby turtles being released into the ocean once ready to go. Humanity has it’s different ways of serving all things that breathe, never ceases to amaze me.

Sri Lanka is a foodies delight. If you love spicy food, this is a place to go eat to your hearts content. Morning breakfast is all about “hops”( little vessel shaped pancakes made with rice batter with an egg ) and trust me when I say this, they are absolutely yumm! The curries, all that sea food for all you sea food lovers…the place has exceptional food and everything comes with rice, it’s a staple. Not to forget lemon cream biscuits, I had to buy myself ten packs at the airport!

Colombo is a city with mood swings, the mornings and afternoons are relatively quiet while evenings suddenly seem to pick up pace. From shopping at Odel to a night out at the club at the Taj Samudra coupled with a noisy casino, i doubt we just took a minute to sit it out. What a contrast from Bentota.

Sometimes a place is not about where you live or what car you travel in, it’s about what it makes you feel. I feel every city, country has a personality and they all manage to touch you in someway or the other. Whether it was Bentota for my soul or Colombo for the city slicker in me, I’m definitely going back someday, so many places…such little time.

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