Regulated life and polluted city, Delhi as it is called, made me think about a holiday, in its truest sense. No cell reception, no email's and most importantly not doing anything! This is when, Sri Lanka struck me.
The tiny island nation, is what I wanted to experience. I wanted to walk into the waters, not being scared, because I knew I could still see my feet, down through the crystal clear waters. I wanted to stroll on the beach at mid-night, with the wind blowing and a hand holding me, while I get kissed under the clear sky with the moon light brightening our faces.
After 4 months of rummaging through Tripoto and Agoda and AirBnB, three friends and me, finally got comfortable into our seats in our respective airlines, from three different cities, to reach Colombo.
Colombo, the capital city of Sri Lanka, is about 60-odd kms from the Airport, and the drive through, gives you a trailer of how serene the trip ahead is going to be. Friendly people, small streets and colourful tuk-tuk's (Three-wheelers, as they are referred to) easily help you around the city, taking you to places. Besides the temples and statues of Lord Buddha, the most striking part of Colombo was the fact that the Radio Station's over there do not play from buildings and high raised towers, but sitting right in a glass chamber on the street beside you. More famously called the Dutch Hospital Road, it is colourful, lit and lively. The music is out in the open, with a lush green garden to sooth you off.
This was when we decided to kick-start the trip of the year. The car was booked, the driver was fired up, and we were all game for what Sri Lanka had in store for us.
After the mid-night Colombo sojourn and during the wee-hours of 30th December morning, we started our trip to the famous lion-rock at Sigriya. Once the seat of the King of Sri Lanka, Sigriya is a rock so huge, and it took us famished people 3 hours to cover up the climbing and walk down. Sri Lanka being a island nation is susceptible to sudden climate change, and as and when you walk higher up the rock, the wind blows faster and cooler. Don't forget to have high resolution camera's and strength in your feet to reach the table top and get to see a green kingdom.
Upon our descend, we grabbed whatever food was made available and started to move towards our second location, Pasikudah. For specific reasons, we chose not to spend the holiday on the western coast, and decided to head to the more quieter eastern part of Sri Lanka. We reached Pasikudah by dusk, checking into Earl's Pasikudah, a beautiful hotel, closest to the beach and away from any humdrum. Tired as much as we were, we couldn't contain the excitement and decided to do a night-walk on the Pasikudah beach, with fiery waters slashing us, being a high tide. With no soul other than the four of us, it was things like this colourful lit tree that made us first realise what a good decision it was.
After grabbing the little sleep that we mustered, we headed to out third destination, Nilaveli. Again situated on the eastern coast of Sri Lanka, Nilaveli is what South Goa is to India. Small streets, local people walking their way to work and clean fresh air, welcomed us. We straight away went to our beach cottage we booked off AirBnB, only to realise that we had the whole beach to ourselves; and the view blissful. After playing in the waters till our muscles got sore, we quietly tucked ourselves into the cottage, pulled out the Duty - Free Scotch and conversed the whole night while we toasted to a wonderful year ahead; also as we also walked down the beach (that we practically owned), to welcome the first sun-rise of 2017 with the most happiest of faces.
Early morning, instead of deciding to get into the bed, we thought of moving towards out fourth and final location, Kalpitiya, which was a western coast town, and closer to Colombo, being our port of departure. Gathering the remnants of energy left, pushed ourselves into the car and slept, as Benedict, our driver, took us across Sri Lanka, to the west coast, to see a completely different side.
We checked into our beach cottages at Kalpitiya, and straight headed to the beach; only this time, the road wasn't easy. In order to reach the beach, we had to cross through a lagoon, with comparatively shallow waters, to then cross a wooden bridge, a sand bridge, and then to reach the beach.
Once you are on the other side, it is safe to say that you wouldn't want to return. I looked for a life somewhere there, an escape so beautiful that I would never have regretted. As we carried our beers and walked through the waters, we could see how the sun and clouds played with the sea, to throw up umpteen shades of green, some which probably haven't been named yet.
While the four of us sat there, with heads so numb and peace at heart, having found a lot more that what we though Sri Lanka would offer, we knew it was worth it. I can safely say that everything I had wished for, was right there with me.
Sri Lanka, you are love! :)